Ah October. The leaves are turning brown, the air is getting colder, and Halloween is just around the corner. What you have there are all the ingredients for a perfect scary movie night. To help you get in the spooky seasonal mood, we’re here to lend a hand with some suggestions for your next Halloween movie night, with a rundown of 10 picks from Netflix’s horror movie selection.
From old favourites to modern classics, the Netflix catalogue has many ways to make your Halloween movie nights extra frightful. But if you need a little hand picking from all the bobbing apples on offer, perhaps one of our suggestions might fit the chilling bill.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
While certainly not the scariest film on this list, it is one of the most fun. A delightfully wickedly unpacking of horror tropes, this plays out a situation horror fans will recognise: group of teens going out to have fun in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, what can go wrong? What follows however is a ride through horror cliche that has a great deal of fun playing with expectation and setting up a mythology based around tropes and staples of what had made up a majority of American horror movies of the last 30 years. It’s funny, inventive, and full of ideas that will make any horror fan chuckle with devilish delight.
Child’s Play (2019)
The Chucky purists may come for me here, but this underrated horror remake from last year is one of few horror remakes that is a vast improvement over its original. Taking the possessed doll of the original and replacing it with an AI driven doll that becomes corrupted, Child’s Play 2019 keeps the nasty edge of the original and drags it to the 21st century. With strong performances across the board, a gleefully bloody approach to violence and some inventive means of making this Chucky essentially a murderous Alexis with arms and legs (and a knife), Child’s Play is the kind of horror remake for those who found it hard to see what all the fuss was about to begin with.
The Conjuring (2013)
The original in the now bloated Conjuring-universe is still the best and most effective, simply because it treats things quite simply. Inspired by the real life cases of husband and wife demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farminga), James Wan’s film feels comfortably old fashioned, until the frights begin. With haunting imagery and a wicked sense of timing involving the all important horror movie jump scare, The Conjuring remains a textbook example of how you can inject some heart into the scares in a way that makes you even more terrified.
Crimson Peak (2015)
If you’re in the market for more of a Gothic-tinged experience this Halloween, than Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak will be more than willing to welcome you in. Following Mia Wasikowska as a recently married budding young author, who moves into her new husband’s (Tom Hiddleston) grand old manor home with his sister, a home that sits atop red clay, slowly sinking, and is bursting with secrets. Much more of a gothic romance ghost story than a horror, this is a strange, beautiful, and still occasionally very unsettling film. As it is from the mind of del Toro, it is a marvel of production design, atmosphere and striking monster design. It most certainly fits the ghoulish Halloween bill.
Who would have thought that the director of Pineapple Express would be the guy to give the towering figure of Michael Mysers a new lease of life? That is very much the case with this legacy sequel, one that ignores all other sequels that followed John Carpenter’s 1978 original. It picks up with Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie, still traumatised by the events of 40 years ago. Her fears that Michael would one day return are soon founded when the masked killer escapes from prison and heads straight to Haddonfield, his killing ground from all those years ago. With a score co-composed by Carpenter, a wry sense of humour, and a very intense approach to violence, Halloween 2018 does something that many would have thought impossible, it manages to make Michael Myers scary again.
Very much already a bona-fide modern horror classic, Ari Aster’s debut feature is an experience that crawls under your skin and refuses to budge for a very long time. While a horror tale about pagen rituals on the surface, this is more affecting as a depiction of a family unravelling after a terrible tragedy. Filled with images that are disturbing, paired with a beautiful approach to visual design and incredible performances (namely Toni Colette), this is a supernatural experience that evokes a feeling that is hard to pin down, making for a chilling experience but one that will prove hard to forget.
The Invitation (2015)
Who doesn’t love a movie about a dinner party gone wrong!? When
Tom Hardy Logan Marshall Green’s Will is invited to a dinner by his ex-wife. With his new girlfriend in tow, he is made to relive the trauma he and his ex-wife experience, as it soon becomes clear that she may have some ulterior motive for inviting him. The Invitation is a hard film to pin down, and becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the tension mounts and madness ensues. It is a slow pot boiler that taps into a sense of distrust that feels oh so real and palpable. It’s as nerve shredding as that sounds, but it’s hard to take your eyes off the thing.
It would be hard to recommend a list of movies for Halloween without including at least one Stephen King movie, and Netflix has one of the strongest on offer. Rob Reiner’s intense adaptation of Misery has quite rightly become an iconic thriller, bringing King’s tale of an author held captive by his biggest fan to life in a highly memorable fashion. We all remember the ankle breaking scene (it’s as body-shudderingly shocking as it has ever been), but is the performances of James Caan and Kathy Bates that make this truly memorable. Bates in particular as crazed super fan Annie Wilkes puts in such a performance for the ages, that it becomes very easy to see why this has endured as an iconic piece of popular culture, and why it’s one of King’s favourite adaptations of his work.
