We’re on the final countdown for Halloween. Our costumes are planned; the candy is overflowing…and a few adult beverages have been poured. All that’s left is the entertainment! I don’t know about you, but I love a good anthology film.
Those compact stories that somehow tie together to create a creepy good time remind me of when my cousins and I would get together late at night to tell spooky stories while passing around a flashlight in a darkened room.
For me, there are few better ways to spend a Halloween evening with friends than breaking out some of my favorite anthology films and trying to capture that same feeling all over again.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites–in no particular order. Some are set around Halloween itself. Others feel like they should be. All of them are entertaining as hell…literally!
Take a look at my list and share some of your own in the comments on social media. Then, pick out your favorites and lets make this year of anthologies for Halloween 2021!
Trick ‘r Treat
Stream it on HBO Max and Spectrum, Rent on Amazon, Vudu, Redbox, and Apple TV+
It almost feels like cheating to include Trick ‘r Treat on this list. The anthology bleeds orange and black and begs repeated viewings whether you’re a fan of the impish, bulbous-headed Sam or you’ve got a thing for werewolves in sexy costumes. It’s perfect for a night in while handing out treats and carving pumpkins. Just don’t forget to start with the eyes…the eyes are the most important part.
Tales of Halloween
Stream on Shudder, Roku Channel, Tubi, Vudu, Crackle, IMDb TV, Plex, AMC+, and Philo. Rent on Amazon, Apple TV, and Flix Fling.
If we’re going to include Trick ‘r Treat, then we can’t forget Tales of Halloween. The stories here are a bit more disjointed than in the previous anthology film, but they’re no less effective for it. In fact, some of these tales are downright brutal! From ghosts to child-obsessed adults to demons summoned for vengeance, this film has it all with a razor-sharp sense of humor to go along with it. They even managed to nab Adrienne Barbeau to play a small-town DJ to bring it all together.
Tales from the Crypt
Stream on Roku, Tubi, Fawesome Horror, Fawesome Thriller, Redbox, Plex, AMC+, Spectrum, and Philo.
No, not the TV series. This British horror film featured the likes of Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ian Hendry, David Markham, and more in five eerie tales shared by a mysterious Crypt Keeper who finds himself host to a group of strangers. The stories are creepy, and the film has atmosphere for days. You can see the twist coming a mile away, but it doesn’t take away from the fun in the least. It’s perfect for Halloween night!
The House that Dripped Blood
Stream on The Halloween Channel, Pluto TV, Kanopy. Rent on Amazon, Vudi, and the Roku-Vudu store.
This house is cursed, and that’s no joke. Denholm Elliot, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Ingrid Pitt are all on board this tale of a Scotland Yard Inspector who learns the terrifying fate of four different tenants of the same spooky house. This one is definitely worth a watch and a re-watch, as well.
Stream on Tubi, Vudu, Pluto TV, Redbox, Crackle, Plex, and Philo. Rent on Amazon and FlixFling.
I’m not sure what I expected when I sat down to watch V/H/S the first time, but it wasn’t what I got. The stories are tight; the scares are real, and there’s just the right amount of gore. The premise is simple. A gaggle of crooks break into an old house only to find a dead body surrounded by a seriously messed up collection of old VHS tapes…
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
Stream on Cinemax. Rento n Amazon, Vudu, and the Roku-Vudu channel.
Little Matthew Lawrence does his best to keep an evil witch played by Debbie Harry distracted so she doesn’t cook him for dinner. The four stories he tells get progressively more creepy ending in a creature feature that has stuck with me for years.
Tales from the Hood
Stream on Starz. Rent on Amazon, Vudu, and Apple TV+.
This quartet of tales is pitch perfect for any day of the year, but packs just the right punch for Halloween. And the talent involved? Top tier all the way. From Clarence Williams III and David Alan Grier to Rosalind Cash and Corbin Bernsen, the film is one of the most entertaining on the list!
Rent on Amazon, Vudu, and Redbox.
George A. Romero and Stephen King teamed up to create this one-of-a-kind horror anthology that is as fun as it is scary. Weaving together stories of ancient monsters and cosmic frights, Creepshow is one of those films that never gets old. It’s no wonder it went on to even inspire a full series that’s every bit as fun as the original.