Truly, what is October if not a month for sweet treats, cozy reading, and spooky movies? While I’m certainly equipped to cover all of these topics, today I’m hitting on the latter with a list of spooky movies to add to your watch list this month. Pair with your best blanket, an enormous bowl of popcorn, and your favorite pre-Halloween candy.
I’m not a fan of your average horror film at all for reasons I won’t get too far into, namely the exploitative nature of the violence, the frequent misogyny, and just the common lack of good filmmaking. There have been some well made horror films recently, especially Get Out, but for the most part, it’s just not my thing.
What I do love are spooky films, the kind that isn’t really made anymore, but there are plenty of classic options out there. Here are my favorites:
night of the hunter //
One of my favorite spooky films is Night of the Hunter, in which a deranged preacher (Robert Mitchum) stalks two children through the countryside after murdering their mother. It was made in 1955, but has elements that feel very contemporary, such as the preacher’s “love/hate” knuckle tattoos and Lillian Gish with a shotgun.
For a classic Gothic ghost story, definitely watch Hitchcock’s adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier book Rebecca. A woman visiting Monaco is swept off her feet by the wealthy Maxim de Winter who marries her and takes her back to his grand country estate which she soon comes to find is haunted by the ghost of his deceased first wife.
bram stoker’s dracula //
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Dracula is as stylish as it sounds, starring Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins. It’s set between London and Transylvania and heavier than the typical, campy take on vampires.
the house on haunted hill //
The 1959 film stars Vincent Price as an eccentric millionaire who invites five people to his home for a haunted house party, promising $10,000 to whoever stays the entire night through.
If you want something stylish, artistic, and terrifying, Suspiria is for you. I’m talking the 1977 version by Dario Argento. It’s an Italian film set in a German ballet school where a young dancer Sophie discovers a coven of witches.
carnival of souls //
A woman, the sole survivor of a mysterious accident, moves to Utah for a fresh start where she begins having visions of a terrifying man. She soon finds herself drawn to a carnival on the outskirts of town which seems to hold the secrets of her situation.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Beetlejuice? If you’re not familiar, it’s about a couple who die in a car accident and are stuck haunting their country house. When a new family moves in, they use all methods to try to scare them away.