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Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride.

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1986 Directed by Genie Joseph , Thomas Doran …

Gremlins chased you, Ghoulies terrified you, Now beg for your life...

Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride.

Felix Ward Maria Pechukas Dan Scott Alec Nemser A.J. Lowenthal Pat Wesley Bryan Peter Dain Nick Gionta Lisa Friede Joan Ellen Delaney Peter Iasillo Jr. Kim Merril Charlotte Alexandra Anthony Valbiro Soo Paek Al Magliochetti James M. Glenn Gabriel Bartalos Peter Delynn John Beatty Robert Epstein

Directors Directors

Genie Joseph Thomas Doran Brendan Faulkner

Producers Producers

Genie Joseph Thomas Doran Brendan Faulkner Frank M. Farel

Writers Writers

Genie Joseph Thomas Doran Brendan Faulkner Frank M. Farel Ann Burgund

Editor Editor

Genie Joseph

Cinematography Cinematography

Ken Kelsch Robert Chappell

Production Design Production Design

Ann Burgund

Art Direction Art Direction

Tom Molinelli

Composers Composers

Kenneth Higgins James Calabrese

Costume Design Costume Design

Ann Burgund Tom Molinelli

Makeup Makeup

Gabriel Bartalos Vincent J. Guastini Jennifer Aspinall

Miggles Corporation Safir Films Twisted Souls Inc.

Releases by Date

14 may 1986, 01 jan 1988, releases by country.

  • Physical 18
  • Theatrical R

85 mins   More at IMDb TMDb Report this page

Popular reviews

Justin Wiese

Review by Justin Wiese ★★★★ 1

As soon as the farting dirt monsters appeared, I knew I was watching something special.

Ian West

Review by Ian West ★★½ 33

Whoa... the website I write for and helped launch with a bunch of friends just won the silver bolo award on the last drive in with Joe Bob! Congrats to Ryan and everyone else involved.

As for the movie, I don’t subscribe to the frothing at the mouth VS fanboy love for  Spookies  but it does have some great effects and cool looking monsters. It’s a decent slice of meddled production 80’s lore that I’d probably like more if I wasn’t sober lol.

Tony the Halloween Terror 🎃

Review by Tony the Halloween Terror 🎃 ★★★★ 17

So, confession: When I was a kid, I remember renting this at my grandmother’s house and being too scared to finish it. In my defense, I was pretty young, although I don’t remember exactly how I old. It was just one of those situations where I totally took advantage of my parents not being around to patrol my viewing choices.

I have no idea what exactly was so scary to me then. I’m guessing it was the rush of doing something that I knew was wrong combined with the movie that created the fear. Today, it’s not the least bit scary, but damn it sure is crazy! There are some great practical effects and almost every type of monster you could ask for in one movie.

This desperately deserves a beautiful blu-ray treatment. Like, somebody make it happen.

Bananameter: 🍌 the poster speaks for itself i think 🍌


Review by belial_carboni ★★★★½ 11

Vinegar Syndrome accomplishes some Indiana Jones level treasure hunting and unleashes an 80s holy grail Spookies!! A film that was exiled into VHS oblivion and thought to be forever dead. It's soul incased in a coffin of plastic darkness...Until now. Ressurected for the world to finally see. The pure definition of magical 80s video store perfection. A non stop cinematic erection. At least for me.

Spookies is the complete amalgamation of endless imagination and low budget ambition. And endless barrage of otherworldly creatures and top notch practical FX, a nightmarish world created from scratch, a surreal and visceral dream filled with zombies, lizard goblins, farting mud monsters, a badass grim reaper, a killer spider woman, an electric swamp creature, a…

Lou (rhymes with wow!)

Review by Lou (rhymes with wow!) ★★★½ 4

My opinion of Spookies hasn't changed since my initial viewing, but I have to say that I did have a much better time with it today because I got to make fun of it with Michelle .

A horrendous movie, but (some of) the makeup effects were great.

Review by Lou (rhymes with wow!) ★★★½ 16

This is basically taking the Godfrey Ho approach to movie making in that a large chunk of Spookies is footage filmed months later by a different director and with different actors. It is as disjointed as you imagine it to be.

There is still a lot of charm to it though.

Most of the movie consists of a bunch of strange individuals aimlessly walking around a house, calling out for each other when they are forced to split up (=extremely tedious).

