Ten Underrated Halloween Films You Need to Add to Your Marathon This Weekend

by | Oct 27, 2022 | FILM & TV, MUSIC

Grab your Reese’s and grab your Ghostface jammies — it’s finally time for the greatest day of the year. Don’t want to venture out to a party on a Monday night in your costume from 2019? Just feel like a cozy, spooky night in? Fret not, my fellow ghouls! I come to you in your time of need with a list of Halloween-appropriate film fare to keep you entertained on All Hallows’ Eve.

While presenting a list of “underrated” films tends to press the hot button as quickly as “Best” and “Worst” lists, what you’ll find below is undoubtedly a list of films that aren’t added as quickly to the must-have Halloween movie marathon lists as, say, Halloween or Beetlejuice. Some are a little more recent, some are a little older, and there are even a few for families and folks who maybe don’t want to be too scared to actually get a good night’s sleep.

1. Men (2022)

  • A24 fans, I’ve got a good one for you. Directed by Alex Garland, this British folk-horror film sees newly widowed Harper Marlowe (Jessie Buckley) rent a home in the British countryside for a week to decompress after her husband’s suicide. All is well, until the men in the small town begin to be a little, well… off.
  • Available now for Rent on Amazon Prime

2. Censor (2021)

  • Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond, this British psychological horror follows Enid Baines (Niamh Algar), a British film censor in the mid-80s. Working late one night, Enid realizes that there may be a link between a disturbing horror film and the death of her sister, and works to unravel the mystery.
  • Available to stream now on Hulu

3. Fresh (2022)

  • I was intentionally left in the dark about this film and exactly what it was about by a good friend, and in hindsight I’m glad that the trailer did the same. This Black Comedy was released earlier in the spring on Hulu and follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) who bumps into the very charming Steve (Sebastian Stan) while grocery shopping. After learning his very specific secret, she might be thinking that Chad showing off his fish on Tinder wasn’t so awful after all.
  • Available to stream now on Hulu

4. The Faculty (1998)

  • A classic, and one of my personal favorites that I will never stop recommending, The Faculty is for anyone who wished that The Body Snatchers and Alien had a little more comedy and teen drama to them. Starring a pre-Lord of the Rings Elijah Wood as Casey Connor and various other teen stars of the late 90s (remember Josh Hartnett?), plus a classic soundtrack, The Faculty is an instant rewatch.
  • Available to stream now on Hulu

5. Bubba Ho-Tep (1994)

  • What is better than watching a horror comedy starring American National Treasure Bruce Campbell as music icon Elvis Presley and just vibing? No thoughts, just vibes. Campbell Vibes. In an alternate universe, Elvis (Campbell) and JFK (Ossie Davis) mind their business in a nursing home where nothing happens, until a mummy runs through to suck their souls out through their ass. Naturally, shenanigans then ensue.
  • Available now to rent from Amazon Prime

6. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

  • I’m convinced that some of the best horror/spooky fare from the 90s and early 2000s involved Matthew Lillard just minding his business and getting caught up in bad times. This remake of the 1960s classic of the same name stars Lillard, Tony Shalhoub, and Shannon Elizabeth, and features a haunted mansion (inherited by Shalhoub’s character) that bears the stories and spirits of twelve ghosts.
  • Available now to rent from Apple TV

7. Troll 2 (1990)

  • It’s not often that someone tells you to skip the original and head straight to the sequel, but here we are. Troll 2 is the only film in the series that you need to know about or be involved with. The textbook definition of “so awful it’s incredible,” the now-cult classic follows Joshua (Michael Stephenson) and his family, who vacation in a small town, only to learn that it is inhabited by goblins. Welcome to Nilbog, baby!
  • Available to stream for free now on YouTube

8. The Haunted Mansion (2003)

  • For a minute in the early to mid-2000s, Disney had a mini obsession with making media based on their park rides. This did not necessarily end badly (See: Pirates of the Caribbean), but, oh man, was it a strange concept for a minute. Spooky is not exactly a concept that the big Mouse does well, so when I originally saw this in theaters, I was glad that I had opted for the matinee ticket (I long for the days of a $6 movie ticket). Mansion thankfully ended up being the exception to this rule, though; it’s actually one of the better live-action options Disney produced in the early 2000s. Starring Eddie Murphy as a real estate agent, the film follows as he takes his family on vacation, only to stop by a mansion he is selling and learn that he needs to help break a curse in the process.
  • Available to stream now on Disney+

9. Monster House (2006)

  • Directed and written by Dan Harmon and starring cinema darling Steve Buscemi, Monster House follows three kids who are positive that their neighbor’s house isn’t haunted, but is a living creature who wants to hurt them and the town. With Halloween fast approaching, they have to team up to destroy the house once and for all.
  • Available now to stream on Hulu

10. The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

  • Reading that something is directed by Eli Roth tends to make one expect a gory, bloody film that isn’t exactly family-approved. However, tossing the body horror to the side for a minute, Roth steps in to direct this family film based on the book by John Bellairs, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett. In it, a ten-year-old boy is sent to live with his uncle (Black) and his neighbor (Blanchett), only to be pulled into an old rivalry between witches and warlocks.
  • Available to stream now on Apple TV

Bonus Round: Wendell & Wild (2022)

  • Spooky holidays mean bonus rounds. Released just last week, Wendell & Wild is a stop-motion adventure directed by Henry Selick (of Nightmare Before Christmas fame), and stars Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key as the titular characters. They are two demon brothers who must not only face their nemesis, but get the help of Sister Helen — who is known for expelling demons.
  • Available to stream now on Netflix

Whether you like it a little scarier or a little campier, there is absolutely something for you in this list to sink your plastic vampire teeth into over this holiday weekend. What are you watching this spooky season? Tell us about it on Instagram: @rvamag

Top Photo by Moreno Matković on Unsplash.

Ash Griffith

Ash Griffith

Ash is a writer and improviser from Richmond. She has a BA in English from VCU and an associates in Theater. When she isn't writing or screaming on a stage, she can usually be found wherever the coffee is. Bill Murray is her favorite person along with her black cat, Bruce.

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