Handle with scare: Culture experts reveal the most popular scary movies Americans will be watching this Halloween, including each U.S. state’s favorite frightening flick!
We are fascinated with watching scary movies in the Fall, whether it’s for the adrenaline rush or to indulge in the spooky spirit of Halloween. Which frightening favorite will be making your watchlist this year?
Inspired by our love of scary movies, culture, and language learning experts Preply conducted a data study to determine which creepy classics most Americans will be watching through their fingers this Halloween. From famous slashers and the eerily supernatural to some family-friendly staples, the findings show that “everyone is entitled to one good scare!”
The most popular Halloween movies in America
The fiendish findings
- It is the most popular spooky movie in America, showing the country isn’t suffering from coulrophobia (a fear of clowns).
- Classics such as John Carpenter’s Halloween (often regarded as the first true slasher) feature prominently, indicating American’s appreciation for originals.
- The Addams Family and Hocus Pocus 2 take the cake for family-friendly favorites, adding lighthearted fun to the spooky season.
- Reimaginations like the boardgame-based Clue and Silent Hill (adapted from the iconic video game series) prove surprisingly popular.
- More recent, lesser-known entries such as Terrifier and Spirit Halloween feature on the list, despite not being particularly highly rated by IMDb users.
“The results show that America’s Halloween viewing habits are determined by their penchant for a scare,” says Preply’s culture specialist Amy Pritchett. “We’re innately curious, and so exploring the darker and more mysterious sides of life often portrayed in horror films is intriguing to many of us. And, of course, sharing an intense or frightening experience with others is often a bonding exercise, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie amidst a backdrop of communal fear.”
Those who yearn for classic terror might opt for the adults-only chills of It, Halloween, or Insidious, while families with kids may choose something a little less nightmare-inducing, like Ghostbusters, The Addams Family, or the wickedly fun Hocus Pocus.
So what should you know about America’s favorite Halloween film? The 2017 adaptation of It directed by Andrés Muschietti is the #1 most popular Halloween movie in America. Based on the 1986 classic horror novel by Stephen King, It tells the story of a group of friends from Maine confronting their innermost fears reflected in a shape-shifting monster. The monster’s favored form is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, with its infamous red balloon and a hysterical cry of laughter.
The most popular Halloween movies by U.S. state
Diving into state-wide data, there is a lot of regional variation when it comes to what Americans will be sitting down to watch this Halloween.
While 2017s It remains incredibly prevalent (reigning supreme in 15 of the 50 U.S. states), each state’s unique Halloween culture shines through with alternative movies like Clue, Coraline, Dracula, and Ginger Snaps being recorded as favorites in multiple locations.
The data shows the Midwest bucks the national trend, selecting Clue as its staple spooky film of choice over the ever-popular It and Halloween. Five states in the Midwest place Clue as their #1 movie this spooky season.
Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia are movie-mad, having three or more favorite spooky films. Could these be the most Halloween-obsessed states?
The most popular Halloween movies across the 50 U.S. states
Image: Preply – Most popular Halloween films per U.S. state
- Alabama: The Babysitter
- Alaska: The Witches, Cursed
- Arizona: Coraline
- Arkansas: The Addams Family
- California: It
- Colorado: Dracula
- Connecticut: It
- Delaware: Clue
- Florida: It
- Georgia: It
- Hawaii: It, The Witches
- Idaho: Dracula
- Illinois: It
- Indiana: Hocus Pocus 2
- Iowa: Clue
- Kansas: The Batman
- Kentucky: Dracula
- Louisiana: My Babysitter’s a Vampire
- Maine: Hocus Pocus 2
- Maryland: Poltergeist
- Massachusetts: Ginger Snaps
- Michigan: It
- Minnesota: Clue
- Mississippi: The Addams Family
- Missouri: It
- Montana: Spirit Halloween
- Nebraska: Clue
- Nevada: Terrifier, My Babysitter’s a Vampire, Terrifier 2
- New Hampshire: The Craft
- New Jersey: It
- New Mexico: Coraline, The Addams Family, Insidious, The Crow
- New York: Ginger Snaps
- North Carolina: It, Monster House
- North Dakota: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
- Ohio: Halloween
- Oklahoma: Silent Hill, Scooby-Doo
- Oregon: Silent Hill, Dracula
- Pennsylvania: It, Halloween
- Rhode Island: Hocus Pocus
- South Carolina: It
- South Dakota: Clue
- Tennessee: It
- Texas: It
- Utah: It, My Babysitter’s a Vampire, Monster House
- Vermont: Clue, Sleepy Hollow, Doctor Sleep
- Virginia: The Batman
- Washington: Ginger Snaps
- West Virginia: Halloween, Dark Shadows, Poltergeist
- Wisconsin: Clue
- Wyoming: Ghostbusters, Casper
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