Trick 'R Treat And Other Great Anthology Horror Movies And How To Watch Them

Quinn Lord in Trick 'r Treat
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

One thing that always makes a horror fan happier than one great horror movie is a bunch of great horror movies, but the only thing more satisfying than that is a bunch of horror movies in one. Since the early days of the genre, anthology horror flicks like Trick ‘r Treat have indulged in the chance to tell multiple stories of a suspenseful, frightening, or comically creepy variety presented as one feature-length collection.

However, while anthology horror movies do have a history of being hit-or-miss, the hits are certainly not to be missed. To help you better identify the beautiful, bloody diamonds in the revolting rough, I present a collection of films below that, in my opinion, make up the ultimate anthology of truly satisfying horror anthologies.

Brian Cox in Trick ‘r Treat

(Image credit: Legendary)

Trick ‘R Treat (2007)

A school principal with a disturbing secret, teens discovering the truth behind a local tall tale, a young woman looking for a costume party date in all the wrong places, and more shocking tricks and treats affect the citizens of a small town who take Halloween very seriously... or not seriously enough.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Halloween has never been taken more seriously than by writer and director Michael Dougherty with Trick 'r Treat – an underrated cult classic that otherwise rarely takes itself too seriously and abandons traditional anthology structure by flashing back and forth between its increasingly creepy tales, all tied together by the mischievous Sam.

Stream Trick ‘r Treat on Max.
Rent or buy Trick ‘r Treat on Amazon.

A vampire woman in V/H/S

(Image credit: Magnet Releasing)

The V/H/S Movies (2012-2023)

A group of friends accidentally crash the wrong Halloween party, an eye transplant recipient sees things he shouldn’t, a college sorority hopeful struggles to survive a dangerous initiation ceremony, and more terrifying tales “caught on video cassette tape” are presented in this enduring series.

Why They Are Great Horror Anthology Movies: The hit found footage horror favorite V/H/S has inspired a franchise lasting longer than most anthology horror movies can say and most recently expanded with the release of Shudder’s upcoming horror movie, V/H/S/85.

Stream V/H/S on Amazon Prime.
Stream V/H/S/2 on Tubi.
Stream V/H/S Viral on Tubi.
Rent or buy V/H/S/94 on Amazon.
Buy V/H/S/99 on Blu-ray on Amazon.
Stream V/H/S/85 on Amazon with a Shudder Premium add-on.

Creepy lady from Black Sabbath

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Black Sabbath (1963)

This trilogy of terrifying tales follows a woman plagued by unsettling phone calls, a man crossing paths with a family battling the threat of vampirism, and a nurse preparing the remains of a recently deceased medium.

Why They Are Great Horror Anthology Movies: According to BBC, yes: the Ozzy Osbourne-led rock band behind “Iron Man” did get their name from Black Sabbath – director Mario Bava’s seminal anthology hosted by horror movie icon, Boris Karloff.

Stream Black Sabbath on Tubi.
Stream Black Sabbath on Plex.

Steve Buscemi in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)

As a witch (Debbie Harry) prepares to eat him, a young boy (Matthew Lawrence) tries to stall the feast by entertaining her with tales of a revived mummy, a hitman tasked with killing a cat, and a struggling artist's fateful deal with a gargoyle.  

Why They Are Great Horror Anthology Movies: Based on the hit anthology TV show of the same name, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a fun, creepy collection inspired by stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael McDowell, Stephen King, and George A. Romero.

Rent or buy Tales From The Darkside: The Movie on Amazon.

Cat on ledge in Cat's Eye

(Image credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group)

Cat’s Eye (1985) 

A triple feature of tales – one about a man trying an unusual method to quit smoking, another about a billionaire forcing his wife’s lover to complete a daring task, and one more about a young girl in need of protection from an uninvited guest – all linked by the presence of a stray cat.

Why They Are Great Horror Anthology Movies: Director Lewis Teague’s Cat’s Eye is based on a trio of stories from none other than Stephen King and also stars a young Drew Barrymore.

Stream Cat’s Eye on Max.
Rent or buy Cat’s Eye on Amazon.