Every time one of the titular Spookies appears, the movie improves significantly. Someone on the original crew sure knew a thing or two about make-up/creature fx.

Review by Ian West ★★½ 2

Some cool ideas scattered about plus there’s some absolutely amazing make up effects on display here but I just couldn’t really jive with this despite this movies many charms.

🎃 Kyle 🎃 Johnson 🎃

Review by 🎃 Kyle 🎃 Johnson 🎃 ★★½ 2

Was not anticipating my wife saying that the farty muck monsters are her favorite part of Spookies . Definitely did not anticipate my wife saying that she hates the cat boy because he reminds her so much of her ex-husband.


Review by kat🕷 ★★ 1

There are some really cool looking monsters and practical effects, but the script just lets things happen for no reason that I couldn't follow after a while.. or maybe didn't want to.


Review by SilentDawn ★★★★ 1

For a lo-fi monster mash that was taken away from the filmmakers by its greedy financier only to be re-worked and filled up with additional scenes that make no sense in the slightest, it's a minor miracle how effective Spookies is. Some truly indelible creature designs and a whole mess of odd decisions, like a bad 80s live-action Scooby-Doo episode inspired by Hausu . That's probably overselling it, but ya know, if you're into this kind of stuff, it'll floor you.

Review by Tony the Halloween Terror 🎃 ★★★★½ 9

Oh Vinegar Syndrome how I love you!

The first time I saw this was when I rented it from the local video store at my grandmothers house in Greenwood, SC. It was a small strip center built in the style of a row of houses and the horror section was in the attic of the store so it was all extra creepy. At that time I was terrified of this movie and I’m pretty sure I watched half of it with my eyes closed. That guy on the cover haunted me for fucking YEARS.

Then the last time I watched it (before now) was a shitty subpar VHS upload on YouTube and I kept thinking how on earth did this…

Marna Larsen

Review by Marna Larsen ★★★★★ 2

Of course! Off gassing zombies! It's brilliant! Also: Billy convinced his family threw him a surprise party in the condemned occultist's house with a cemetery in the front yard...oh, Billy. You poor dumb kid. Your parents really just don't love you.

I feel like maybe I shouldn't tell anyone this thing I noticed as I worry it may have life and possibly world-destroying powers but that guy with the hand puppet is wearing a ringer tshirt with a photo of him and the puppet on it not mustache guy from hall and oates which is what I thought at first.

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All practical creature and effects heavy horror movie about a group of people trapped in a house falling prey to a Wizard and the creatures he summons.

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Spookies (1986) Stream and Watch Online

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Want to watch ' Spookies ' on your TV or mobile device at home? Tracking down a streaming service to buy, rent, download, or view the Genie Joseph-directed movie via subscription can be challenging, so we here at Moviefone want to do the work for you. Below, you'll find a number of top-tier streaming and cable services - including rental, purchase, and subscription options - along with the availability of 'Spookies' on each platform when they are available. Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can watch 'Spookies' right now, here are some particulars about the Miggles Corporation, Safir Films, Twisted Souls Inc. horror flick. Released May 14th, 1986, 'Spookies' stars Felix Ward , Maria Pechukas , Dan Scott , Alec Nemser The R movie has a runtime of about 1 hr 25 min, and received a user score of 48 (out of 100) on TMDb, which compiled reviews from 65 respected users. Curious to know what the movie's about? Here's the plot: "Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride." 'Spookies' is currently available to rent, purchase, or stream via subscription on Alamo on Demand, Fandor Amazon Channel, and Screambox Amazon Channel .

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  • Monster films
  • Films of the 1980s
  • Independent films
  • Slasher films
  • Cult horror
  • Films with Grim Reapers

Spookies (1986)

  • View history

Spookies is a 1986 horror film, that is essentially two unrelated movies rolled into one. It is about a group of people who visit a mansion next to a graveyard, and are then attacked by various creatures, commanded by a sorcerer who wants his bride to be to respect him. The film features the Grim Reaper, zombies, and a wolf-like creature with a hook hand.

  • 3 Production
  • 4.1 Box office
  • 4.2 Critical response
  • 5 Home media
  • 6 External Links

A 13-year-old boy named Billy runs from home as his parents forget his birthday. Making his way through thick woods, he encounters a drifter who is violently slashed to death after Billy leaves. Billy stumbles on an old mansion where a room is decorated for birthday celebrations. Thinking it is a surprise by his parents, he opens a present to discover a severed head. Running away, he is attacked by the drifter's killer, a werecat with a hook on one hand, and subsequently buried alive.

