Special Report

Every State's Favorite Movie to Watch for Halloween This Year

For some people Halloween is all about dressing up in a funny costume and going trick or treating. For others, however, the holiday is all about a spooky movie marathon. (If you’re a costume-wearer, have a look at the most popular Halloween costume in your state.)

Surfing through channels and streaming services these days, movie fans may have noticed many horror films as options. After all, Halloween is approaching. It turns out that where people live may say a lot about the kind of Halloween movies they like.

To compile a list of the favorite Halloween movies in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a new study by Wishlisted, a product discovery platform that occasionally conducts surveys on various topics. The site considered a list of 210 movies tagged “horror” on Rotten Tomatoes, filtered for those with at least a 60% audience score, then used Google Trends to compare searches for each movie by subregion between September 2017 and September 2022. Where many films were most popular in the same state, states were matched with the film with the most proportional popularity for that state. 

According to the survey, the most popular Halloween movies range greatly not only in theme but also in period. Residents of some states prefer the old classics, such as the 1925 version of “The Phantom of the Opera” or “Freaks” from 1932. Others have more modern tastes, favoring movies released in the last year or two, such as “Vengeance” (2022) or “Candyman” (2021).

Click here to see every state’s favorite Halloween movie to watch

Films traditionally associated with Halloween also made the list, including John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (of course) and Wes Craven’s 1996 “Scream.” However, favorites like “Hocus Pocus” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” did not make the list this year. (These are the best Halloween movies of all time.) 

It might be noted that a few films on this list aren’t horror films per se, though they’re terrifying enough to earn a “horror” tag on Rotten Tomatoes – for instance, Steven Spielberg’s classic “Jaws” from 1965 and Michael Powell’s haunting 1960 murder movie “Peeping Tom.”

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