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Writers' Spooky Media Picks

Halloween favorites for every occasion 🎃

Rec’s from AL

Underrated 🎥s :  

Skeleton Key (2005)

I’d put Skeleton Key in line with The Sixth Sense – a more realistic approach to the horror genre with a plot that will keep you guessing till the end. Kate Hudson is the star of the show; the film begins with her pursuing a job as an in-home nurse in an old mansion on the bayou. The setting is spooky, and there’s just enough scare to satisfy everyone. 🗝️

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Not spooky at all! Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is exactly what you want to throw on the TV this October when you need some feel-good Halloween without the scare. I was skeptical of Elvira’s deep cleavage and the movie’s cheesy cover, but she is extremely lovable and her story of moving to a goody-two-shoes small town where everyone stares is endearing.

Actually Terrifying 🎧 : 

Criminal Podcast Episode A Bump in the Night

I could listen to Criminal episodes for hours; this podcast will truly make any roadtrip fly by. For those of you that don’t know, Criminal is an independent podcast that focuses on true crime. Some episodes are more intriguing than others, but every episode gives you something to reflect on or talk about. A Bump in the Night is my favorite episode to date – it is creepy, true & will have you holding your breath. 

Set the Mood 🎶 : 

Mazzy Star

Mazzy Star is one of my favorite artists. If I had to choose one album for you to listen to, grab So Tonight That I Might See because it has everyone’s favorite tune: Fade Into You. That song will get you hooked, but they have so many other moody ballads. Their psychedelic sound paired with Hope Sandoval’s angelic voice is beautifully eerie. As leaves start to fall from the trees, I crave their music every autumn.

Rec’s from Carmen

Underrated 🎥 :  

Extraordinary Tales (2013)

Horror, but make it serene. This 1hr 13min film features five of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous stories in beautiful animation, narrated by a host of classic voices. Treat yourself to this sensual feast when you’re in the mood for the spooky season, but don’t want to pee your pants.

Actually Terrifying 🎥 : 

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

The scariest movie I’ve ever seen, because nothing on this Earth is more terrifying than human beings. Tom Ford ties three stories together, one of which contains a ceaseless psychological sequence so gripping in its tension that it is impossible to walk away unaffected. Watch this stylish film noir for psychological torture and visceral violence.

Set The Mood 📺 : 

Miracle Forest (YouTube)

Miracle Forest is the YouTube home of Hungarian VFX artist and sound designer Melinda. She creates spooky fantasy settings and animates them with tiny details and intricate sounds. Think crackling fireplace video, but haunted. Watch before bed or throw one up on your TV for a creepy yet comforting ambience.

Rec’s from Tom

Underrated 🎥: 

The Fly (1986)

The Fly is a love story, not for the faint of heart. With unforgettable performances by Jeff Goldbloom and Geena Davis, masterful practical effects, and an emotional core, this movie is Canadian director David Cronenberg’s masterpiece of body horror. 🦟

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Sam Raimi is best known for inventing the modern Spider-Man films, starring Tobey Maguire & K. Dunst, as well as his cult classics The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II (which I also love) – but for me, his greatest film is Drag Me to Hell. A movie that mixes comedy and horror into the perfect cauldron of disgust and laughter. It’s an unmatched horror experience. I have never been as thrilled, entertained, and horrified by one movie. I think I’ll go watch it now. Oh, and watch the unrated cut if you can, it’s sick! 🤮

Actually Terrifying 🎥: 

The Descent (2005)

Six women go cave diving. What could possibly go wrong? Truly, the most terrifying movie I have ever seen. Not jump scare heavy, it is just an expertly crafted film. Strong, fleshed out, and relatable characters are placed in the most bloodcurdling situation you could imagine. The extreme claustrophobia and sheer terror are worth it! ⛏

Set The Mood 🎶: 

Kim Petras’ album Turn Off the Light

Daft Punk inspired dance beats meet Petras’ campy dark pop in this album. It will be played on repeat, while I’m dancing on my own at my one-man Covid Halloween costume party. From perfect puns ‘TRANSylvania’ to bops like ‘Boo! Bitch!,’ Kim Petras is serving us Spooktober realness from start to finish. Petras you stay, ‘Rona sashay away.

Rec’s from Anna

Underrated 🎥s :

The Blob (1958)

Maybe it’s the bizarre charm of ‘50s sci-fi or the completely absurd plot that makes me think of this movie often. The Blob is a classic thriller that captivates you to the point that you’ll be yelling “Run! Move faster!” to the people on the screen. For that reason alone, it deserves more than its 66% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Give it a shot; it’s odd and thrilling without the paranoid nightmare side effects. 

Nosferatu (1922)

For movie buffs, this is a film that is known for its influence on the horror film genre. But for those not as versed in movie knowledge, Nosferatu is probably not on your radar. It may surprise you how in a world with so many vivid and complex horror films that a silent movie from 1922 could capture your attention for the full 1 hour 20 minute film. Yet, it does. Nosferatu is a German Expressionist film about a house hunting, blood sucking vampire who takes a keen interest in the wife of his real estate agent. You can find the film on YouTube! It’s a classic that shouldn’t be overlooked!

Actually Terrifying 🎧 :

Snap Judgement Presents: Spooked, Podcast

This podcast begins with the host’s deep, sinister, voice that makes your hair stand up, as he sets the scene for the story you’re about to be told. Spooked shares accounts of supernatural and unexplainable events told in the first person by the individuals who experienced them. The stories often paint the picture so well that… let’s just say, I don’t listen to this podcast when I’m home alone at night. If you are wanting a campfire ghost story without having to leave your house, this is the podcast for you.

Set the Mood 🎶 :

The Doors self titled album (1967)

It could be from knowing of Jim Morrison’s interest in the occult coupled with the organ being played throughout the album, but The Doors always find their way into my Halloween heart. The Doors are known for their entrancing energy, both in their music and performance. Often classified as “dark psychedelic rock,” this album features spacey, melancholic tunes like “The Crystal Ship”, tight and buttoned-up arrangements like “Twentieth Century Fox” and undoubtedly strange and psychedelic tracks like “Light My Fire.” Play this album under a full moon and lean into the supernatural feel.