  • Felix Ward as Kreon
  • Maria Pechukas as Isabelle
  • Dan Scott as Kreon's Servant
  • Alec Nemser as Billy
  • A.J. Lowenthal as Korda / Son of Kreon & Isabelle
  • Pat Wesley Bryan as Drifter
  • Peter Dain as Peter
  • Nick Gionta as Duke
  • Lisa Friede as Carol
  • Joan Ellen Delaney as Linda
  • Peter Iasillo Jr. as Rich
  • Kim Merrill as Meegan
  • Charlotte Alexandra as Adrienne (as Charlotte Seeley)
  • Anthony Valbiro as Dave
  • Soo Paek as The Spider Woman
  • Al Magliochetti as Lewis Wilson
  • James M. Glenn as The Grim Reaper

Production [ ]

Spookies started out as a feature film entitled Twisted Souls , written and produced by Frank Farel, Brendan Faulkner and Thomas Doran and directed by Faulkner and Doran. Principal photography for the film began at the Jay Estate in Rye, New York in late summer of 1984 and finished in October of that same year. Twisted Souls was being edited when creative and legal issues between the producers and the financial backer prevented final post production work (final editing, scoring, post-effects, etc.) from being carried out.

The original Twisted Souls footage directed by Faulkner and Doran consists of all the travelers who arrive in two cars and all the monsters and effects they encounter within the house. The monsters include: the demon Ouija girl, the muck men, the spider woman, the snake demons, the hallway demon,the Grim Reaper and the first set of zombies we see outside earlier on in the film.

In 1985, the financial backer of Twisted Souls hired Eugenie Joseph to direct more footage, which was pieced together with the finished footage from Twisted Souls to create Spookies . The added scenes, written by Ann Burgund (under the name Joseph Burgund), feature an entirely different cast and include all the footage of the boy looking for his birthday party, the man in the tree, the cat-man, the old magician, the girl in the coffin, zombies ( the ones in the ending of the film), the witch in the basement/cave and the little blue boy.

The creature effects were created by Gabe Bartalos, Arnold Gargulio, Jennifer Aspinall, John Dods, and others helping in various capacities.

Reception [ ]

Box office [ ].

Spookies was given a limited theatrical release in the United States by Sony Video Software Company in January 1987 and grossed $17,785 at the box office. It was also released theatrically in Hong Kong.

Critical response [ ]

A contemporary review in Variety referred to Spookies as "a silly horror picture which contains some interesting special makeup effects, along with very amateurish ones". In his book The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1980s , Scott Aaron Stine gave the film a negative review, criticizing the "inept actors", "hackneyed script", and "hideous make-up effects".

In a retrospective review of the film, Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting called it "nonsensical", but referred to Gabriel Bartalos's special effects work on the film as "impressive", writing: "there aren't a lot of horror films so daring as to cram as many weird rubber-suited monsters into one movie". Jay Bauman of Red Letter Media called the film a "boring Evil Dead ". However, fellow member Rich Evans commended the "creative, different monsters" featured in the film, and fellow member Jack Packard similarly praised said creatures as "shockingly interesting".

In 1986, the film received the Delirium Award at the 15th Annual International Science Fiction & Film Fantasy Festival.

Home media [ ]

The film was released on VHS in the U.S. by Sony Video but eventually went out of print. Spookies was also released on VHS in the UK by Palace Video, alongside Evil Dead 2 , featuring artwork by Graham Humphries.

In 2003, UK company Vipco Entertainment released a Region 2 PAL DVD mastered from a VHS source as part of "Vipco's Screamtime Collection" series.

In 2017, the film was released on DVD by French company Intercontinental Film and Video under the title Les Spookie . Despite its French title, the audio language is English and the disc claims to be sourced from a new HD interpositive 2K scan. This DVD is playable in regions 1, 2 and 5.

