16 Halloween Movies That Starred Actors Before They Were Famous

For whatever reason, a lot of Hollywood actors get their start by starring in horror films. Maybe it's because films of this genre are generally low budget, don't rely on star power to sell tickets, and, if I'm being honest, aren't generally known for featuring the best acting performances. And since it is October, AKA the spookiest time of the year, now seems like the perfect time to take a look back at some great Halloween movies that starred actors before they were famous.

Now some of these films are bona fide classics of the genre; especially when it comes to those '80s monster slasher films that used to dominate the horror landscape. Others are more cult favorites that aren't as universally-known but still have significant followings. And the rest, I have to admit, you probably have never heard of (I know I haven't). But every single one of these movies helped propel some major stars along in their careers; many of whom have gone on to win Oscar gold. So if you'd like a bit of history to go along with your scares this Halloween movie season, check out these 16 horror films featuring stars before they made it big.

Warning: Some clips are graphic in nature.

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1. Leprechaun - Jennifer Aniston

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One year before landing her Friends gig, Aniston played the lead in this campy cult favorite.

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2. A Nightmare On Elm Street - Johnny Depp

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Depp performed perhaps one of the most most famous on-screen deaths in film history in his acting debut.

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3. Children Of The Corn V - Eva Mendes

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This direct-to-video sequel marked the screen debut of the then 24-year-old Mendes.

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4. The Amityville Horror - Chloë Grace Moretz

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An 8-year-old Moretz gave a powerhouse performance in this remake, leaving little doubt about her future stardom.

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5. Species - Michelle Williams

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A teenage Williams played the creature Sil before she transformed into Natasha Henstridge.

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6. Friday The 13th - Kevin Bacon

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He briefly appeared in Animal House a few years earlier, but this was Bacon's first memorable role.

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7. Hellraiser IV: Bloodline - Adam Scott

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Long before Parks & Recreation , Scott was a long-haired creepy fop with a thing for demons.

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8. Critters 3 - Leonardo DiCaprio

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This Gremlins knockoff marked the feature film debut for Hollywood's biggest star.

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9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre : The Next Generation - Matthew McConaughey & Renee Zellwegger

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This fourth installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise featured not one, but two future Oscar winners.

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10. Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers - Paul Rudd

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Before starring in Clueless , Rudd gave a supremely bizarre performance in this installment of the long-running series.

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11. Return To Horror High - George Clooney

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Even the coolest guy in Hollywood was once an expendable security guard in a forgotten low budget slasher flick.

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12. Panic Room - Kristen Stewart

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A pre-teen Stewart was huddled away with Jodie Foster years before she became a teenage vampire lover.

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13. The Hole - Keira Knightley

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Before she hit it big in Bend It Like Bekham and Pirates of the Caribbean , Knightley starred in this direct-to-video psychological horror.

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14. Children Of The Corn IV - Naomi Watts

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Another sequel from this Stephen King franchise that featured a future star, this time in the lead role.

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15. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 - Viggo Mortensen

Mortensen definitely wasn't playing Aragorn in this body horror flick, as he portrayed a member of the deranged Sawyer family.

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16. Urban Legends: Bloody Mary - Kate Mara

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Before House of Cards , Mara was dealing with someone even scarier than Frank Underwood — a gh-gh-gh-ghost!

All of these movies make for great Halloween entertainment, especially if you like a little understated star power to go along with your scares!

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Images: Lions Gate Entertainment