Movies and TV shows you should watch to put you in the Halloween mood
October 14, 2021
There are many forms of entertainment that explore themes of horror and the thrill of tension snapping as people scream like they’re roaring down a roller coaster. I’m not exactly a horror fan, but over the years there are certain pieces of media that have appealed to me that fall into that genre. Whether they were recommended by friends, or I watched them with my family, these are some of the ones I highly encourage watching for the peak of the Halloween season.
1. The Invisible Man (2020)
The film stars Elisabeth Moss, known for her roles in The Handmaid’s Tale and Us, as Cecilia Kass, who is recovering from years of abuse at the hands of her now-dead ex-husband. While staying with a friend named James and his daughter Sydney, she starts to experience a strange set of coincidences that leave her questioning whether her husband’s ghost is haunting her, and as her circumstances slowly start to decline, she scrambles to keep control of her new life and her mind.
It’s thrilling, intense, and incredibly enjoyable. The camera work alone is wonderful at building tension and the characters are compelling and enjoyable. The film also deals with themes of trauma, abuse, and the strained relationships that come with each in a thorough fashion, and provides a satisfying horror experience. 10/10, would watch again.
2. The Midnight Man (2016)
The movie focuses on Alex Luster, granddaughter of Anna Luster and caretaker of her old house and the old woman herself. One night, while passing the time with her boyfriend Miles, the two of them come across an old game, a ritual that says it will summon an entity called the Midnight Man, and it lists the rules of the game that they would need to play. The two of them fumble their way into accidentally starting the game, and must survive a night in the house with the mysterious monster chasing them down, as well as unravel the peculiar nature of Alex’s grandmother, whose already odd and erratic behavior has gotten stranger after the summoning of the monster.
It’s surprisingly entertaining, and the balance between rare moments of levity and the terror that comes with the Midnight Man’s attacks on the two protagonists is well-struck. Alex and Miles themselves are interesting characters with believable chemistry and well-developed personalities. 9/10, a bit cheesy but I highly recommend it.
3. Girl vs Monster (2012)
The film stars Olivia Holt as Skylar Lewis, a girl who has never been afraid of anything. Her parents are incredibly protective of her, afraid that her recklessness would put her in danger. On Halloween night, she breaks into the basement, somewhere she hasn’t been allowed into through her whole life. When she accidentally sets free a demon that’s been imprisoned there, she starts to feel fear for the first time. Now, with her friends and family in danger, she must learn to overcome it.
The movie is cheesy and definitely for kids but I still enjoy it now and believe that the music and storyline still hold up. It’s an incredibly fun movie, if not that scary, and the enthusiasm and energy are almost infectious. It’s one of the better Disney Channel Original Movies and it definitely matches the Halloween energy with all kinds of ghosts, ghouls, and demons. 8/10, it’s not perfect or very scary, but it’s definitely fun.
4. Hannibal (2013-2015)
This show focuses on Will Graham, a teacher at the FBI Training Academy who is recruited into consulting on particularly gruesome and strange cases due to his uncanny ability to get into the mindset of serial killers. He is assigned a psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to ensure that he doesn’t fall into the darkness he so often dips into in the cases he helps to solve. As the cases get grimmer, and Will’s mind starts to deteriorate, he is left with one mystery: who is the Chesapeake Ripper, and why are they so interested in him specifically?
The show is only three seasons, due to cancellation from low viewership. It mostly plays out as a crime drama, at least for the first season, and it naturally develops into a long-form narrative that features disturbing imagery, horror, and an alarming amount of elk. It’s crammed full of symbolism, deception, and incredible writing, and it is in no way disappointing. 10/10, I am watching this again.