John Carpenter as The Coroner in Body Bags

(Image credit: Showtime)

Body Bags (1993)

A ghoulish coroner (John Carpenter) reveals the origins behind his latest clientele – including a serial killer stalking a gas station attendant, a man desperate for a hair regrowth solution, and a baseball pitcher who learns the shocking truth behind his eye transplant donor.

Why They Are Great Horror Anthology Movies: Not only is Body Bags one of John Carpenter’s best movies because he is the host – he also directs two segments and leaves the last in the hands of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre creator, Tobe Hooper.

Stream Body Bags on Peacock.
Stream Body Bags on Tubi.
Stream Body Bags on Freevee through Amazon.

Lin Shaye in Tales of Halloween

(Image credit: Epic Pictures)

Tales Of Halloween (2015)

A babysitter and her boyfriend learn the dangers of eating too much candy, a boy is mentored in neighborhood mischief by a devilish stranger, a man struggles to keep his wife's obsession with Grimm fairy tales from getting out of hand, and more ghoulish and grave circumstances are faced one particularly eventful All Hallow's Eve.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Admittedly, Tales of Halloween owes a lot to Trick 'r Treat in terms of tone and concept, but the otherwise traditionally structured horror anthology earns its place as one of the best for its 10 fun and freaky loosely interwoven stories (including one by The Descent director Neil Marshall) that are each better than the last.

Stream Tales of Halloween on Amazon Prime.
Stream Tales of Halloween on Tubi.

Martin Freeman in Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories (2017)

A skeptical professor (Andy Nyman) who has made a living off of disproving supernatural phenomena is challenged by a famous paranormal researcher he idolizes to debunk the three cases that left him stumped.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Based on a play co-written by Jeremy Dyson and star Nyman (who also share directorial credit for the adaptation) and featuring a dazzling performance by Sherlock's Martin Freeman, Ghost Stories sets itself apart from other collections of increasingly disturbing stories, not just by framing itself as a series of investigations, but from its thought-provoking and truly haunting twist ending.

Stream Ghost Stories on Tubi.
Stream Ghost Stories on Plex.
Rent or buy Ghost Stories on Amazon.

Leslie Nielsen in Creepshow

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Creepshow (1982)

A lonely farmer experiences a most unusual growth, a plot for revenge comes with unexpected results, and a curmudgeonly shut-in's commitment to living free of infestation fails in the most terrifying way are just a few of the bizarre tales in this tribute 1950s horror comics.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Writer Stephen King and director George A. Romero collaborated on Creepshow, which would be remembered for years to come as the most essential in comedic horror anthologies and later inspired Greg Nicotero to develop a TV series of the same name that is exclusively available on Shudder.

Rent Creepshow on Amazon.

Vic Morrow in Twilight Zone: The Movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Two late night travelers discuss their favorite memories of a classic science fiction TV show, which introduces a series of new, modernized takes on its most famous episodes and one original tale.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller, and John Landis each directed their own segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie, which honorably pays tribute to the most essential in TV horror anthology series from creator Rod Serling, despite mostly being remembered for years to come by an infamous tragedy that occurred on set.

Stream Twilight Zone: The Movie on Tubi.
Rent or buy Twilight Zone: The Movie on Amazon.

Skull from ABCS of Death 2

(Image credit: Magnet)

ABCs Of Death 2 (2014)

Dismemberment, drug abuse, the dead rising up from their graves, and 23 other frequently lethal circumstances serve as the basis of this collection of boldly grim, individually helmed shorts presented in alphabetical order.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Most horror anthology movie sequels are widely considered a step down, but ABCs of Death 2 achieved the opposite reputation by exploring the many ways a person can meet their end in a much more consistent, unique, scarier, and even funnier fashion than its 2012 predecessor.

Stream ABCs of Death 2 on Amazon Prime.
Stream ABCs of Death 2 on Tubi.
Stream ABCs of Death 2 on Plex.

