Some people believe that Halloween movies should only be watched around Halloween.
Those people would be dead wrong, and I feel sorry for them.
But there is something to be said for watching your favorite frightful or frightfully funny films during this spooky season. And while everyone has their own favorites, there are others, either lost to time or pushed aside in favor of all the gory offerings that are so popular today, that deserve a place on your Halloween watch list.
With that in mind, I present here thirteen movies for your viewing pleasure, one each night leading up to Halloween. Some are funny, some are disturbing, some are downright frightening, but they all evoke the specter of the Halloween season. Grab yourself a bowl of candy, make sure the door is locked, and settle in—you’re in for a real treat.
Release Date: April 12, 1940
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: David O. Selznick
Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine
Based On: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Running Time: 130 minutes
Where to Watch: YouTube
Directed by Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick of Gone with the Wind fame, this adaptation of the bestselling novel is, aside from one small change, spot-on accurate. With Lawrence Olivier and Joan Fontaine playing Mr. and (the second) Mrs. de Winter, the black and white coloring, and the sweeping soundtrack, this version has that certain sense of class needed to pull off such a dramatic gothic yet romantic mystery. The twists and reveals are stunning even for those who know what’s coming, and the ending will leave anyone thinking about this film for days. Rebecca is a psychological thriller in an era when such films weren’t all that common, but with Hitchcock at the helm, there was a level of suspense that audiences couldn’t get enough of, and the film ending up winning Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Don’t let this old classic fool you—its drama and sense of dread still translate to modern day, making this a film for the ages.