Tomorrow is Halloween, and that means many of you will be settling in for some fun horror movie viewing. For a change of pace in your film options, here are 10 great superhero horror movies for your 2023 Halloween fright-fest.

Not that there aren’t plenty of excellent horror movies of the more typical genres worthy of your attention — and I provided my picks for the 75 essential horror films of the new millennium here — but sometimes as horror fans we all like to shake things up and seek out alternate approaches to horror storytelling. That’s why “horror-adjacent” and “horror that isn’t horror” are popular film list categories. I think horror lends itself better to a broad periphery of cinematic options that don’t always fit easily into the traditional genre, and fans of horror tend to frequently seek those things out.

So superhero horror isn’t a combination you might have tried out, but there are some wonderful movies in this mashup, and they provide a nice look at the different approaches and tones possible in superhero cinema.

There are some exclusions you might question, but for the record I don’t think The Toxic Avenger and Constantine are “superhero horror” movies, the former being superhero but not really horror, and the latter being horror but not really superhero.

The first Blade film and first Hellboy film aren’t on the list either, because (spoiler alert!) I didn’t want more than one film from any given franchise. And (sorry to fans of these films) Spawn, Venom, Ghost Rider, and Brightburn just aren’t good enough to make the list.

Here, then, is my countdown of 10 great superhero horror movies that provide a sampling of different tones, styles, eras, and subgenres present within superhero and horror storytelling…

10. Swamp Thing — Horror fans will delight in Wes Craven’s proof-of-concept that he could deliver for bigger-budgeted projects. It flopped, but became a cult classic.

9. Werewolf By Night — Michael Giacchino’s Marvel film on Disney+ does a nice job capturing the feel and appeal of classic horror comics like its namesake.

8. Split — M. Night Shyamalan’s thrilling surprise sequel to an iconic independent superhero film is actually a supervillain origin story, but hey, potato/tomato.

7. Darkman — Sam Raimi couldn’t make The Shadow, so he made this wildly wonderful original, and we got a cool The Shadow that influenced Batman Begins.

6. The Crow — Alex Proyas’s hauntingly beautiful adaptation about grief and revenge is one of the most overtly Halloween-and-horror themed films on the list.

5. Blade II — Guillermo del Toro delivered one of the best superhero sequels, a near-perfect live-action version of Blade, and it kept the genre alive in lean times.

4. Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness — After his Spider-Man trilogy, it took a while for Raimi to return to the genre, but it was worth the wait.

3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army — Another spectacular superhero sequel from del Toro, probably destined to remain the definitive Hellboy live-action adaptation.

2. Joker — Todd Phillips takes a spiral into madness with enough g-force to wind everything tighter and tighter until it violently shatters into sharp, deadly pieces.

1. The Batman — Matt Reeves finally delivered a Batman movie that is practically an outright horror film. Think Seven and Zodiac meet Murder By Decree. Brilliance.

And there you have it, 10 terrific superhero movies to add some unexpected horror twists to your Halloween viewing plans.

Now I’ll sort of violate my rule about more than one film from a franchise, because I’d also throw a shout-out to the awesome animated film Batman: The Long Halloween., as well as (of course) the first Blade and Hellboy films.

Because really, these films are all so good that you should watch them eventually. Happy Halloween, dear readers!

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