Clancy Brown in The Mortuary Collection

(Image credit: Shudder)

The Mortuary Collection (2020)

An eccentric funeral home director (Clancy Brown, in one of his best movies) is visited by a young woman (Caitlin Custer, neé Fisher) looking for a job, whom he then entertains by recounting the stories of his most notorious clients.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: In yet another anthology of deadly cautionary tales, writer and director Ryan Spindell's The Mortuary Collection is one of the most acclaimed Shudder original movies released in 2020 for its funny, shocking, and often thought-provoking eye for morbid curiosity.

Rent or buy The Mortuary Collection on Amazon.

Clarence Williams III in Tales from the Hood

(Image credit: Savoy Pictures)

Tales From The Hood (1995)

An eccentric funeral home director (Clarence Williams III) is visited by three young men looking for a drug shipment, whom he then entertains by recounting the stories of his most notorious clients.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: You know, I genuinely did not realize how similar The Mortuary Collection is in its narrative framework to Tales from the Hood until now, but one thing it could not steal from co-writer and director Rusty Cundieff's classic Black horror movie is its honest and timeless commentary on racial injustice cleverly presented through a supernatural twist.

Stream Tales from the Hood on Peacock.
Rent or buy Tales from the Hood on Amazon.

Hannah Marks in Southbound

(Image credit: The Orchard)

Southbound (2015)

A man hoping to find his long-lost sister, an all-female band driving to their next big concert, a pair of crooks looking for an escape, and others each come across an abrupt and harrowing stop while traveling down the same barren desert highway.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: The narrative framing of 2015's Southbound is actually quite inventive with each story (including a wraparound segment starring and helmed by Radio Silence) seamlessly transitioning to the next, as if it is one endless loop of memories from the most disastrous road trip ever.

Stream Southbound on Tubi.
Rent or buy Southbound on Amazon.

Ballet dancer from Three... Extremes

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Three... Extremes (2004)

This disturbing trilogy tells the stories of a housewife who learns the revolting truth behind a natural aging cure, a filmmaker thrust into a game of life or death by an actor desperate for attention, and an author haunted by her memories of growing up in the circus.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: Three of the most accomplished auteurs in Asian horror cinema (including Audition director Takashi Miike) each contribute their own individual exercise in unflinchingly painful dread in Three... Extremes – an anthology that goes above and beyond to live up to its name.

Stream Three… Extremes on Freevee through Amazon.
Stream Three… Extremes on Plex.

Seth Green in Holidays

(Image credit: Vertical Entertainment)

Holidays (2016)

A lovesick high school student trying to find the perfect Valentine for her crush, an abusive pimp falling for a brutal Halloween trick, a little girl who learns she was right to fear what she may find in her Easter basket, and others endure an experience that makes planning a seasonal celebration seem not so stressful.

Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: You may never be able to enjoy St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, or any more of your favorite holidays the same way after seeing them through the twisted perspectives of 2019’s Pet Sematary helmers Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Tusk director Kevin Smith, and the six other filmmakers behind this anthology that is so bizarrely intense, it is borderline offensive.

Rent or buy Holidays on Amazon.

Art the Clown in All Hallows' Eve.

(Image credit: Image Entertainment)

All Hallow’s Eve (2013)

When the boy she looks after finds a mysterious videotape in his trick-or-treat bag, a babysitter (Katie McGuires) curiously pops it in to find three unusual short films all somehow related to a demented clown.

Why It Is A Great Horror Anthology Movie: I would honestly put writer and director Damien Leone's All Hallow's Eve in the "hit-or-miss" category of horror anthologies, but still recommend it as the chilling debut of the horrifying harlequin, Art, who would return for his own pair of creepy clown movies: Terrifier and Terrifier 2.

Stream All Hallow’s Eve on Tubi.
Rent or buy All Hallow’s Eve on Amazon.

With a few notable exceptions that found their way onto my list above, I believe and have accepted that most horror anthologies are destined to have one or two segments that may not measure up to the rest in one's eyes. Yet, that should not be any reason to discourage you from experiencing every last one because every person's fear is triggered by something different. Besides, you have a better chance to find what scares you not from one horror movie, but from multiple horror movies in one.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.