2021 may not have been much better than 2020 in many respects, but it was actually a great year for new Halloween film releases, from Michael Myers to Batman, family friendly scares to extreme violence, and so we say goodbye to the year that was with our annual roundup of our favorites that will be joining our October playlist rotation.
As always, these are not just 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 2021!
HALLOWEEN KILLS – Giving us what I can only describe as the ultimate Michael Myers, an unsympathetic portrait of terror both brutally violent and devilishly tricky, the most anticipated horror event of the year brought enough Easter eggs to fill a trick or treat bag, and some emotional punch that too many of the films in this franchise have lacked. This is easily one of the best films in horror’s most hallowed franchise, destined to be a fan favorite. Read our review here. Buy it here.
BAD CANDY – This new independent Halloween horror film is one of 2021’s must-see movies sure to be revisited for many Octobers to come, with vibrant Halloween atmosphere, a killer soundtrack, wicked practical gore, and a twisted story that delivers all sorts of fun creatures of the night. Starring Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot), evil beings of every kind get their due eventually, as this Halloween night winds down with a big reveal that connects all of the intertwined stories, and unmasks the real monsters. Read our review here. Watch it on Prime Video here.
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN PART ONE – Delivering a moody and cool holiday treat for fans of the Dark Knight, the beloved storyline of mysterious Holiday Killer brought to life in stunning animation, taking place over the course of one year, as Batman faces his toughest case and is forced to change forever. Part One opens on Halloween and concludes on New Year’s Day. Read our review here. Buy it here.
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN PART TWO – The epic conclusion to the year-long mystery of the Holiday Killer is also the end of an era of organized crime in Gotham City and the dawn of a darker new time, when disfigured madmen rule the dark alleys and a masked vigilante must become a detective. The atmosphere is thick with the motifs of each of the holidays, but October 31st obviously gets the most screen time in both Part 1 and Part 2, and the final scene is a perfectly heartwarming and emotionally powerful moment that could only happen on Halloween Night. While the tragic descent of Harvey Dent into Two-Face is at the heart of The Long Halloween, it’s really about the fall of Gotham itself, the unlikely killer it created, and the rise of Batman. Read our review here. Buy it here.
UNDER WRAPS – Disney Channel’s remake of the network’s first ever original movie, this Halloween mummy story is about finding the courage to face your fears, and looking beyond a possibly monstrous exterior to see what’s really inside. It’s also loaded with colorful Halloween atmosphere, and features a rousing sequence in which Harold hits the dance floor at the school costume party, set to Thriii’s new 2021 version of another Disney Channel Halloween fan favorite, the ANT Farm song “Calling All the Monsters.” For the generation who grew up watching the original, who now have kids of their own the same age that they were when they first saw it, the remake brings all the nostalgia and is sure to become an October tradition for their own families. Read our review here. Watch it on Prime Video here.
FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS – Violence reigns in this new independent horror film, a brutal and unforgiving story of an overworked nurse who comes home to a house of horrors on Halloween Night. A real treat for the most bloodthirsty and a testament to just how far a parent will push themselves for their child, Vicious is punctuated with amazing in-camera stunt work performed by the cast, creating extremely visceral fight sequences. and a sick synth score. Read our review here. It drops on Shudder on January 6.
Looking ahead to 2022, I’m excited to see the highly anticipated return of Art the Clown in Terrifier 2, the long awaited return of the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus 2, the new horror film Dark Harvest, the Syfy original Bring It On: Cheer or Die, Marvel’s Halloween special, Netflix’s Marlon Wayans comedy, and of course the return of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends.
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