And it’s that time of the year again, when the cozy decorations change for actually spooky ones, when multiple Jack O’Lanterns are hosted in our houses, when witches and vampires leave their lonely huts and lairs and come to the party, when the sun goes down, giving place to gloomy and dark weather, when mystery is felt in the air and magic finally happens…at least in an alternate perfect world. But one thing can become the perfect substitute for all of this. And yes, you guessed right, it’s literature, in this case films.
When it comes to Halloween movie list, the world usually splits in two categories: the scariest, most horrific horror movies ever, and the famous cliché family movies, like Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, Casper, The Nightmare Before Christmas etc. If you haven’t seen any of these, you definitely should watch it, as they are a Halloween must, a tradition, just like Home Alone for Christmas. As for the horror movies, I wholeheartedly hate them, I really do, maybe because I’m quite sensitive and perceptive, but I don’t understand how people can calmly watch those and don’t be affected by them. I saw just a few horror movies in my life, and I sometimes still feel how they’re somewhere deep down in my subconsciousness, waiting for the right moment to scare the crap out of me.
I do enjoy watching half-horrors as I like to call them, when there are some scary attributes but they don’t psychologically affect you. I love the mysteries, gothic and gloomy vibes in movies, something that will not scare you, but make you get thoroughly involved in the film and its atmosphere.
So, as Halloween is nearly here, I decided to present some of my favorite (or maybe not so) movies, with all the dark and creepy elements, which are worth being seen at least once.
1. Coraline. I guess my most favorite one has the full right and authority to head the list, right? Coraline is a cartoon, based on the self-titled book of Neil Gaiman. The family moves to a new house (and that’s how most of horror movies start, isn’t it?) and Coraline discovers a “portal” to a world, presumably full of her dreams. But as it turns out, nothing is as simple and wonderful as it seems at first sight . I don’t know why I love this cartoon so much, but it’s one of my all time favorites. The foggy and misty weather, the big mansion, the black cat, and button eyes just add to the general atmosphere.
2. World of Tim Burton. If you didn’t know this, Burton is my most favorite director, his style is so unique and amazingly weird. I love his perspective, and his “vibe”. If you’re familiar with his works, you may have noticed that almost all of them pretty much correspond to the characteristics of my list, so I’m not going to repeat them. Also, having two of my favorite actors, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the majority of his movies, makes me love them even more. So here are 5 of his most darkest movies and cartoons: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, “The Corpse Bride”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Frankenweenie”, “The Dark Shadows”.
3. Dark Fairy Tales. That’s how I like to call this genre of movies. They are based or involve attributes of our childhood favorite stories, but in a grown-up and quite creepy way. I won’t say that some of these movies were my favorites, but I surely enjoyed watching them, even if it was purely for the atmosphere. Most of them, if not all, take place in older times, in little villages just around the forest, so believe me, the atmosphere is really suitable for this occasion. The movies are: “The Brothers Grimm”, “Red Riding Hood”, “Into the Woods” (this one is a musical, 2 hours of singing, so don’t say I didn’t warn you). I guess, I could have also added “Snow White and the Huntsman” here, because if I remember correctly it also meets the requirements, but I just hated that movie so much, that I won’t even bother to write about it.
4. Crimson Peak. This is probably the scariest one from all the list, as it is a half-horror. What I loved about this movie, except for its atmosphere of old era and mystery, is that 1. it also has some elements of detective, as you have to investigate for yourself what’s really going on. And 2. (little spoilers here), is how at first you think that there’s something supernatural involved in the story, but in reality, the evil was just the human.
5. The Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m talking about the movie of 2004 with Jim Carrey. I know there’s also a tv-show, but haven’t seen it, so can’t really say anything. This is the lightest one on the list, a family movie, nothing scary or creepy, but again vibes and colors of the movie make it watchable during this time. I already think that you can pretty much take any movie about the Victorian or Edwardian eras, add some gloomy weather, a little mystery, a big half-deserted castle or mansion and boom! you’ve got a proper movie for Halloween.
I guess I should also mention the honorable nominees for my post, which sadly didn’t make it to the finale. And they are: “The Raven”, “The Craft”, “Monster House”, “El Labirinto del Fauno”, “Interview with the Vampire”, “Practical Magic”. Also don’t forget about the many adaptations of Frankenstein and Dracula, they can also go well for a Halloween movie session.
So here you are, lots of movie ideas to watch. I’m also going to rewatch a few from the list, because as I said, it’s already become a tradition to watch some of these films every year. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween 🎃