On Thanksgiving 2019, the Vinegar Syndrome label announced they were releasing Spookies on Blu-ray and DVD, marking the first time that Spookies has been released in the Blu-ray format. This two-disc release includes a 4K restoration of the film, along with two feature-length documentaries on the film and the Vipco label, and a number of other special features. It received a standard edition release, as well as two variant limited edition releases with slipcovers—one featuring artwork by Earl Kessler, and the other featuring art by Gary Pullin. The Vinegar Syndrome website also offered a limited edition LP record of the film's soundtrack on colored vinyl.

External Links [ ]


  • 1 Freddy Krueger (original timeline)
  • 2 Michael Myers (original timeline)
  • 3 Billy Loomis

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1987, Horror, 1h 25m

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Spookies   photos.

A dilapidated mansion becomes a slaughterhouse when an evil sorcerer unleashes his monstrous sidekicks on intruders.

Genre: Horror

Original Language: English

Director: Thomas Doran , Brendan Faulkner , Genie Joseph

Producer: Frank M. Farel , Thomas Doran , Brendan Faulkner , Genie Joseph

Writer: Frank M. Farel , Thomas Doran , Brendan Faulkner

Release Date (Streaming): Jan 4, 2019

Runtime: 1h 25m

Cast & Crew

Kreon's Servant

Alec Nemser

Maria Pechukas

Thomas Doran

Brendan Faulkner

Genie Joseph

Frank M. Farel


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spookies movie 1986

  • Genre(s): Horror Comedy
  • Release year: 1986
  • Running time: 85 min
  • Cast & Crew

Spookies is a 1986 independent horror film. Remembered for its copious creature effects, its patchwork editing, and for boasting an effective soundtrack, Spookies was given a limited theatrical release in 1987–88 and a more widespread video release in 1988. It was shown on cable television's USA Network multiple times between 1988–1991. To date this film has not been released on DVD in the United States.

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Genie Joseph , Thomas Doran , Brendan Faulkner

Ann Burgund , Thomas Doran , Frank M. Farel , Brendan Faulkner

Genie Joseph

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13 movies that define the spoopy canon

More silly skeletons than scary slashers

A collage of various family-friendly horror-comedies

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Share All sharing options for: 13 movies that define the spoopy canon 

With Halloween just around the corner, many are on the hunt for the perfect horror movie to usher in the spooky season. But as much as we like being scared, there’s another staple of the Halloween movie canon to consider: the Spoopy Movie.

Spoopy originated from a (now-defunct) Tumblr post from 2011, which aggregated an even older Flickr photo of a misspelled Halloween sign . Instead of the word “spooky,” skeleton bones spelled out “spoopy.” The goof blew up, with other users sharing their own spotted misspelled Halloween phrases. Eventually, the term became associated with Halloween, specifically the part of Halloween that indulges the fun and spooky, without ever being too scary.

The term captures the nostalgia-tinged Halloween of childhood, filled with trick-or-treating, buckets of candy, and movies that tickled that holiday itch (but were not traumatically scary). Spoopy movies embrace macabre aesthetics, without being too graphic, and tell scary stories, without being too traumatizing. They’re a cartoonishly giant skeleton instead of a rotting corpse, one with a smile and a quippy joke instead of an insatiable hunger for flesh.

Beyond celebrating the off-kilter Halloween aesthetic and presenting scary stories that kids can also enjoy, spoopy movies serve another vital purpose. Many of them also follow misfits — specifically outcast kids who struggle to find a place where they belong. And many of them end with said kids finding a community of their own, be it through other weirdos, supernatural beings, or realizing their own worth.

This list is far from comprehensive, but in the spooky spirit of Halloween, here are 13 quintessential spoopy movies that define this particular subgenre.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

The headless horseman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad holds his sword and pumpkin in the air

Where to watch: Disney Plus

… specifically The Legend of Sleepy Hollow section. Sure, there are some autumnal scenes in the Wind in the Willows part, but Walt Disney Animation’s retelling of an iconic staple of American folklore is pretty legendary. Bing Crosby narrates this spooky tale, and the Hudson Valley setting is gorgeously rendered in swathes of autumnal color. It’s a great little entry into not just spoopy movies, but also the Headless Horseman lore. This version is actually one of the most faithful to Washington Irving’s original story!

