Bringing you our favorite spooky flicks
Halloween is almost here! But with distancing measures in place, participating in the festivities that many of us usually look forward to is no longer an option. So, cozy-up and grab a few snacks… here are The Concordian staff’s top movie picks to keep you busy on Halloween night.
Lorenza Mezzapelle, Arts Editor
Thriller and horror are my favorite genres, which made choosing a movie difficult. Finally, it came down to gore. I think that if you’re going to watch a movie on Halloween it should sort of be, well … gross. So, my pick is Carrie (1976). Blood! Telekinesis! What more do you want? Also, bullying is central to the plot which always makes for an entertaining film. If bloodshed is not what you’re looking for, then It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) is a good ol’ wholesome, festive classic.
Abigail Candelora, Copy Editor
If you’re like me, a silly little ball of anxiety who is frightened of basically everything, look no further! Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, a Disney Channel Original Movie from 2001, follows young witch Marnie Piper and her grandmother as they race against time to save their beloved Halloweentown – and, in turn, the world! This movie really has it all: early 2000s nostalgia; generations of spunky witches; an engaging, if silly, central plot; “evil” spells that are basically just normal spells but en français; Debbie Reynolds. And for my fellow sapphics: this movie has a special place in my heart (and lesbian awakening) thanks to Gwen Piper and her button-ups. All in all, you can’t go wrong!
Louis Pavlakos, Music Editor
Out of all the places to find a gory, gut-wrenching horror series, NBC is not what I had in mind — until I started watching the disgustingly beautiful Hannibal series from Bryan Fuller. If you’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs, then you know how disturbed the cannibal Hannibal Lecter can be, and this new iteration of the beloved maniac is a whole new level of insane. Mads Mikkelsen playing the titular character is one of the finest casting choices of the 2010s and Hannibal’s chemistry with opposite Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy, is engrossing. Hannibal lasted three amazing seasons, but was ultimately cancelled due to low viewership. That started my on-going beef with NBC since it was arguably the last time they created a good hour-long series. Thankfully, it’s available on Netflix now, so no excuses! It truly is one of the best horror series ever.
Wesley McLean, Assistant Music Editor
With so many run-of-the-mill slasher and found-footage horror movies out there, I’ve always loved the original A Nightmare on Elm Street for how truly unique it is. Having a villain that exists only in peoples’ dreams opens the movie up for a lot of creative scenes and makes Freddy Krueger completely unavoidable. Just a quick power nap on Elm Street can lead to a character’s demise. The movie also has a chilling score, and Robert Englund perfectly captures the role of Freddy Krueger. Sure, the film is pretty dated by today’s standards, but the well-balanced mix of visual horror and campy humour makes it the perfect spooky season movie.
Juliette Palin, News Editor
Recently, I struggled to find a horror movie that was able to make my skin crawl. As a horror movie junkie in the spooky season, I have watched many horrible films that immunized me to jump scares and the typical scary stuff. But then came The Shining, which kept me up for days. The scary, gloomy scenes are beautifully shot, and the soundtrack will stick to the inside of your ears, making your whole life sound eerie for days to come. I can always appreciate a slow-paced horror film. It may take longer to get to the climax, but the anticipation just makes it a whole lot better.
Aviva Majerczyk, Commentary Editor
I am completely incapable of watching scary movies. Just a trailer or DVD cover art for a horror film can keep me awake at night. So, my Halloween film pick is less spooky and more campy: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I first saw this movie musical at a Halloween party when I was 13, and I’ve been watching it every October since. Typically on Halloween, Rocky Horror fans would get dressed up and go to a theatre to watch a screening, complete with audience participation, but I think it’s just as fun to watch at home with friends. There is nothing more exciting than initiating a first-time viewer (or so-called “Rocky virgin”) into this cult-favourite film and watching them be simultaneously entertained and completely confused. The songs are super catchy, the characters are bizarre and iconic, and the plot is gloriously raunchy. It’s an absolute kitschy fantasy distraction, but that’s sort of what we need right now.
