From movies to television shows, here are the best things to stream in honour of the spooky season.

Like so many things in 2020, Halloween is looking a little different this year.

Trick or Treating may be banned. Parties may be prohibited. You and your household may have to make your own fun. But do not be afraid. No virus can take away our ability to mark the celebration with excellent seasonal TV shows and movies, however.

Here, we present you with the funniest, the scariest and the most family-friendly Halloween TV of all time.


The Invisible Man (2020)




Most of the things that Elisabeth Moss – the star of this adaptation of the HG Wells novel – touches turn to gold. The Invisible Man is no exception. Nervously, we watch as Cecilia escapes an abusive relationship with Adrian. Two weeks later, he seemingly commits suicide. But did he really? Though Cecilia cannot see him, Adrian appears to torment all that she does. Critics widely agree that this movie is clever, beautifully acted and, suitably for October 31, super scary.


Friends: The One With The Halloween Party




In episode six of series eight of the greatest sitcom of all time, Monica throws a party for Halloween. (There was a time before Covid, when things like that used to happen, remember?) Phoebe, dressed as Supergirl, develops a crush on her sister’s fiancé. Joey comes dressed as Chandler. The costumes – particularly Monica’s cat suit – are a sight for sore eyes. The laughs are plentiful. This one’s a real tonic this year.


The Blair Witch Project




Based on the real-life experiences of a group of student filmmakers, this movie scared the pants off students across the globe when it came out in 1999. Considered one of the most successful independent movies ever, The Blair Witch Project consists of spliced together scenes of amateur home video footage, which is what makes it feel so authentic and quite so terrifying. Do not watch this alone.


Peppa Pig’s Halloween Dress Up Party




Cosy and familiar, this episode is a great way to help younger kids understand the concept of this bizarre holiday in this particularly bizarre year.


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)




The title of this gem, from the kooky hands of Tim Burton, is misleading. It is most definitely a movie to watch at Halloween. The darkly funny animation – which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Affects – follows the king of Halloween Town as he is growing tired of leading the annual Halloween celebrations, stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town and becomes obsessed by the festive period. Critics like it very much. Writing in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers said: ‘This dazzling mix of fun and fright…explodes the notion that animation is kid stuff. It’s 74 minutes of timeless movie magic.’


The Haunting Of Bly Manor




An adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, this series is set in a creepy old mansion in Essex. It features all the hallmarks of a spooky tale: orphaned children, a new governess and many a malevolent ghost. The show may not have had rave reviews across the board, but it is stylish, weirdly compelling and so very timely.


The Addams Family (2019)




This animated comedy about the quirkiest family in the neighborhood stays just the right side of spooky throughout its running time of an hour and a half. Charlize Theron, Bette Midler and Snoop Dogg are some of the big names behind the cartoon-character voices. There were rumours that a sequel was scheduled for release this month, but it looks as though the pandemic has delayed that…


Little Lunch: The Halloween Horror Story




Preteens are loving the TV series, Little Lunch, which is based on a group of school children in Australia and is currently showing on Netflix. Parents like it because each episode teaches – elegantly and with humour – a useful moral lesson. The Halloween episode sees the class put on a play about a boy who leaves his friends for a scary new place.


Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)




Guillermo del Toro’s masterly combination of fairy tale and historical epic is one of the outstanding films of the decade. The manipulation of the archetype of the young girl lost in a dangerous wonderland is resonant and unforgettable. The movie’s triumph is that it makes the world look more enchanting, more terrifying and more unpredictable than even the most committed of myth-lovers could imagine. The New York Times says: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. Or maybe it's the other way around.’


Modern Family: The Halloween Episodes




Nobody should need an excuse for a quick dose of Modern Family. But if you do, their Halloween episodes are just the ticket right now. The charming Emmy-award-winning series is known for them. Watch as the Dunphy household takes the holiday to a whole new level. Check out Mitch and Cam dressed as Harry and Meghan. You’ll go down a rabbit hole and you may never come out again.


The Shining




A Stephen King novel. Stanley Kubrick doing terrifying things with the sound of a tricycle being peddled around a deserted hotel. The moment Jack Torrence’s – Jack Nicholson – masterwork transpires to consist of ten words repeated over and over to horrifying effect. Quite simply, the scariest movie of all time.


Psycho




Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece is the original and still the best of the slasher films. Famous for its still-chilling shower murder scene, it features an indelibly creepy performance by Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates – the ultimate mother’s boy – and proprietor of the motel that you really don’t want to spend the night in.

By Becky Ladenburg
October 2020

READ MORE

4 Comforting Soups For Autumnal Nights
Six Ways With A Pumpkin
Best Halloween reads

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

FIND OUT MORE