October, the 4-week-long month that has become known all around the world as the season of mystery, horror and suspense. With Halloween just around the corner, decorations get put up, friends plan parties, “25 de Março” stocks up on decorations and people acquire costumes for said parties. But what is Halloween without movies to set the tone? Therefore, this list was created with my 4 favorite movies for each week of the month in order to set the mood for the perfect spooky season. It is important to note that not all of the movies in the list are horror movies, because Halloween isn’t Halloween without fantasy, suspense and even throwback movies. Lastly, please keep an eye out for age ratings and trigger warnings which will be added accordingly, as not all movies listed will be appropriate for all audiences.
The first movie recommended is none other than the iconic Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus is the Disney Channel Halloween movie, it is one that marked the childhood of many kids around the globe, including myself, and it’s the epitome of Disney Channel's "Monstober". Hocus Pocus is the 1993 Family Fantasy DCOM, that centers around three
witches resurrected, seeking revenge on the town of Salem, after 300 years when a boy named Max accidentally brings them back to life. Of course, the movie is older than even the oldest student in our school so the special effects and props are more outdated which could be off putting for many people, and due to the fact that it is a family movie the lines and actions will likely not be up to par with a teenager's expectations. But what really makes this movie so good and so worthy of the list is the nostalgic factor of the movie, the memories of watching it as a kid of being slightly scared but also finding the slapstick comedy hilarious. As well as the perfect performance of "I Put a Spell On You" by the three witches which always manages to get everyone watching to dance along to it, if you somehow haven’t heard it, go watch the movie now. The movie is rated PG and the only apparent trigger warning noted is the mention of hanging, but as always please watch with caution.
The second movie worthy of watching in order to get into the Halloween mood is, Knives Out. Knives Out is the 2019 mystery and crime movie starring big names like Chris Evans, Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others. The murder mystery follows an eccentric family investigated by renowned Detective Benoit Blanc after the death of a rich novelist who was also the head of said family. Inspired by stories like, Murder in the Orient Express, Clue and Death on the Nile; the movie manages to use the typical whodunnit trajectory but still add a twist to it that makes it so exhilarating and clever. This movie might not be a very Halloween-esk story for many, but the element of mystery and suspense is one that is crucial for such a spooky time like Halloween. What makes the movie so great is the incredibly well planned and witty script perfectly mixing comedic elements with suspense as well as the incredible acting from all the actors. Trigger warnings for the graphic depictions of vomiting, graphic display of blood and harsh language, it is rated PG-13.
The third and my personal scariest movie on this list is the 2014 psychological horror, Creep. Unlike the previous two movies on this list, it is a genuine horror movie about a photographer that answers a Craigslist ad, requesting for someone to film a homemade video of a dying man, in a remote location. What makes Creep special is that it manages to remain unsettling without using much gore, and instead relying on the creepy and uncomfortable manner of speech and action between both main characters. The idea of the two men, in a remote location, who barely know each other, keeping secrets, is unsettling from the beginning but as the movie goes on the mannerisms just get weirder and the title begins to make sense. Also, since we see a lot of the movie in the perspective of the camera held by one of the main characters, the found footage style, it feels even more personal. The whole movie is a ride of emotions, from uncertainty, to incredulity, to discomfort and then to genuine fear, even managing to be comedic at times. It captures the exact feelings desired when watching a scary movie with your friends at night underneath a cozy blanket all huddled together and extremely scared. It is rated R and has trigger warnings for mentions of sex, rape and bestiality as well as some mild violence and jump scares.
Lastly, arguably the most iconic movie on this list, is one that many love and have loved, or have been scared of since kids, Coraline. Coraline is the 2009 dark fantasy animated movie about a little girl who finds a door that leads her to an "ideal" world. This world is similar to hers in many aspects, but she later discovers that it isn't as perfect as she thought it was and has to try and escape this world to make it back to hers safely. The movie manages to have a very detailed and beautiful animation that sticks to the dark fantasy theme and manages to add to the unsettling but fantastical aspect of the movie. One of the creepiest characters in the whole movie is the "Other Mother" who managed to frighten nearly every kid with her buttoned eyes and scary mannerisms. The movie is extremely creative and whimsical, the characters are all extremely fun to watch and the character of Coraline with her yellow raincoat, is a classic Halloween costume. It has marked this generation and will most likely continue to mark future generations. The movie is rated 9+ and has no apparent trigger warnings but can be scary for little kids.
With this complete list in mind, it is now time to grab your popcorn and your warmest blanket, sit in front of the TV and get ready to binge, or if you want, watch them separately. These might not all be horror movies but what is Halloween without a little bit of the whimsical and nostalgic part of it all. These movies might not be to everyone's taste but certainly at least one of them will appeal to most of the readers. Make sure to leave your opinions on the list or even suggestions of other Halloween-esk movies to watch, in the comments!