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Spooky Season for Cinephiles

Today is the first day of fall and spooky season is upon us! What better way to get into the mood than to put on a good halloween movie. From Hocus Pocus to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, halloween classics range a variety of genres. And while these classics are mentioned on every list, I thought I would create my own. This time, of the more forgotten Spooky Season films. 

Practical Magic 

This movie is the most slept on Halloween movie out there. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as witch sisters? What could get better than that? Don’t be turned off from the 23% on rotten tomatoes, critics don’t know anything; the audience score for this movie is 73%! I watched this movie for the first time years ago, and I can not listen to crickets the same way again. The movie follows two estranged sisters as they navigate the world of romance with magical powers. 

While there are definitely some dark themes (i.e. abusive boyfriends and necromancy), the overall movie is not scary, although I would not recommend it for a super young audience. 

Spookiness Scale 6/10

Fall Vibes 9/10

Over the Garden Wall 

I know, this is not technically a movie. But, this limited series is the perfect thing to watch to get into the Halloween spirit. This animated show follows two brothers as they go on a journey through a mysterious forest. The brothers (voiced by Elijah Wood and Collin Dean) find a plethora of funky creatures along the way. While it is not as spooky as some of the other films on this list, this series is the definition of Autumn Vibes. If you are the type of person who likes more lighthearted films, but still want a hint of spookiness, I would most definitely recommend this. 

Spookiness Scale 2/10 

Fall Vibes 10/10 

The Invisible Man (2020) 

If I’m being honest, I am not the biggest fan of Elisabeth Moss. However, she killed it in this role. The Invisible Man is based off of the H.G. Wells novel of the same name, however, there is a more modern twist to it. If you enjoy thrillers, this would be my top pick for you. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of this movie. While The Invisible Man does not have as many fall vibes as the other ones on this list, the spookiness scale definitely is highly. This movie is not for the faint of heart, there is domestic abuse and violence sprinkled throughout, but overall this movie is definitely worth the watch. 

Spookiness Scale 8/10 

Fall Vibes 1/10

Murder Party 

I have never heard anyone else talk about this film. Originally, I put it on as a background to doing work, but quickly I could not stop watching. The premise is just genius. A man with no friends picks up an invitation to a “murder party” on the side of the road. Believing it to just be a quirky halloween invite, the man attends, only to find out that the party is in fact to murder their guest list. I know, it sounds grim. However, Jeremy Saulnier somehow finds the perfect combination of seriousness and comedy to make this film work. 

Spookiness Scale 11/10 

Fall Vibes 8/10 

Spirited Away 


The entire Studio Ghibli collection deserves a spot on this list. Spirited Away was my favorite film growing up. It follows a young girl, Chihiro Ogino, as she travels through the spirit world to save her parents. For a grown adult, this movie is not scary. But, as a young girl I had to cover my eyes for a good portion of this film. With ghosts, witches and dragons, this movie is two hours of fantasticism.

It is animated, but don’t let that turn you away! Studio Ghibli puts out some of the best movies of all time, and Spirited Away deserves a spot on that list. 

Spookiness Scale 8/10 

Fall Vibes 7/10

Hereditary 

There are hundreds of true horror movies I could have included on my list. The Conjuring and Insidious are go-tos, The Shining is just a classic or maybe I should have chosen the Cabin in The Woods, which I think has one of the best premises of all horror movies. But no, I decided on Hereditary. Yes, Hereditary is a well known horror movie, but I love this film so much that I can’t help but hype it up even more. While in the theaters, I saw this movie 6 times. Since then, I have watched it ten more times. And each time, I notice a new detail Ari Aster included. 

There are so many iconic scenes in this film, and the last 15 minutes will have you screaming the entire time. I don’t even think I can tell you too much about the premise without spoiling the mastery of this movie, but it follows a family after the death of their grandmother. There are classic jump scares, a ton of gore and ghosts and witches to top it off.  

Spookiness scale 9/10

Fall Vibes 2/10

So, as the season begins to shift, bundle up with a pumpkin spice candle and a bag of popcorn and turn on whatever flick best fits your vibe!