If you’re looking for the best Halloween movies on HBO Max that you can watch this season, you’ve come to the right place.
HBO Max has some of the best Halloween movies available for streaming on its platform, so get your pumpkins ready and get into the Halloween spirit, and get lost binge-watching the best Halloween movies on HBO Max on our lists with your friends and family.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
- Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cob, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, Linda Blair, Father William O’Malley.
- Rating: 8.1/10
The Exorcist is one of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max and perhaps one of the most influential, scary, disturbing, and profitable horror films ever made.
This William Friedkin’s film adaptation of the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty follows the story of a worried mother.
She notices her child exhibiting strange symptoms and seeks the aid of Catholic priests to conduct an exorcism.
When actress Chris MacNeil notices her daughter Regan begins to develop strange behavior – levitation, violence, speaking in tongues – she seeks medical help but finds no solution.
She then seeks the help of local priest Damien Karras who believes the girl to be possessed by the devil and then suggests an exorcism.
The church sends for an expert, Lankester Meeting, to help with the difficult task leading to the film’s epic and dramatic conclusion.
2. It (2017)
- Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer.
- Rating: 7.3/10
It (also known as It Chapter One) is a supernatural horror film that is the first of the two-part adaptation of the 1986 Stephen King novel of the same name.
It follows seven young outcasts in the town of Derry, Maine, who are forced to confront an evil shape-shifting supernatural being that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children.
The summer following his brother’s death at the hands of the bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise, Bill Denbrough and his friends start receiving frightening visions and realize they are being stalked by the same entity (whom they call It) and that it forces them to face their worst fears.
Throughout the summer, the kids, now calling themselves “The Losers Club,” must come together and overcome their worst fears to battle and defeat the murderous Pennywise.
3. 28 Days Later (2002)
- Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson.
- Rating: 7.5/10
When bicycle courier Jim wakes up from a coma in a hospital, he finds that society around him has collapsed due to the release of a deadly virus.
It’s not your typical post-apocalyptic zombie-filled film as the people infected are very much alive, just faster and very much angrier.
The events of the film certainly hit differently after the events of 2020 (inserts sinister laugh).
When a group of misguided animal rights activists released a chimpanzee from a lab in Cambridge, they unknowingly unleashed the highly contagious and aggression-inducing virus called “Rage” in Great Britain.
28 days after this is when Jim wakes up in the deserted hospital. On the run from victims of the virus, he comes across other survivors – Selena, Frank, and his daughter Hannah, and they begin the challenging journey to what they hope is solace.
4. Poltergeist (1982)
- Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke.
- Rating: 7.3/10
Poltergeist was one of the best films of 1982 and one of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max. It kick-started a franchise that still has fans gushing over to date.
Written by Steven Spielberg, it tells a classic tale of a simple suburban life gone awry, with just the right mix of creepiness and spookiness to make it a perfect watch for Halloween.
Steve and Diane Freeling, along with their three kids, Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne are an average Californian family.
Creepy but benign events take place around their home when ghosts start communing with them through the television.
However, the initially friendly ghosts soon turn sinister, and young Carol Anne is taken; the family turns to parapsychologist Dr. Martha Lesh and eventually an exorcist for help before it becomes too late.
5. Carnival of Souls (1962)
- Cast: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt, Herk Harvey.
- Rating: 7.1/10
The film was made with a minuscule budget of $33,000. Though it failed to get widespread attention upon its initial release, Carnival of Souls has since garnered an impressive cult following and has gone on to influence a lot of other movies in the same genre.
It tells the story of a young woman, Mary Henry, who miraculously survives a car accident that claims the lives of two of her friends.
She attempts to escape her past and moves to Utah, where she takes up a job as a church organist.
However, peace isn’t in her sight, and she is frequently disturbed by visions of the ghoulish figure and constantly drawn to a deserted carnival on the outskirts of town that might hold the answers she is searching for.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
- Cast: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund.
- Rating: 7.4/10
This is a 1984 supernatural slasher film that kick-started the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, consisting of seven films, a television series, a remake, and several other merchandise.
It is considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made. It follows several Midwestern teenagers as they fall prey to Freddy Krueger, a disfigured menacing bogeyman who attacks them in their dreams, killing them in real life too.
Nancy Thompson begins investigating the phenomenon, which leads to her uncovering a secret kept by her and her friend’s parents.
Can she and her boyfriend unravel the mystery and save other lives before it’s too late? Perfect for adding to your list of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max.
7. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- Cast: Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard.
- Rating: 6.5/10
The Blair Witch Project kick-started the found footage genre often used in horror movies, even in recent times.
It’s one of the few such movies out there that feels so real, making it so terrifying and captivating the audience’s interests so much. The film is purportedly the recovered footage of three student filmmakers who went missing.
In 1994, student filmmakers Heather, Mike, and Josh traveled to Maryland to produce a film about the legendary Blair Witch, a local murderer.
In true horror movie fashion, things take a frightening turn on their quest for their truth when they find themselves lost in the woods and begin hearing and experiencing strange phenomena.
8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, Keith Wayne.
- Rating: 7.8/10
“The film that started it all” is frequently referred to as the first modern zombie film. Night of the Living Dead is practically the best zombie movie out there, and it’s also one of the best horror movies there is, and automatically one of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max.
