2020 was a terrible year in general, and what would have been the year’s two biggest Halloween movies (Halloween Kills and Terrifier 2) both saw their releases postponed, but there were still quite a few notably awesome Halloween films released this year, led by an unlikely hero named Hubie.
I’m not just talking about scary movies that make for good viewing during the Halloween season. All of these films are actually set on or around the holiday.
Listed in no particular order, read on for Our Favorite Halloween Movies of 2020!
HUBIE HALLOWEEN – Netflix’s most popular movie of 2020 in the U.S. was the lighthearted comedy Hubie Halloween, co-written by and starring Adam Sandler, along with an all-star cast of A-listers, including Sandler regulars like Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, and a Happy Gilmore reunion with Julie Bowen, as well as some of today’s hottest younger stars like Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things), Paris Berelc, Karan Brar, China Anne McClain, and Peyton List (Cobra Kai), among many other familiar faces. Filmed on location in Salem, Mass., nobody in town loves Halloween more than Hubie, though he’s easily and often scared by everything, but this year, it’s up to him to save the night when real danger is afoot. Oozing with Halloween-ness, it’s overall antibullying theme of being kind to one another is actually pretty timely and poignant as it turns out. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.
THEY LIVE INSIDE US – Best Halloween Film Award Winner at the 2020 Halloween International Film Festival Virtual Edition, writer/director Michael Ballif’s They Live Inside Us is the story of a struggling writer who spends Halloween night in a haunted house in hopes of finding inspiration. As the writer’s story is slowly uncovered like a classic Stephen King tale, some of the most fun parts of the film are when viewers get to watch the various horror tropes the author brainstorms with play out on screen. Lit throughout in candy corn colors, this one absolutely radiates Halloween atmosphere in every frame. You can watch on Amazon Prime here or buy the Blu-ray here.
MASS HYSTERIA – Best Feature Film Award Winner at the 2020 Halloween International Film Festival Virtual Edition, and another one that was filmed on location and takes place in modern day Salem, this is a pitch perfect horror comedy. And it was even more suited for 2020 than co-directors Arielle Cimino and Jeff Ryan could have possibly known would be the case when they conceived this wild, fast-paced story of witch trial re-enactors who are accused of murder when an audience member dies during one of their shows. A plague soon turns the angry mob into killer zombies and a chase through the night is on. With so many quick and hilarious one liners, it’s got tons of rewatchability value, not to mention enough gore to satisfy the bloodhounds and a terrific twist that earns legit horror cred. And it’s all carried by a knockout performance by Geena Santiago. You can watch it on Amazon Prime here.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, SCOOBY-DOO! – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, teams up with the Mystery Inc. gang to stop the classic Batman villain Scarecrow from ruining everyone’s Halloween in this family-friendly animated feature film. Also starring Bill Nye the Science Guy as himself, Frank Welker as Scooby and Fred, and Matthew Lillard (Scream) as Shaggy, you can watch it on Amazon Prime here.
A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING – A fun cross between Labyrinth and Adventures in Babysitting from director Rachel Talalay (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Tank Girl), a babysitter (played by Tamara Smart) goes on an otherworldly quest to find the child she’s sitting on Halloween night, who has been abducted by monsters. She is soon introduced to a secret society of babysitters who protect kids with special powers from monsters, like Tom Felton’s boogeyman Grand Guingol and Indya Moore’s Peggy Drood. Based on the first installment of Joe Ballarini’s young adult book series of the same name, this fun fantasy is currently streaming on Netflix.
THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO – Starring Kane Hodder, Linnea Quigley, and Bill Oberst Jr., it’s a vampire bloodbath on Halloween night in this unapologetically bold, in your face, and fun indie from writer/director Jess Norvisgaard. A gangster takes one last job that leads him to an encounter with an ancient vampire known as the Demon of the Masquerade, who was born from the embers of Hell. The outstanding practical effects will help lift this film to annual October viewing status, and its central vampire (played by Veronika Stoykova) can definitely hold her own amongst the legends of the genre, but it’s the phenomenal performances from Oberst, Mary Katherine O’Donnell as his daughter Mouse, and David Rucker III as Quigley’s husband Melvin, who brings the remains of the vampire home for his Halloween horror “museum,” that truly elevate everything on screen. There is plenty packed into this 80-minute feature that will keep audiences talking well after the end credits. You can buy it on Blu-ray via Amazon here or watch for free (with ads) on Vudu.
BLACK PUMPKIN – Introducing new Halloween killer Bloody Bobby, who has the childlike playfulness of Trick ‘r Treat‘s Sam and the devious evil of Michael Myers, this ultra-low budget slasher has its dark heart in the right place, and it could just become a cult classic. You can watch it on Amazon Prime here.
For more Halloween news highlights from 2020, be sure to watch our month-by-month Year in Review special episode of The Halloween Show below.
Looking ahead to 2021, I’m excited to see the highly anticipated return of Art the Clown in Terrifier 2, the new two-part animated double feature Batman: The Long Halloween, the horror film Bad Candy, and of course the return of Michael Myers in Blumhouse’s Halloween Kills.
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