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Find a new favorite with our guide to lesser-known horror movies set during Halloween

From animation to indie, here are three films to check out this season.

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The Guest
  • The Guest

Horror fans know they can always rely on the Halloween and Scream franchises for a creepy fix, but there are plenty of other, fairly obscure entries in this genre. Here are just a few.

Gleefully Gory

The Guest (2014)

Dan Stevens effortlessly transitioned from the gentlemanly Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey to playing a seriously jacked, dangerously handsome stranger who charms his way into an unsuspecting family’s home around Halloween. With a sexy soundtrack and callbacks to 1980s films like The Stepfather and, strangely, The Terminator, this overlooked gem is worth checking out. 

Runner-up: Trick 'r Treat (2007)

In this darkly funny anthology, a tiny monster with a sweet tooth connects several Halloween night tales full of vengeful spirits, killer candy, and seductive party girls.

Horror With Heart

Lady in White (1988)

After being locked in a school cloakroom by bullies on Halloween night, a little boy witnesses the ghostly re-enactment of a brutal murder before being attacked by a dark figure — and that’s just the beginning. Set in the 1960s, the movie adds innocence to its genuinely terrifying supernatural mystery by seeing it all through the eyes of a child (played by a young Lukas Haas).

Runner-up: Ginger Snaps (2000) 

Two morbid teen sisters get more than they bargained for in this modern feminist take on the werewolf myth.

Kiddie Creeps

Monster House (2006) 

This computer-animated romp gives off Spielberg vibes — it was executive produced by the director — with a story about three young friends who battle a man-eating house. Kids will love the balance of goofiness and spookiness, but there are plenty of in-jokes for adults as well. 

Runner-up: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)

Clocking in at under 30 minutes, this bite-sized animated Halloween special comes complete with memorable musical numbers performed by longtime Garfield voice talent, Lorenzo Music, and soul/R&B legend, Lou Rawls.

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