The Best Supernatural Horror Films for Halloween

Horror movies are in season, so it’s important for both newcomers and veterans of the genre to know what’s worth watching. The horror film has many popular sub genres, including the slasher film, the science fiction horror film, and the comedy horror film. The supernatural horror film might the genres oldest and most popular sub-genre. Here are the best supernatural horror films to watch on Halloween.

A still from The Exorcist, one of the best horror films to watch on Halloween | Bettmann

‘The Exorcist’

Few horror movies are as iconic or as often parodied as The Exorcist. Everything about this movie has worked its way into popular culture, from the chilling score by Mike Oldfield to the image of Linda Blair floating above her bed. The film is famous for all the right reasons, as it has acting, production values, and writing that are far better than that of the average horror film. Blair also gives a performance that isn’t just good, it’s one of the best child performances in any movie. Even 45 years after its release, The Exorcist still manages to scare audiences.

‘The Innocents’

Deborah Kerr in The Innocents | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The Innocents is an adaptation of Henry James’ famous novel The Turn of the Screw. The film’s screenplay, which was co-authored by Truman Capote, takes the original story into an even darker realm by providing the film’s central character with some horrifically sinister motivations. The film has some of the best cinematography ever, with Freddie Francis creating a number of stark, eerie images that would be beautiful if the film wasn’t so terrifying.

World class actress Deborah Kerr also manages to portray fear better than just about anybody. Although it might not be as famous as Universal monster movies like Dracula and Frankenstein, The Innocents deserves to be remembered as one of the best Gothic horror films ever produced.

‘It Follows’

It Follows became an independent sensation because it was the first horror film in a long time to create a truly memorable monster. The idea of an incomprehensible creature that looks human and slowly follows its victims until it kills them is so simple but inspires more fear and paranoia than any zombie or werewolf. The film can be taken at face value, but it also works as an allegory about teenage fears over relationships and intimacy.

The film has an interesting, intense score that evokes both avant-garde music and the work of John Carpenter. So many lesser horror films have spawned major franchises; it’s a shame that five years have gone by and there still isn’t a sequel to It Follows. Hopefully, Jason Blum will step in and make It Follows part of The Conjuring Universe.

‘Poltergeist’

A still from Poltergeist | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

The idea of a family learning that their house is haunted and suffering the consequences is so broad and basic that it shows up in horror again and again, from The Amityville Horror to The Shining. Poltergeist is one of the best examples of the sub-genre. The characters in the film are well-developed and the tension builds slowly and effectively. Carol Anne is one of the most sympathetic characters in all of horror. How could this film not be good when it’s the product of the same minds that brought us Jaws and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?