Beetlejuice (1988)

Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice with his arms outstretched

Where to watch: Max

“I myself am strange and unusual,” proclaims Lydia Deetz, as played by Winona Ryder, in Tim Burton’s 1988 horror comedy. And it’s a sentiment that young goths, emo kids, and other alt-outcasts everywhere would cling to. Beetlejuice is equally about the misfit teenager making deals with the titular unhinged stripe-clad demon as it is about a couple (played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) navigating the perils of the afterlife. Beetlejuice ’s bold, bright sets put a colorful and zany spin on the dark and dreary afterlife, but it’s Lydia fearlessly going head-to-head with Beetlejuice that makes the movie memorable. By the end, the demon is vanquished, but the weirdness remains, and Lydia feels more at home in this new town than she did before.

The Addams Family (1991) and The Addams Family Values (1993)

Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci), Gomez Addams (Raul Julia), Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), and Morticia Addams (Anjelica Huston) pile in the backseat of a car in The Addams Family (1991).

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Every iteration of the creepy and kooky Addams family makes for a spoopy time, but the live-action movies of the early 1990s are particularly iconic. Part of it is the superb casting. Every actor just embodies their designated Addams family member. Christina Ricci’s Wednesday is so definitive that Netflix brought her back for the Wednesday TV show in a separate role. Anjelica Huston is the perfect macabre matriarch, and Raul Julia caputes Gomez like no other. Christopher Lloyd’s batty Uncle Fester is just the icing on this spoopy cake. The first sequel continues this trend, with Joan Cusack sliding in as a scheming Black Widow killer. As a franchise, The Addams Family celebrates the joy in being weird, and that’s one of the tenements of a good spoopy flick.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas stretching his mouth full of fanged teeth open

When you think of spoopy movies — movies that embrace dark Halloween aesthetics without ever being too scary for children — you probably think of The Nightmare Before Christmas .

The stop-motion flick has been a hallmark of Halloween ever since the movie came out 30 years ago. And with its infectious music, enduring characters, and distinct visual style, it’s very easy to see why. Directed by Henry Selick — who would go on to direct James and the Giant Peach , Coraline (on this list), and Wendell & Wild (an honorary member of this list) — Nightmare Before Christmas was a beacon to budding counter-culture youths everywhere , misfits drawn to the dark aesthetic and who perhaps identified with wallflower outcast Sally or restless Jack Skellington.

There’s silly debate about whether it’s a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie, but considering by the end, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington realizes that he does love Halloween and wants to embrace it fully, I firmly believe it’s a perfect Halloween movie.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

The Sanderson Sisters (Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker) look confused

… and this is the other movie you probably think of when you think of a spoopy movie. Apparently 1993 was the year in the spoopy canon! Hocus Pocus follows Max, an edgy teenager, freshly moved to Salem, Massachusetts from California, who thinks he’s too cool for Halloween. He reluctantly agrees to bring his little sister trick-or-treating, and then, in order to impress a popular pretty girl, he accidentally summons the Sanderson Sisters, three child-eating witches. Bette Milder, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker absolutely commit to the bit as three out-of-time witches bent on feasting on children in order to preserve their immortality. Seeing their wacky interactions with modern day (well, 1990s) life is hilarious. But Max’s evolution from Too-Cool-For-School to someone fiercely protective of his little sister is also sweet. Also! There’s a talking black cat! What more could you want?

Halloweentown Quartet: Halloweentown (1998), Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001), Halloweentown High (2004), Return to Halloweentown (2006)

Kimberly J. Brown and Debbie Reynolds in Halloweentown.

There are plenty of spoopy Disney Channel Original Movies , reliably providing few staples for every generation that grew up with the family-friendly network. (After all, by virtue of being on the Disney Channel, the movie will never be too scary.) But the Halloweentown Quartet reigns supreme. It wasn’t the first Halloween-themed DCOM, but it spanned four movies, right as the channel was coming into its own, and thus really solidified the general tone of DCOM spoopiness.

The movies take place in a world where witches, goblins, ghouls, and more live in a realm called Halloweentown. Misfit Marnie Piper has always felt a call towards all things dark and spooky, even though her mother doesn’t approve. But she discovers that her quirky grandmother (played by the legendary Debbie Reynolds), who only ever visits on Halloween, is actually a witch — and ends up learning about her own latent powers and the world of Halloweentown, which she saves time and time again across the four movies. It’s some very fun world-building, though time spent in the titular Halloweentown varies from film-to-film.

Casper (1995)

A CGI ghost standing next to a dark-haired young teenager. They are grinning at each other.

