The Best Marvel Shows To Watch This Halloween

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Doctor Strange screaming with his third eye

Credit: Marvel Studios

It’s time to get spooky!

WandaVision episode seven
Credit: Marvel Studios

Have you ever wanted to throw a superhero-themed spooky watch party? Or perhaps felt the all-encompassing urge to do a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) rewatch — but wanted something to keep the autumnal, horror-adjacent, Halloween-y vibe going through October? Well, have no fear — our definitive ranking of Marvel Halloween titles is here!

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Every Marvel Studios Disney+ Original So Far, Ranked

Wait… What Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Okay, I’m assuming you know what the MCU is, but in the event you’re here to try something new, here’s a bit of a primer on where we’re at in the Marvel Comics-inspired Marvel universe.

Nick Fury talking to Iron in Iron Man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios, under the leadership of Kevin Feige, oversees a wide range of superhero stories adapted from the Marvel Comics. Since the late 2000s, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has maintained its strong presence in the film industry, beginning with the 2008 release of Iron Man and ultimately leading to an ever-growing roster of superhuman characters and stories.

Marvel's Avengers including Thor, Black Widow, Captain Avenger, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Hulk, look up at the destruction of the city.
Credit: Marvel Studios

This cinematic journey came to fruition when other well-established heroes within the interconnected universe, such as the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), united as part of the Avengers team. They joined forces to protect New York City in the 2012 film The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon.

Later on, despite their previous differences in Captain America: Civil War (2016), they came together to safeguard the world against the formidable antagonist Thanos in the epic showdowns of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). This marked the culmination of Phase Three in the MCU’s Infinity Saga.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) dying looking at Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

After saying goodbye to Marvel icons like Robert Downey Jr. in his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Marvel enthusiasts and audiences have been treated to a continually expanding array of films. Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) officially concluded with the release of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023) kickstarted the Secret Wars storyline within Phase Five of the Multiverse Saga, which saw James Gunn‘s final Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023). All these stories will eventually lead into Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Phase Six’s Avengers: Secret Wars.

A fair few MCU projects in this bewitching list come from the Marvel television expansion era — as the TV format has allowed Marvel to venture into several more niche genres.

Jett Klyne as Tommy Maximoff (left), Julian Hillard as Billy Maximoff (middle), and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: The Best Vacation Destinations in the MCU, Ranked

What makes a good Marvel Halloween show?

Well, a good Halloween show just in general needs a healthy dose of horror, terror, frights, spooks — and all those festively descriptive words. Even if it’s all in good fun, and we’re looking at a more campy or kid-friendly style of spooks, anything full of those classic ideas definitely makes a show good Halloween-watching!

That means classic monsters like zombies, vampires, witches, ghouls, ghosts, and other supernatural-styled entities all help to add Halloween charm to these comic book-inspired shows. Of course, jumpscares, atmosphere and other expertly-applied horror tropes can really push a movie or series into “All Hallows’ Eve” territory!

Zombie Doctor Strange's face in Doctor Strange 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Best Marvel Halloween Shows, Ranked

It’s time to rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe show with the most Halloween spirit! Here’s our ranking of the best Marvel Halloween titles, from worst to best!

5. Doctor Strange (2016)

Sure, the beginning isn’t all too horror-adjacent — but as the movie goes on, the spells and sorcery start to kick in — and by the time we’re in trippy alternate dimensions and bargaining with Dormammu, you’re in  genuinely unsettling territory.

The origin of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange superhero persona charts the journey of celebrated surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose hubris causes him to get into a serious car accident, losing the fine motor control of his money-making hands. Okay, to be fair, the image of Strange’s messed up hands is rather shiver-inducing.

But once Strange descends into the world of Sorcery under the Ancient One’s (Tilda Swinton) tutelage, and the Mirror Dimension and the Dark Dimension rear their eye-watering heads, one of the MCU’s most uncanny films to date is sure to grip you with a real sense

The flying magic cape is also pretty Halloween costume-y, as is Doctor Strange’s final Sorcerer Supreme form.

