the spooky october movie series, pt. IV


halloween is drawing near, so it’s time for this year’s edition (series four) of the spooky film series!

as film aficionados, we try to select five movies that have a deliciously horror or spooky vibe, because i know i’m tired of watching hocus pocus year after year. this year we’ve got films ranging from the 1950’s to this decade. i chose two, alex chose two, and our halloween night film was chosen together. 

i rate the films on a scale of one to five ghosts depending on how “halloween-ish” i feel the movie is, but also accounting for quality.


week 1: the addams family values (1991), barry sonnenfeld

my pick. this one isn’t exactly obscure, but it is undeniably a wonderful halloween-season watch. maybe a bit “spicier” than the first, who doesn’t love the whole “summer camp” sub-plot? there are also plenty of hilarious morticia lines. it’s a classic. a bit more mainstream than our typical picks, but i haven’t seen it since i was a kid so it seemed like a great time to re-watch.

4/5 ghosts – worthy of halloween night viewing, for sure.


week 2: it follows (2014), david robert  mitchell

alex’s pick. i didn’t really know what to expect with this one, but it was better than the trailer made it out to be. nineteen year-old jay is continuously haunted by “the thing” which slowly follows her wherever she goes. as someone who doesn’t love the horror genre, i found this film a perfect middle ground between creepy and haunting and a very “adult” teen drama with excellent character development, and also being absolutely beautifully shot. another bonus is all of the interesting detroit-area filming locations, as the story takes place in the detroit suburbs. highly recommended – will absolutely watch again.

5/5 ghosts for light horror, excellent cinematography and story. (but beware: it may haunt you dreams just a little bit)


week 3: house of usher (1960), roger corman

alex’s pick. oh, why was it only this year that i was introduced to the brilliant gothic world of vincent price films?! the house of usher couldn’t be more halloween-appropriate. set vaguely sometime in the 20th century, a man visits the haunted house of the usher family where his fiancé has been living recently to receive some terrible news about their future together – he has to make it past the overbearing older brother first in a strange turn of overprotective sibling drama with a huge secret. based on a story from edgar allen poe.

5/5 ghosts for a foggy haunted house, undead themes, crypts & more. this has got it all.


week 4: idle hands (1999), rodman flender

my pick. when i saw there was a late 90’s teen horror comedy starring devon sawa and seth green set during halloween night that i had somehow missed in my youth, i had to see it. loose plot line: a stoner high school student realizes that his hand (yes, his hand) has become murderous. jessica alba (in her first film role) plays the girl next door love interest. i can only really recommend this film if you seriously LOVE late 90’s teen comedies. this film oozes 1999 from the soundtrack, clothes, references… it’s a time capsule. it’s not exactly a great film or anything (so try to have no expectations), but there is a fantastic cameo from the band the offspring that surprised and delighted me.

2/5 ghosts – undeniably halloween appropriate BUT couldn’t recommend to just everyone based on quality


halloween night: house on haunted hill (1959), william castle

because i couldn’t get enough vincent price goth fabulousness (see ‘house of usher’ above) the original version of house on haunted hill absolutely fits the bill. the plot seems perfect: “a millionaire offers $10,000 to the guest that can outlast the others, staying in his haunted house”. it sounds like a reality show and 1950′s horror all in one! i’m in.

what are you planning on watching this year? if you are celebrating, hope you have a wonderfully spooky halloween!

ps, more spooky movie inspiration on lists from past years: series one, two, & three.