Where to watch: Netflix

Christina Ricci is truly the undisputed queen of 1990s Spoopy Fare.

In Casper, she plays Kat Harvey, the daughter of a quirky ghost therapist (who is… a psychiatrist who believes he can talk to ghosts). She and her father move into a dilapidated mansion in an effort to help the ghosts cross over, after the young lonely ghost who lives there (the titular Casper) watches a TV special about them and conspires to bring them to him, longing for a friend. While the older, bigger ghosts mess around with the ghost doctor, Casper and Kat start to bond, and try to figure out who Casper was before he died. Two kids trying to solve the mystery of how one of them died is pretty macabre fare, but it never gets overly scary or depressing.

If you prefere vampires over ghosts, The Little Vampire — starring 1990s It kid Jonathan Lipnicki — has a similar story of a misfit kid moving to an old haunted mansion and befriending a supernatural creature.

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost (1999)

A goth girl playing a guitar and extending her hand to the audience

Where to watch: VOD

Basically any Scooby-Doo movie is spoopy fare, since the whole premise involves a group of teenagers and their talking dog investigating rumors of supernatural creatures. The 2000s live-action films — where young actors from popular horror franchises play the main cast — are a particularly fantastic time, and there’s also a whole trove of direct-to-home-video animated movies, direct-to-TV live action flicks, and a 2020 CG animated film. But the spoopiest of them all is probably Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. It is the most Halloween-y of all the Scooby-Doo movies, by virtue of centering around autumn festivities in a tiny New England town.

Witch’s Ghost introduced the iconic Hex Girls , the eco-goth musical trio whose pop culture legacy has eclipsed every other Scooby-Doo side character (they’ve since reappeared in multiple other Scooby-Doo animated movies). Like many spoopy movies, Witch’s Ghost follows a witch put to death in the not-exactly-Salem-but-still-a-town-in-New-England witch trials, and her haunting legacy as it affects said picturesque New England town.

Monster House (2006)

D.J. peering through his window at the Monster House.

Where to watch: Hulu

Everyone goes off about Coraline being the scary animated film that first terrified them (more on that in a bit), but Monster House is up there in family-friendly scares that lean on allusion and metaphor to convey what could be graphic imagery!It’s literally about an anthropomorphic house that eats anyone who gets too close! The three main kid characters attempt to subdue the dilapidated house, so it can end its reign of terror on the neighborhood. They delve deeper into the creepy house, and learn more about how it came to be that way, a story that’s actually pretty chilling and heartbreaking. The house itself is a uniquely designed monster — architectural structures are body parts, like the jagged fence turned teeth and the lashing rug tongue.

Coraline (2009)

A creepy paper-mache woman points her spindly finger in Coraline.

Coraline proves that you can have a spoopy movie without the fall atmosphere — so long as you completely commit to the sheer terror. Laika’s stop motion film is famously scary, without actually being explicit in the moment-to-moment frights. As my colleague Nicole Clark puts it in her reflection on Coraline , the filmmakers depict the terror through “insinuations of gore and dialed-up theatricality.” Based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name (which is just as scary, especially the original accompanying illustrations ), Coraline follows the titular heroine, who discovers a strange world that almost mirrors her own — save for the fact that everyone has buttons for eyes. Initially drawn into the vibrant other world, Coraline soon realizes that the Other Mother, the black button-eyed creature who took on the appearance of Coraline’s own mother, has sinister intentions. Coraline must save herself, her parents, and the souls of the other children that the Other Mother preyed on.

Paranorman (2012)

Norman hides under a bed as a zombie attempts to find his missing ear.

A recurring trope in many of these movies is a witch from colonial times who died in a trial coming back in some way shape or form. Paranorman, however, cleverly deconstructs this trope in the second half of the movie. The first half is played pretty straight, though it hits all the quintessential spoopy movie marks. Norman is a young boy who can see ghosts, which alienates him not just from his family but the whole town of Blithe Hollow — except for Neil, a fellow victim of the school bullies who takes a liking to Norman and decides to befriend him. Laika once again flexes its stop motion skills, rendering an impressive world with wonderfully tactile little details, like rotting zombie flesh and graffitied school lockers.

The House With A Clock in Its Walls (2018)

Jack Black, Owen Vaccaro and Cate Blanchett in The House With A Clock in Its Walls.