Chloë Lalonde, Creative Director
I had to think about this for a while. I am a big fan of thrillers, true crime and hauntings, but not horror and gore (unless it’s oldschool). I decided to go with the first, the OG, the underrated, Interview with the Vampire, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Kirsten Dunst. The movie is based on a novel by Anne Rice, and is absolutely iconic. It’s incredibly dramatic, features both zombies and vampires, provokes social and racial discussions, and has amazing outfits. Oh, and it’s set during the plague, so its relevance ensues. To add some more umph to this, I wanted to include a moment from the film that my best friend and I think is hilarious, but I couldn’t quite remember it, so I sent her a text, begging her to remind me: “Do you mean the part when Brad Pitt is chopping everyone?” she wrote, or maybe, “the gasoline in the coffins?” or this: *sends me a picture of Brad Pitt kissing Antonio Banderas* … Need I say more?
Katerina Barberio, Revenue Manager
Halloween is my least favorite holiday — except for all the Kit Kats and Tootsie Rolls, of course. The thought of bats, black cats, and jack-o’-lanterns is not something that brings me much joy. I love movies but seldom do I watch scary ones. I remember one Halloween night in high school, my girlfriends wanted to watch a scary movie because it was an “excellent night for an exorcism.” Regan’s eyes in The Exorcist still haunt me to this day. I refuse to watch it again years later. I will stick to the type of scary movies I admire like Ghostbusters and pretend I love Halloween while eating Kit Kats.
Lily Cowper, Production Assistant
Because I need to get my yearly dose of Christopher Walken and refuse to watch Hairspray for the 50th time, The Dead Zone is my go-to spooky flick, about a psychic man who can predict tragedy using the power of touch. The film, based in wintery New Hampshire, has all the markers of a 1980s classic (eerie soundtrack, dramatic one-liners, and oversaturated colors), and is also incredibly picturesque. Another Stephen King adaptation, Children of the Corn, casts a similar vibe. The movie features stunning vistas of the American Midwest, where a couple driving cross-country happen upon a rural town where all of the children have been corralled by a demon to revolt by murdering all the adults. If you like corn, and you’re uncomfortable around children, you should find this film sufficient. While you’re at it, why not throw The Happening into the mix? Zooey Deschanel stars in this modern classic with ol’ Marky Mark himself. The plot follows a group of people bonded together in an apocolyptic world where all the plants have begun to release gas that triggers a person to commit suicide. Seriously, these are three of the most unsettling, cringiest films I have ever watched — make it a movie marathon if you’re in the mood for some bleak nightmaring.
Jacob Carey, Managing Editor
As a kid, I always loved going to watch horror movies in theatres. Of all the flicks I have seen, I always remember being most frightened by The Grudge and The Amityville Horror. There are some jump scares that were so perfectly executed and petrifying that I still remember them to this day (the under-the-covers scene in The Grudge and the mirror scene in Amityville, to be specific). Admittedly, nothing that’s been released in recent years stands out to me as much as these two do. Getting older has made me appreciate creepiness over a temporary jump scare in horrors. Midsommar is the most recent movie that stands out to me as a truly great horror movie, although it’s definitely more eerie than scary. In retrospect, I don’t know why my parents allowed their nine-year-old kid to watch all these terrifying and brutal slasher movies…
Maggie Morris, Head Copy Editor
I was somewhat of an adrenaline junky as a 12-year-old, and spent the summer between grades seven and eight becoming well-versed in horror movies. My girlfriends and I spent many evenings huddled up on each others’ basement couches, forcing ourselves to sit through the fear. While my love for horror films has dwindled, I still catch the occasional new fear flick in theatres. To this day, though, nothing has spooked me quite like Paranormal Activity did. I was probably one of few people on earth who actually bothered to watch the sequels — all the way up to Paranormal Activity 4, and honestly, they did get worse, but some of those jump scares have stuck with me to this day.
Lillian Roy, Editor-in-Chief
For someone who really, really, really loves Halloween, I sure hate horror movies — too many jump scares for my frail heart to stand. While my movie pick isn’t a classic Halloween movie, it certainly has Halloween energy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Wizards and witches? Check. Werewolves? Check. Crazed mass-murderers on the loose? Check. Freaking dementors??? Check. Teen angst? Check. Crookshanks? Check.
Graphic by Lily Cowper.