On Halloween night, it’s fashionable to tremble in front of your television set. The choice of horror films is now part of the joys of this macabre celebration. From The Shining to Dracula, including Hocus Pocus and Scream, Le Figaro has selected twelve thrilling films that will satisfy fans of fear, from the most aesthete to the most courageous.

Horror films are not just for adults, quite the contrary. A hint of laughter, a pinch of thrills, certain works have been created to scare spectators aged 9 to 99. Hocus Pocus (1994), by Kenny Ortega, is one of them. Three funny and eccentric witches, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, will have inspired a new generation of women in pointy hats. Having become a staple of Halloween films, Hocus Pocus returned to the forefront with a brand new opus in 2022, almost 30 years after the release of the first film. It’s up to you to choose whether you prefer the charm and grit of 90s horror cinema or the realism of today’s special effects.

Casper, by Brad Silberling, is also a classic of the genre. This little ghost, who haunts the corridors of the mansion left to Carrigan Crittenden by her husband, frightens as much as it amuses. Finally, The Adams Family  (1991), by Barry Sonnenfeld, is a must-see with his loved ones. Morticia and Gomez Addams, as well as their children Wednesday and Pugsley, warmly welcome you to their humble home. Between jokes and puns, a comic and lugubrious film at the same time. Finally, if your children don’t like jumps, you can always opt for the timeless Hotel Transylvania (first of four opuses), a touching comedy, faithful to the world of Halloween since the whole story takes place in the middle of monsters who live together in Dracula’s castle.

Spending an evening watching a horror film with your friends is more synonymous with “fear” in the literal sense of the term. The objective is to scare each other, jump and scream together. With of course, an ounce of irony. What better way to do this than the film Scream (1996) by Wes Craven. A disguised serial killer who abuses American students by telephone before murdering them. Between comic scenes and ridiculous spurts of blood, the perfect feature film to liven up your Halloween night with friends.

The Chucky doll is not left out. This scary toy appeared for the first time in the cinema in the film Child’s Play (1988) by Tom Holland. Faced with a series of murders in his town, six-year-old Andy is convinced that his doll is responsible. No one believes him…even though they should have. In the same childish universe, It (1990), by Tommy Lee Wallace, adapted from the work of Stephen King, will give nightmares to your coulrophobic friends (who suffer from a phobia of clowns). In a small town in the United States, several children die mysteriously. The elders of the commune understand that “he”, the killer clown, is back. Mike and his group of friends will embark on a dark and dangerous adventure to overcome it.

Who says a horror movie can’t go well with a date night? Quite the contrary! In the cinema, dark but passionate love stories are commonplace. The film Dracula  (1992), by Francis Ford Coppola, is the most appropriate example. The American director has transcribed Bram Stoker’s story into a gloomy universe, taking Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins to Transylvania. Will Viad Drakul succeed in winning back his lost love?

Change of times with Jessie (2017) by Mike Flanagan. This psychological horror film will haunt your nights alongside your loved one. The screenplay, adapted from the novel by Stephen King, depicts the fate of Jessie and Gerald Burlingame, a couple who try to rekindle the flame through a naughty game. Handcuffed to the bed, the evening will finally turn bad for Jessie. Inspired by a true story, The Conjuring: The Warren Files (2013), by James Wan, tells the story of an extraordinary couple. Ed and Lorraine Warren are paranormal investigators. They are called by a family terrorized by a spirit haunting their farm. The affair will turn the career, and the entire life of the duo upside down.

The second part of the series, Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case (2016) has nothing to envy of the first. The Warren couple are once again missioned to a haunted house in London, where a mother and her four daughters are going through hell because of demonic manifestations from Janet, one of the four girls. An entity has taken control of his body and seems to know the exorcist couple well enough to want to kill them. This two and a quarter hour film, which masters all the codes of the genre, was a hit at the box office upon its release.

Some, more reckless than others, prefer to give themselves frights alone. At the risk of having a very eventful night. For these courageous people, no bloodshed or incredible scenes, but psychological horror films. For example, Stanley Kubrick’s Shining (1980). The enigmatic Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, the caretaker of a hotel closed in winter. He moves into this huge building alone with his wife and son, and begins to have hallucinations. His son Danny, who has a gift as a medium, gradually discovers the terrifying events that took place in the hotel. Startles guaranteed.

Mister Babadook (2014), by Jennifer Kent, also has many surprises in store. Since the death of his father, Samuel, 6 years old, has lost his mind. He is convinced that the monster from his storybook, Mister Babadook, is literally haunting him. His mother struggles to believe him until strange events occur at home. Finally, Hereditary (2018), by Ari Aster, gives you uncontrollable cold sweats. When the matriarch of the Graham family dies, her children and grandchildren will discover astonishing secrets about their lineage. Enough to doubt many things and make your blood run cold in an instant.