Jack Black adds a certain zest to spoopy projects. He played children’s horror author R.L. Stine in the 2015 Goosebumps movie, but it’s 2018’s The House With A Clock in Its Walls that snags the entry on this list. For one, Black and Cate Blanchett have excellent banter as neighboring warlocks. For another, it really pushes just how scary and unsettling a spoopy movie can be without actually being super duper scary and unsettling. Those clockwork puppet creatures! The animatronic baby Jack Black ! Also, much of this one hinges on the idea of Found Family, and the young boy at the center learning about his own powers and finding a place where he belongs. And that’s just the spoopy way.

Muppet Haunted Mansion (2021)

gonzo and pepe in coffins in muppets haunted mansion

There should be a Haunted Mansion movie on this list, because the Haunted Mansion is one of the best — and certainly the spookiest — Disney attractions. However, I cannot in good faith put the 2003 movie or the 2023 movie on here, since they’re both fundamentally okay . (Nostalgia might fuel the Eddie Murphy movie , while the wacky cast mostly keeps the 2023 one afloat in a sea of mediocrity). Thank goodness that someone out there looked at the Haunted Mansion’s legacy and fully understood that the attraction would work best with the Muppets. Muppets Haunted Mansion sees Gonzo and Pepe journey to a haunted mansion, where they encounter the ride’s grim grinning ghosts — only this time, in Muppet form. It’s a perfect marriage of two goofy properties and celebrates both in spooktacular Halloween fashion.

The Halloween Countdown: 31 days of horror to watch

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Check out this great movie before it leaves Hulu next week

David Caballero

Slowly but surely, Hulu has grown in reputation thanks to its impressive library of films and television shows. The best movies on Hulu are a near-perfect balance of 20th Century Fox classics, FX shows that push the envelope, and new classics from both the big and small screens. Whether you’re looking for a wicked comedy like Only Murders in the Building  or a riveting horror movie like  Barbarian , Hulu has you covered. However, nothing lasts forever, and Hulu’s collection of movies must change with each month. New arrivals come on the first of every month, meaning some films must say goodbye on the last day of each month, and October is no different. Amid the many movies departing from Hulu next week is the brilliant fantasy musical Labyrinth .

Why you should watch

It has david bowie at his peak bowieness.

Starring the late David Bowie and Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly,  Labyrinth is a tale of wonder and innocence blended with some creepy, yet striking imagery. The film’s plot might not be anything out of the ordinary, but its visual language is a thing of beauty thanks to the vivid and boundless imagination of the late Jim Henson. Labyrinth is challenging, but rewarding, and those who haven’t seen it should absolutely tune in before it leaves Hulu on October 31.

Labyrinth tells the story of 16n-year-old Sarah, played by future Oscar-winner Connelly. Frustrated by her baby half-brother’s incessant crying, Sarah abruptly wishes for him to be taken away. Her cruel wish is granted by Jareth the Goblin King, played by a never-better Bowie, who appears before her and agrees to make her dreams come true in exchange for the baby.

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Now regretful, Sarah rejects his proposal, and Jareth gives her 13 hours to solve his enormous labyrinth and save her brother before he’s turned into a goblin forever. Armed only with her wit, Sarah enters the labyrinth and must fight its numerous obstacles, face fantastical creatures, and escape from Jareth’s traps before time runs out for her baby brother.

Sprawling and mesmerizing, with just the right amount of lunacy, Labyrinth is high fantasy done right and an undeniable feast for the eyes. Like the best family movies, the plot has a healthy mix of childlike innocence and adult humor, resulting in a lively film that will entertain audiences of all ages. Labyrinth largely works because of the brilliant mind behind it. Jim Henson’s unique approach, mixing puppetry with high fantasy and a splash of fairy tale awe, results in a distinctive, charming, and slightly wicked film with a visual style has only gotten better with age.

Connelly’s now-infamous performance is equal parts impressive and absurd. The young actress is as uneven as the film itself, yet there’s something truly magical about her performance. When reading  Labyrinth as a metaphor for maturity and the beginning of Sarah’s journey toward womanhood, Connelly’s work stands out even more. She brings the endless, confusing, frustrating energy of a teenager into her performance, and while it might seem off-putting from a technical standpoint, it’s more than vivid enough to fit seamlessly with the film’s world.

