13 Halloween Movies For People Too Scared For Horror
Boo! Did you jump just reading that? Then Halloween might be a tough time of year—especially if you want to get in on the fun but can’t stomach the combination of candy corn and onscreen gore. First of all: don’t eat candy corn. It’s gross. Second: check out our list of 13 movies that’ll help you get in on the Halloween action (while still getting a solid night’s sleep).
The horror of racism should already be keeping you up at night (this is the Trump era after all) but Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut has enough wry humour to temper the scary stuff with laughs—some of them less comfortable than others.
Let the Right One In
If you’re averse to the sight of blood, this Swedish vampire flick might put you off. The thing is, it’s actually a love story in which a bullied little boy finds a protector—and his new protector finds the same in him. If you aren’t in the mood for subtitles, there’s an almost-as-good Hollywood remake, Let Me In.
Ben Wheatley’s funniest movie stars a pair of demented love birds on a road trip that quickly turns into a clumsy murder spree, as though the duo were a super sad and ineffective Bonnie and Clyde. Yes, the bodies pile up over the course of the movie… but in a darkly funny way that’s a perfect example of Wheatley’s genius as a writer and director.
Shaun Of the Dead
Our list includes two ways to get your zombie fix without looking like a sleep-deprived zombie the next day. The first is this 2004 horror/comedy from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Watching Pegg’s character attempt to woo back his ex while trying to avoid being inducted into the gang of the undead that’s slowly taking over his town is Halloween perfection.
When was the last time you hung out with the ghost with the most? Admit it: it’s been too long. Time to pump up the volume on Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song” in preparation for a Halloween night viewing of Beetlejuice and remind yourself that Michael Keaton was robbed by the Academy back in 1989.
It’s almost impossible to be scared watching a movie that stars Bill Murray. While it’s true that the undead have taken over a frighteningly large section of continental USA, Murray, along with Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson, have survived. And everyone knows it’s not a real apocalypse until all of Hollywood has been wiped out, right?
The Purge: Election Year
Why not get topical this Halloween with The Purge franchise’s most political film, Election Year? With the American midterm election just days after Halloween, take a glimpse at one possible version of a future in which we put money ahead of people and the planet. These movies are incredibly violent, but cartoonishly so—even to scaredy-cats.
Has it been long enough? Can we call The Craft a “classic” yet? This movie made us wish we had our own coven back in high school (so useful when it comes to things like exams, bullies, and crushes) and taught us that witch costumes can be completely badass (no pointy hat required).
If The Craft is about girl power, consider Assassination Nation to be girl power on steroids (or Xanax—who knows what the kids are into these days). Taking its cue from the aforementioned Purge films, the movie, which debuted at TIFF this year, brings the fight to the streets—this time over issues like consent, doxxing, and society’s overall terrible treatment of women. It’s payback time.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ana Lily Amirpour’s first feature may not have had any big names (like her second Keanu Reeves-starring movie), but what it lacked in star power it made up for in style and story. Girl follows a lonely, lovesick vampire who wanders through the streets of Bad City looking for someone who’ll understand her—and punishing those who don’t.
The Shape of Water
Think of Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar-winning film as a monster movie for romantics. Yes, Michael Shannon is scary (very) but the overall story is more adventure/fantasy than horror and the murders are kept to a minimum.
Too scared to watch a horror film? What about a thriller so suspenseful that it just grazes the border between looming fear and total terror? Our second Michael Shannon movie on the list does exactly that, following his character as he prepares for a disaster only he believes is on its way.
What We Do in the Shadows
The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows aren’t exactly friendly, but they’re definitely ineffectual (and therefore, less scary than successful, competent bloodsuckers). Also: they’re hilarious… except maybe for that one in the basement. We wouldn’t mess with him.