Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Watching spooky movies is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit and practice your English comprehension skills. Here are our favorites along with some tricks and treats for while you watch.
Don't watch another scary movie before reading this.
1. Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus is an extremely popular family Halloween film from 1993 that is still loved and watched during the Halloween season today. It's got all the Halloween essentials, including witches, black cats, zombies, and more!
2. Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps is a teenage-werewolf film from 2000. It's Canadian and not only fun but a great film to practice your Canadian English (which you'll find is not so different from American English). It's super spooky and a great addition to your Halloween movie playlist!
The Scream series is a Halloween essential. It's a classic American slasher film, where there's a mystery killer in a mask killing everyone in town.
And, if you like this film, there are three more movies in the franchise plus a TV series! More than enough spooky to go around.
Ghostbusters is another American-made Halloween favorite from 1984. This one is a family-friendly comedy, with plenty of laughs along with the spooky ghosts. Plus, there's a 2016 remake if you can't get enough of the original.
Saving the best for last, Night of the Living Dead from 1968 is still regarded by some as the best horror movie ever made. It follows a group of people trying to survive a night full of bloodthirsty zombies.
And if you're looking for something more recent, the director has a whole Living Dead series of movies and spinoffs as recent as 2018, with scares to last you the whole Halloween season!
Tricks for optimizing your spooky movie watching this season 🦇
So now you've got some spooky movies to get you in the Halloween spirit and practice your English comprehension skills.
But how can you get the most out of your movie-watching?
I've got some tips and tricks for you below to make the most of your learning while having fun and watching movies.
1. Watch with the English subtitles 🔤
Make sure to also turn on the English subtitles, this way you can not only hear but also double-check what you've heard by reading the captions. This is a great way to pick up new vocabulary because you can pause your film and look up new or interesting words as they come up on the screen. Just make sure to only stop and look up new words when you absolutely don't understand what's going on, or else it becomes too tedious.
2. Take breaks when you need them 🛀🍷
It takes a lot of brainpower to watch and understand an entire movie in a different language. It's great practice, but if you start feeling tired make sure to take a break. Pause your movie and go back to it when you're feeling refreshed and ready to keep learning!
3. Write down new words✍🏾
Make a list of new or interesting words and phrases while you watch, and make flashcards or use a site like Quizlet to practice them later.
4. Write down your questions 🙋🏽
If you have questions about words, culture, or grammar as you're watching a film, write them down and make sure to ask your English teacher or an English-speaking friend later on.
There you have it! Some English language Halloween movies to get you started on your spooky season. Movies are a great way to have fun while also learning.
Don't be shy, let us know what you think about these movies, and most of all, have fun!
Noelle Ruta was a former English and German teacher for Amidon Studios. She previously taught German, English, French, and Italian at universities in the U.S. She holds a BA in German from Montclair State University. Originally from Long Island, New York, Noelle now lives in Dallas, Texas with her boyfriend and two cats.