Bowie is similarly splendid. Taking advantage of his real-life magnetism,  Labyrinth gives Bowie his most memorable role. The singer-turned-actor is mystifying as the Goblin King, delivering a brilliant performance that must be seen to be believed.

Like Connelly, Bowie is not  technically wood — some scenes find him staring directly into the camera, reciting his lines as if on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the local theater house. Yet, his work, while out of place anywhere else, is perfect for Labyrinth , where good and bad not only coexist but actually go hand in hand.

Labyrinth is funny, absurd, delightful, and utterly unforgettable. So make sure to watch it before it leaves Hulu. This is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll, whether you like it or not.

Watch Labyrinth on Hulu before it leaves on October 31 .

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David Caballero

New high-profile releases come every month to most major streaming platforms. Whether it's highly anticipated new releases or classic films making their return, these movies attract audiences' attention, ruling the streaming charts and remaining popular throughout the month and beyond. In October, you can check out the best new movies on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and more to find something to watch this spooky season.

However, several smaller, underrated, and often overlooked movies also make their way to streaming services, even if they don't attract the same attention as the more conventional offerings. These unsung films are just as worthy of audiences' attention, even if they lack the same name recognition as other, more popular pictures. Indeed, these movies are among the best underrated hidden gems to watch this October for fans of new and exciting films. It Follows (2014)

The season for frights and spooky entertainment is upon us. And there's no better time to cue up a steady stream of horror films and shows than the month of October. The looming specter of Halloween aside, any reason is a good reason to fit some quality scares into your schedule. Though there are plenty of horror films to choose from, director James Wan's Malignant should absolutely be on your radar as the film hits Hulu's library in October.

Malignant joins a long line of horror films that pique our curiosity and stick like glue to our memory banks thanks in part to bold and evocative single-word titles like Insidious, Sinister, Smile, Terrifier, It, etc. With a master of horror at its helm and eerie cover art to boot, the film should look promising to the average horror fan. Rest assured, Malignant is unreservedly worthy of your attention. James Wan is a modern master of horror

Although it's been working to strip some of its titles off the platform, the best movies on Max are all worth your time. Among the titles on Max that are most essential are some of the greatest action movies ever made. These movies range from modern masterpieces to under-the-radar gems that weren't given the love they deserved upon their initial release.

While choosing just three titles means leaving off a bunch of great movies, that's exactly what we've done here. These are three action movies on Max that you definitely need to watch. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


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    1h 25m IMDb RATING 4.9 /10 4K YOUR RATING Rate Play trailer 1:36 1 Video 74 Photos Comedy Horror A wicked sorcerer tries to sacrifice a group of people inside his house with the intention of using their vitality to keep his wife alive. Directors Genie Joseph Thomas Doran Brendan Faulkner Writers Ann Burgund Thomas Doran Frank M. Farel Stars

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    Lisa Friede as Carol Joan Ellen Delaney as Linda Peter Iasillo Jr. as Rich Kim Merrill as Meegan Charlotte Alexandra as Adrienne (as Charlotte Seeley) Anthony Valbiro as Dave Soo Paek as The Spider Woman Al Magliochetti as Lewis Wilson James M. Glenn as The Grim Reaper Production

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    $6.99 HD Something wrong? Let us know! Spookies streaming: where to watch online? Currently you are able to watch "Spookies" streaming on Fandor Amazon Channel, Screambox Amazon Channel or rent it on Alamo on Demandonline. Synopsis Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house.

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    Cast & Crew Show all ( 17) Thomas Doran Screenplay, Director, Producer Genie Joseph Producer, Screenplay, Director, Editing Frank M. Farel Producer, Screenplay Brendan Faulkner Producer, Director, Screenplay Robert Chappell Cinematography Ken Kelsch Cinematography James Calabrese Music Kenneth Higgins Music Critics reviews

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    Trailer for a US / Netherlands co-production.Directors: Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, Brendan FaulknerStarred: Felix Ward, Alec NemserDVD: Released in the UK.


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    Written By Thomas Doran Brendan FaulknerFrank FarelAnn Burgund Starring Felix Ward Dan ScottAlec NemserMaria Pechukas Music By James Calabrese Kenneth Higgins Cinematography Ken Kelsch Robert Chappel Editing By Eugenie Joseph Distributed By Sony Video Software Company Release Date (s) May 14, 1986 (France)

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