7 Great Scary Movies to Watch Before Halloween

I mean, I make monsters for a living, so it probably comes as no surprise that Halloween is my all time favorite holiday. My family loves horror movies. I think my children just naturally inherited it from me, because even my 2 year old loves all things “Halloween” and “skeery”. Like I was talking about with followers on Instagram recently, Halloween is basically a whole season for us – decorations go out the first week of September and stay up until Thanksgiving. We visit the pumpkin patch multiple times, walk and drive around town to check out everyone’s Halloween decorations several times a week, carve pumpkins, roast the seeds and in October, watch scary movies every single evening after dinner!


PS – did you see the Mon-stor costume I’m working on for my toddler!?

But now that it’s a more appropriately “Halloween time” for the rest of the world, so I wanted to compile a list of mine and my tween’s favorite scary movies that we’ve watched so far this month! Viewer discretion is advised for probably all of these – my tween doesn’t scare easy so I let him watch pretty much any horror movie with me. We have an open dialogue through the whole movie so don’t worry – he knows if a ghost were to REALLY haunt our house, not to play with a Ouija board or provoke it in any way. 😉 I’ll start with my tween’s favorite first:


Gauge LOVED this movie and said it actually freaked him out in a few parts, and has rated it “one of the only scary movies that exist”. I agree that it was really well done, mostly because going into it I had read about how it is more of a play on mental health than a possession movie, and that aspect was so neatly packaged and well executed that I truly liked this movie for it. However… This movie made me physically sick at one scene. I’m not exaggerating – I had to leave the room because I almost threw up. I don’t want to post any spoilers but if harm to children in films isn’t your cup of tea, skip this film. I felt sick any time I thought about it for a full week after we watched it. It still makes me queasy and uneasy, just writing about it. *shudder*


Marrowbone is one of the best traditional ghost movies I’ve seen in a long time, with a harrowing ending that leaves you questioning everything that led up to it.


I watched this one without Gauge, and really liked it! It was a unique spin on apocalypse/monsters taking over the world without really showing any monsters or gruesome violence. The trailer for this movie is pretty terrible. It doesn’t do the actual movie justice at all, and that’s why I put off watching it for so long.

Before I Wake

I really enjoyed this not-you-typical thriller movie, centered on a young boy who’s dreams become reality when he sleeps – but, so do his nightmares. Bonus points to this one because I share the same first name as the child.

The Babysitter

I don’t know why, but this movie feels like a throwback to 80-90’s horror movies in the best way possible. It’s campy & fun, but there is a bit of vulgarity and suggestive content. My son liked it, I think mostly because the hero of the story was a kid about his age.

A Quiet Place

Gauge and I both loved A Quiet Place! It was such a unique story line, and keeps you coiled in tension for most of the film because it’s so quiet, unlike most horror movies, full of jarring sounds and jump scare scores.

Black Hollow Cage

A blend of psychological horror & slasher film, this foreign film is very slow to build (very) but had such a unique premise I had to add it to the list for anyone looking for something totally different and off the wall to watch this Halloween!

Bonus suggestion:

The Haunting of Hill House

This one isn’t a movie but it had to make the list! I binge watched this entire series in just a few days and loved it! It was pretty scary at some parts, but also really emotional and beautifully done. The story is so unique and unlike most haunted house films in that it focuses on the trauma of the dysfunctional family after surviving growing up in a haunted house, while flashing back to the scary past and how it still impacts them as adults until they must confront their past.

Drop your thriller/horror movie suggestions in the comments!