I love Halloween! The costumes, the candy, and especially THE MOVIES. I don’t know that there’s another holiday on the calendar that gets more attention from cinema than this special day. Here’s a quick countdown of 5 favorite selections from the seemingly bottomless bin of Halloween movies.

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October 31, 2011


This one’s a no brainer!

In Halloween, the main character Michael Myers dresses up like a psychotic murderer and pretends to stalk some high school girls. It’s a really good depiction of a classic Halloween prank, and it’s scary too—a nice festive bonus. It would be higher on the list if more of the characters dressed up in Halloween costumes.


This is a bit of a sleeper pick, but trust me it’s a winner. The film was made in 1986, but all the characters dress up as members of a 1954 Indiana High School basketball team. Gene Hackman dawns a stunningly accurate high school basketball coach’s costume and even carries a whistle in some scenes to sell the character.

Fun fact: Hackman also appeared in the 1978 Halloween hit Superman, which gave rise to the popular Superman Halloween costume.

Note: No whistle here, but he does have a vintage basketball. Nice touch!


Have you ever been to a costume party? It’s one of my favorite Halloween traditions, and this Halloween romp depicts such a party in stunning and humorous detail.

In Animal House the characters all dress up as members of a troublemaking college fraternity. They drink beer and pull pranks… the whole nine yards! I’ve noticed that this one often gets overlooked at the video stores on Halloween night, so if you’re looking for that last minute rental check for Animal House (it’s often filed in the comedy section).

Note: Saw this costume at a party just last night. Classic!


Ok, ok, I know what you’re saying. Some of these Halloween movies—though full of stunningly accurate and festive costumes—just aren’t impressing me. Well, let me introduce you to my friend Mel.

In 1995 Mel Gibson turned in one of the most impressive Halloween costumes AND PERFORMANCES of all time. Mel (or should I say William Wallace?) dresses up as a Scottish King leading an army of his countrymen into battle. They pull together all the details—horses and swords, bows and arrows, even women and dirty-faced little children. Mr. Gibson even worked with a language coach to get his accent down!

Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you, please see BRAVEHEART—a Halloween classic for generations to come.

Oh by the way, I’d like to remind the critics that Mr. Gibson also DIRECTED this film. It remains a total mystery to me that he’s left off many lists this time of year (John Carpenter? Wes Craven? Lucio Fulci? I don’t get it.)

"They may take our lives, but they'll never take our costumes!"


Hands down the greatest Halloween movie of all time. 

The story begins with young Jakie Rabinowitz defying the traditions of his devout Jewish family by dressing up as a black man. This one is almost as controversial as it is masterful.

Why the controversy? Well, many people have a problem with Jakie’s costume. I admit, it’s not perfect; however, this film was made in 1927, people! Movie make-up of the day was far inferior to what we have now. Considering that limitation, I find absolutely no fault with the film. Furthermore, the picture was made for $422,000 dollars. That may sound like a lot, but these days directors spend over a million dollars on a single movie.

I ask you to give it a chance, turn back the clock, and have a Halloween viewing party with all your friends. I promise you the vote will be unanimous… THIS ONE TOPS THE LIST!

Al Jolson celebrates Halloween behind the scenes...


Email me at halloweenmoviebuff@gmail.com! I’ll defend this list to the death.