Happy Halloween! I hope you’re not like me who left Halloween planning to the very last second. But if you are, or your Halloween plans fell through last minute, I’ve got you covered for a wonderfully spooky games and movie night in with friends or family. So grab the popcorn and some candy (can’t let the trick-or-treaters have all the fun) and hunker down with these fun titles.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is probably my favourite table-top game year-round, but it is especially good on Halloween. With the atmosphere of a fun B-horror movie, you work together to explore the spooky house on the hill. However, there is a betrayer amongst you. Once the haunting starts your team becomes divided and it’s a race against time to survive or escape. With 50 different hauntings that can be triggered, you’ll never play the same game twice!
Eldritch Horror is a co-op adventure game good for 1-8 players. Pick your investigator and set off on a world-wide journey to prevent the awakening of a Lovecraftian monster. Gather clues and solve mysteries in this deliciously suspenseful and rewardingly challenging game. There is tons of flavour text drawing from the lore of H.P. Lovecraft’s works so you can participate in a sprawling and atmospheric horror story that is perfect for Halloween!
Villainous is a game where you get to revel in being the bad guy and committing cartoonishly evil deeds. Play as your favourite Disney villain using your unique abilities to achieve your goals first and thwart the other villains on the way. This game, while marketed to families as a Disney game is fairly tricky to get the hang of with its asymmetrical gameplay, so I would take the 10+ age recommendation seriously. That being said, once you get the hang of it, the game is very fun to get into and what could be better for spooky day than playing the villain for fun?
Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street delivers atmospheric horror, incredible music, and just the right amount of gore without being too scary. Perfect for watching as a group if you have people who aren’t fond of your standard super-scary jump-scare-filled horror flick (or if you’ve got some Stephen Sondheim fans in your midst). The same can be said for many Tim Burton movies, so if a barber who slits peoples throats during then has his love interest bake them into pies to get rid of the evidence isn’t quite your jam, you’ve got a lot of alternatives.
Scooby Doo on Zombie Island is probably my favourite animated Scooby Doo movie. I remember it scaring my pants off as a kid and yet I still kept going back to it and its one of the ones that stuck with me as an adult. With a fun spooky atmosphere, this is the perfect movie to watch with kids, or for a fun nostalgia watch with friends on Halloween. Of course, there are tons of other Scooby Doo movies that would scratch the same itch if you have a different favourite.
Dracula (1931) cemented the image of a vampire into the public consciousness. When I say vampire, the first thing that comes to mind is probably an aristocratic gentleman with slicked-back black hair and a prominent widows peak who flourishes his cape as he makes dramatic exits. You can thank Bela Lugosi’s iconic performance for that. What better day of the year than Halloween to revisit one of Universal pictures best-loved movie monsters?
Cabin in the Woods is my only scary horror movie on this list (depending on your definition of scary). It was made for people who love horror movies by deliberately playing into tropes before flipping them on their heads. With plenty of jump scares, lots of gore, a solid dose of humour, and a sprinkling of social commentary, you’ve got the recipe for an incredibly fun watch.