A Quiet Place (2018)
While we patiently await the release of the delayed sequel, this Halloween season is as good a time as any to remind yourself of the silent terror of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. A sci-fi horror with one hell of a concept, A Quiet Place follows a family trying to survive in a future where aliens, who are attracted to sound, stalk what remains of life on Earth. A taut exercise in tension with incredible use of sound design to bring audience anxiety up to fever pitch, A Quiet Place mines its terrifying concept for all it’s worth, constructing one of the most memorable horror experiences of recent years. Play it loud, if you dare.
With recent laptop based horror Host getting some great buzz, it is high time to remember one of the earlier found footage movies that set its action on a computer screen. Unfriended manages to stand out from the crowded found footage pack with its inventive use of its desktop landscape, creating a supernatural chiller that has your eyes constantly darting across the frame, wondering just where the next scare is going to come from. There’s only so much you can do from largely static shots of people in their rooms on a Skype group call, but Unfriended gets great mileage out of its cyber poltergeist tale.
All these films are now available to stream on Netflix at your spooky pleasure.
New Trailer for Marvel’s ‘WandaVision’ Flies In
The fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has quite managed to take flight yet. While Black Widow was meant to be released this summer, and Eternals was set to land in November, both films have had to have their release dates shuffled as the world continues to react to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Should that reshuffling continue into the end of the year, there’s a strong chance that phase four may well begin on TV in the form of the hotly anticipated Disney + shows. The Falcon and The Winter Soildier is still out filming, but it looks like WandaVision may almost be ready to unleash upon the world.
With Vision (Paul Bettany) meeting his end by the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, it would seem Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is having a little trouble letting go. Constructing fantasies of idyllic sitcom-esque suburban life, Wanda and Vision attempt to live as sweet a life as possible. But how long can that fantasy be maintained?
Here’s the full trailer for WandaVision:
As the Marvel franchise has developed, it has gained the confidence to get more ambitious, more adventurous, and much more weird. If this trailer is anything to go by, WandaVision looks to be their oddest tale yet. With echoes of comic book faithful costume recreations, to the emulating of different sitcom styles, from Bewitched to Full House, WandaVision looks set to take fans on a mind-bending trip where the line between illusion and reality is blurred, delivering a Marvel tale unlike anything fans have seen before.
While no set date has been announced, it looks at though WandaVision is still aiming for a 2020 release on Disney+, with a December launch looking most likely.
Netflix’s New Show ‘Ratched’ is Classic Horror Reimagined
In the annals of cinema history, the character of Nurse Ratched stands apart in collective memory for her brand of quietly feminine evil. Embodied so brilliantly by Louise Fletcher in the 1975 masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched’s calculating reserve has continued to chill audiences for generations. For this reason, she provides a welcome contrast to the gruesome villains that commonly feature in many of the decade’s iconic horror films. Instead of a chainsaw, Ratched inspires fear through manipulation, creating a dreadful powerplay within the autocratic hospital setting.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that many fans of classic horror have been counting down with anticipation to the release of Netflix’s new show Ratched. Released internationally just last Friday, the series endeavours to tell an origin story of the cult figure, making her the focus of the narrative in a way she has never been before.
The show is in touch with traditional horror from the start. Opening with a candlelit room and a dramatic thunderstorm, the result is a quintessentially Gothic atmosphere. Immediately fast-paced, Ratched quickly descends into the gore that fans of Ryan Murphy’s other popular series, American Horror Story, will be quick to recognise.
To contrast its gloomy beginning, the story is then transported to a brightly imagined 1940s California. When the titular character (played by Sarah Paulson) does appear, she is almost unrecognisable from the character we all know and love (to hate). She’s young, colourful, glamorous, yet also prepared to go to bloody lengths to achieve her aims. Thankfully, Paulson’s performance of the character does not attempt to be an imitation of Fletcher’s, but is instead a completely new interpretation. It would be fair to say that Murphy’s conceptualisation is best enjoyed as a standalone work, without direct comparison to Miloš Forman’s.
Since its release the show has received mixed reviews. Some say it is another Murphy masterpiece, whilst others claim it’s missed its mark. To position yourself within the discussion, all 8 episodes of Ratched are currently available to stream on Netflix!
5 Shows and Movies to Watch on Apple TV+
Inspired by real events, Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) leads an international convoy of 37 ships on a treacherous mission across The Atlantic to deliver thousands of soldiers and much-needed supplies to Allied forces. Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue star alongside Hanks. The Apple Original film was directed by Aaron Schneider and produced by Gary Goetzman.
2. On The Rocks
Faced with sudden doubts about her marriage, a young New York mother and writer (Rashida Jones) teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father (Bill Murray) to tail her husband (Marlon Wayans) in a bittersweet comedy about relationships, written and directed by Sofia Coppola.
3. Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso might not know much about British football, but he does know José Mourinho’s phone number somehow. Jason Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.
4. The Morning Show
The Morning Show stars Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, Emmy winner Jennifer Aniston. What happens when the people you trust to tell the truth prove themselves to be dishonest? The Morning Show follows the free fall of an early morning newscast in the wake of a scandal, and its struggle to survive in an era when news arrives in the palm of your hand.
5. Beastie Boys
The story of 3 friends who inspired each other and the world. Watch Beastie Boys Story, a Spike Jonze live documentary. Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator and former hall monitor, Spike Jonze.