spooky movie time! do you know what you’re watching on halloween yet?
as you may know, alex and i do a sunday night movie series every sunday throughout october (i’ve taken to calling it ‘goth advent’ because of our recently obtained black skull candle)
this movie series was born because there’s only so many viewings of ‘hocus pocus’ you can take! we’re on a mission to dig up some lesser-known but perfectly halloween-worthy films, old and new. here’s what we’ve got up to… i hope it may give you some watching inspiration!
(rated on a scale from 1 – 5 “ghosts” based on how appropriate i feel the film is for halloween watching)
week 1: the monster squad (1987), dekker
this was alex’s pick and is one of his favorite movies of all time… but i didn’t watch it until now because he thought i would think it was too corny. WHAT? this movie is MADE for halloween watching and is an eighties cult classic, but it happened to come out the same time as a lot of other similar movies involving a gang of boys and their wacky exploits, like the goonies and stand by me. so turns out, nobody (including me) had heard of this one. this is essentially stranger things but actually made in the eighties and involving every kind of movie monster you can think of.
spook rating: 5/5 ghosts – vampires, werewolves, creature from the black lagoon, frankenstein… if you err on the corny side like i do, you will love it.
week 2: carrie (1976), de palma
everyone’s heard of carrie, and i wanted to see if this movie stacked up. two things surprised me: one, how normal it is for about two-thirds of the film (but ramps up really quickly) and two, how funny and awkward some of the writing was, especially all of john travolta’s lines – this was his first movie! even though it starts small, things come to a head pretty quickly, making it a halloween-worthy watch, indeed. it leaves you with a lot of feels, similar to watching frankenstein for the first time.
spook rating: 4/5 ghosts for high amounts of creepiness & a great cemetery scene
week 3: the thing (1982), carpenter
this one came onto my radar as one of my favorite cinemas was showing it as part of their halloween movie month. to me, it was like a cross between alien and the shining – deadly, unstoppable creatures meet a snowy, frigid environment (as this film, starring kurt russell, is set in isolated antarctica on a u.s. research base where the researchers must remain until spring without contact from the rest of the world). the aspect i liked in this film explored the theme of trust – who can you trust and how do you know you can trust them? fans of the alien series will love it.
spook rating: 3/5 ghosts for monsters lurking among us around any turn
week 4: mother! (2017), aronofsky
i would say i’m generally a fan of aronofsky’s specific brand of creepy, so i’d been waiting to see this on the big screen since i first saw the trailers back in the summer. this film was hugely controversial as a “love it or hate it” movie; all of this hype made me want to see it all the more.
my take: it was like watching a nightmare come to life – aronofsky is a master at dragging you into his dark universe and that swirling whirlwind of horror. it is definitely not a feel-good movie and there were several parts that were hard to watch, but it is not to be missed if you also enjoyed his other films such as black swan and requiem for a dream. why you should see it? it is one of those movies that leaves you thinking and interpreting it for days. both alex and i walked away with completely different interpretations than the director had originally intended (and it blew my mind to read his own interpretation) but i feel that’s what makes art great. and great art is a catalyst for feeling and thought.
spook rating: 3/5 ghosts – no movie monsters but many horror themes and a bit of blood and gore
halloween night: the invisible man (1933), whale
we love watching old-timey movies on halloween night and this film is the last of those considered part of the “universal movie monster” series (including such famous films as frankenstein, creature from the black lagoon, dracula, etc….) that we have not yet seen. in this one, a scientist (working in a creepy laboratory, of course) discovers how to make himself invisible, but in doing so becomes murderously insane.
what are your favorite halloween films or movies that just give off that autumn vibe you like to watch this season?