Every October, patrons come into the library and ask for horror movie recommendations. While I’m totally the person to talk to if you’re looking for Science Fiction, Animation, or TV Show recs, I am completely hopeless when it comes to horror.
I don’t watch proper horror movies. I’m totally a wimp.
Thankfully, we usually have a display full of movies like Friday the 13th, Chucky, and Saw. Otherwise, I’d just keep pointing patrons to films like The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night because I like to promote female directors when I can (even if I haven’t watched their movies myself).
While horror movies are mostly a no-go for me, I do like spooky flicks. Give me ghosts, not-totally gruesome zombies, and aliens and I’m good to go. I’ve decided to share a list of some of my favorite spooky films with you. . .just in case any of you lovely readers are a tad squeamish like myself.
Top Ten Spooky Flicks for Fall
- Crimson Peak ~ I always try to sell people on Crimson Peak by telling them it’s like Jane Eyre but with more stabbing. I just love Guillermo del Toro’s gothic masterpiece and I wish more people would fall in love with it too. It’s one of those very few films that feel made for me personally. There’s ghosts, a lady writer heroine, gorgeous costuming, and a heroine saving herself. It’s perfection!
- What We Do In the Shadows ~ In a roundabout way, the TV show Legion led me to discover Taika Waititi and his mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows. If you liked the idea behind Being Human (a werewolf, a ghost, and a vampire are roommates), What We Do in the Shadows will appeal to you. It’s a quirky and occasionally bloody tale about vampire roommates living in New Zealand. I recommend you watch it before Taika’s Thor: Ragnarok this November!
- The Visit ~ I’m going to say something controversial: M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite directors. He’s had his rough periods, but he’s also made several of my favorite films (Split, The Village, and Signs–all appropriately spooky) and the wacky The Visit. I picked The Visit for this list in particular because it’s one of his creepier yet still funny films. Also, it has a naked, old lady pretending to be a cat–which is particularly unnerving, let me tell you.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane ~ I once overheard two middle-aged men talking about 10 Cloverfield Lane at the library. It was hilarious, mostly because it became obvious that neither of them had ever watched Cloverfield. Please, dear reader, watch the far lesser Cloverfield before 10 Cloverfield Lane. It makes the entire thing creepier. As for 10 Cloverfield Lane itself, John Goodman is so creepy in it and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great as the trapped heroine. Sigh. I cannot wait for God Particle next year.
- The Boy ~ You know what I’m scared of? Porcelain dolls. Seriously, they freak me out. As a kid, I used to go to Hartville Kitchen with my family and they had a doll nursery there. It was a thing of nightmares. The Boy, about a woman who plays nanny to a possibly possessed doll, is actually a pretty scary film for me. I saw it in the theater with my mom and I may have jumped. A lot.
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ~ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seems like it would make a garbage movie, but I legitimately loved the zombified film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book. It’s not scary per say, but there are zombie attacks and blood spatter. Halloween appropriate? I think so.
- Alien ~ Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s the one proper horror movie that I absolutely adore–which probably has to do with it’s perfect combination of aliens chomping people, androids, and Ellen Ripley herself. I could definitely watch Alien and Prometheus on repeat all fall long.
- Maggie ~ My Arnold Schwarzenegger love led me to watch Maggie, a relatively tame zombie movie about the relationship between a father and his zombified daughter. It’s a sweet, sad movie, but it still has the right atmosphere for spooky, Halloween viewing.
- Practical Magic ~ I’m not including Hocus Pocus on this list because, let’s face it, that movie is awesome but not spooky. Practical Magic, however, has just enough spookiness to make the cut. It’s about sister witches and the troubles that occur after they accidentally kill Goran Visnjic. Good times.
- The Girl With All the Gifts ~ One last zombie movie to round out the list! The Girl With All the Gifts is a dystopian film about a young girl who’s hungry for brains. It’s not a particularly scary or bloody film (although there is chomping) but it’ll definitely creep you out in a slow-burning kind of way.