It may not be on a Nightmare on Elm Street level of frightening, but it certainly has enough suspense and jump scares to keep any viewer captivated.
When reanimated corpses begin to search for fresh humans to devour, a group of distinct individuals seeks refuge in an abandoned farmhouse.
The pragmatic Ben tries to maintain order and control, but as the corpses surround the house, the other survivors panic and, one by one, start to succumb to the hand – or in this case, mouth – of the zombies.
9. The Shining (1980)
- Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone.
- Rating: 8.4/10
The Shining is a psychological horror film based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name. Though reactions to the movie at the time of its release were mixed, it has since gained a favorable critical response.
It is now known as one of the best horror movies ever made and a perfect addition to the list of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max for your consideration.
It follows Jack Torrance, an inspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a job as a winter caretaker of the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado.
It settles there with his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, who experiences psychic premonitions. He quickly dissolves into mania due to the sinister paranormal forces at the hotel, hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
The stellar performance by the actors and the overall spookiness makes it a watch for Halloween.
10. Malignant (2021)
- Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michele Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly, Sussana Thompson.
- Rating: 6.2/10
Filmmaker James Wan of The Conjuring series brings about another masterpiece in the form of Malignant. It’s a perfect mix of blood, gore, randomness, and spookiness, making it a must-watch for the Halloween season. It’s one of the more recent works to be considered amongst the best Halloween movies on HBO Max.
When Madison Lake-Mitchell begins having visions of people being murdered, she is left paralyzed with fear, which worsens when she discovers the events are happening in real life.
When the truth behind these events may lie in Madison’s past, a past she can’t remember, she sets out to find out the truth and solve the mystery before more Innocent lives are lost.
11. American Psycho (2000)
- Cast: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Bill Sage, Chloë Sevigny, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, Guinevere Turner, Reese Witherspoon.
- Rating: 7.6/10
Christian Bale does not fail to deliver in this horror film based on Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 American Psycho novel.
He stars as Patrick Bateman, an investment banker in New York City who has a double life as a serial killer that engages in senseless and rage-filled killing at night. The film is a satire of the ’80s that combines horror, comedy, and thriller elements.
Add Bale’s epic performance, and you have a must-watch and a perfect addition to your list of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max.
Supporting cast members such as Willem Dafoe, who plays the detective, Reese Witherspoon, who plays the fiancé Bateman hates, and Jared Leto, who plays a hated co-worker, help deliver the message and story of the film in an unforgettable manner.
12. The Night House (2020)
- Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, Stacie Martin, Vondie Curtis-Hall.
- Rating: 6.5/10
Rebecca Hall delivers a fantastic performance in this psychological horror film, and She stars as the widow Beth. The latter has just lost her husband, Owen, to suicide and has turned to alcohol.
Despite her attempts to appear stable, her friends still know something is up and worry about her. Her husband left behind a confusing suicide note to add to her grief.
Left alone in the lakeside house Owen built for her, Beth begins to sense an ominous presence beckoning her.
Despite the advice of her friends, she delves into her husband’s belongings in search of answers and discovers some dark secrets as well as plenty of photos of strange women who look just like her.
13. The Empty Man (2020)
- Cast: James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney, Sasha Frolova.
- Rating: 6.2/10
Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”? The Empty Man applies that principle. The name is misleading, and the film is not what you expect.
It follows an ornery ex-cop whose investigation of a missing girl gives him more than he bargained for.
James Lasombra, a former detective, is grieving over his wife and child’s death a year before his neighbor’s daughter goes missing.
James begins to suffer from hallucinations and nightmares during his investigation, all culminating in an epic finale that no one sees coming. A perfect watch for this fall season.
14. The Conjuring (2013)
- Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland.
- Rating: 7.5/10
The Conjuring is one of the best horror films of the 2010s and one of the best Halloween movies on HBO Max.
The Conjuring tells the story of demonologists Lorraine and Ed Warren after they are summoned to the home of Roger and Carolyn Perron to deal with occurring supernatural events.
In 1971, Roger and Carolyn moved into a new secluded farmhouse with their five daughters, seeking a fresh start, and within the first few nights, they are plagued by paranormal events.
However, things escalate quickly, especially after learning of the gruesome history of the house, and the Perrons and Warrens find themselves in a race against time to battle the forces of evil that have latched onto them. The sequel, The Conjuring 2, is also available on HBO Max.
15. Freaky (2020)
- Cast: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Katie Finneran, Celeste O’Connor, Alan Ruck, Misha Osherovich, Uriah Shelton.
- Rating: 6.3/10
When you hear about Freaky, think Freaky Friday meets Friday the 13th, Christopher Landon took ideas from the two distinct films and created the masterpiece that is Freaky.
It’s horror quite alright but directed in such a fun way that they’re elements of comedy thrown into the mix. Freaky is a 2020 comedy slasher film that follows a teenage girl who unintentionally switches bodies with a middle-aged serial killer.
After getting stabbed by the serial killer, The Butcher, high school senior Millie Kessler discovers that she’s swapped bodies with him.
Millie must convince her two best friends of who she truly is and try to stop the maniac from going on his killing spree – all within 24 hours, or else the swap becomes permanent. A fun watch, the perfect addition to your list of best Halloween movies on HBO Max.