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Now if you’re into more of that “campy horror” aesthetic, this Doctor Strange sequel from director Sam Raimi is a surefire Halloween treat.

A bloodied killer chasing you down narrow hallways. Getting your face cut into bits as you travel through the Multiverse. A decrepit mansion haunted by a corrupted, dark version of your main protagonist. A third eye opening after delving into forbidden secrets.

Forget this movie’s incongruity to the rest of the MCU and past projects that set up totally different character arcs that got rehashed in this film to shoehorn in an unnecessary villain. I mean, you get to stare at Cumberbatch’s zombified gob for a disturbingly long amount time. If that doesn’t scream Halloween fun, I don’t know what does!

3. Moon Knight (2021)

An ongoing mystery. Multiple personalities. Egyptian gods. Oscar Isaac.

So this is also another rather trippy entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The reason this makes it to third place on our MCU Halloween watch list? Well, it’s got some fantastic elements of horror, a ton of suspense, a creepy villain, talking hippos, Egyptian deities and their holy wars, and some really cool outfits.

Being right by Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector/Steven Grant/Jake Lockley/Moon Knight (and y’know, Mister Knight, and all the other variations that are too annoying to name) as he slowly uncovers the increasingly insane truth is a real Halloween treat. Some lovely horror moments during that whole mental process include the terrifying elevator scene, being stalked by otherworldly entities, and literally any of the crazy Afterlife moments.

2. WandaVision (2021)

Well, what can we say? It was Agatha all along!

So this is a natural runner up. Because WandaVision not only has an entire episode set during Halloween (and in a classic suburban neighborhood, no less), but the decidedly witchy tone and (spoilers!) Big Bad reveal that nosy neighbor Agnes was really the witch Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) is undeniably fantastic Halloween stuff. Some of the best Marvel Halloween costume iterations out there with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany) as their comic book counterparts.

The witches’ backstory and look into the coven? Wanda Maximoff finally understanding her powers and coming into them as the Scarlet Witch? The entirety of the mystic Darkhold tome? It’s campy, Halloween fun for everyone!

1. Werewolf By Night (2022)

Now there’s absolutely no denying that Werewolf By Night is a Halloween show. It’s more or less crafted to be one from the ground up.

Releasing last year and directed by the insanely talented music composer Michael Giacchino, Werewolf By Night is Marvel’s premier Halloween/horror entry. This TV special, or Marvel Studios Special Presentation is set in the MCU, but without any truly explicit (or at least, outwardly/overly visible) ties to the larger MCU canon.

After the death of Ulysses Bloodstone, five seasoned monster hunters, including Gael García Bernal’s Jack Russell/Werewolf by Night, are summoned by Ulysses’ widow to Bloodstone Manor in a grisly survival competition. The goal? To compete with other monster hunters for leadership, by capturing a monster implanted with the powerful Bloodstone in an epic maze on the manor’s grounds. How spectacularly spooky! It’s also all in black and white!

This horror-inducing cast includes Bernal as Jack Russell/the titular Werewolf by Night, Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone, Harriet Sansom Harris as Verussa Bloodstone, Kirk R. Thatcher as Jovan, Eugenie Bondurant as Azarel, Leonardo Nam as Liorn, and Daniel J. Watts as Barasso.

This Halloween, you also have the option to watch this instant classic in full color! Yes, it’s truly a whole new world and video-watching experience:

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a surprising number of rather Halloween-apt titles in its bank. Of course, everything is subjective — but some of these exhibit rather classic horror tropes that just can’t be denied!

Coming up next year on 19 September, 2024 will be the new Agatha Harknes-led Marvel TV show, Agatha: Darkhold Diaries (renamed from Agatha: Coven of Chaos and Agatha: House of Harkness). This will no doubt rank highly here — but perhaps we’ll have a witchy update come next October!

Is there anything we missed? Do you agree with our Marvel Halloween ranking? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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