Our Halloween was pretty low key this year. I’m still not feeling 100%, but you better believe I felt well enough to dress my kitties up in Halloween costumes! Don’t worry, they love the “treat” part of “Trick or Treat”. It was also the first time in nearly two months that I really cooked anything beyond a bean and cheese burrito. Instead of gorging on bags of candy, I baked a “Halloween loaf” aka banana pecan nut bread — no pumpkin spice insight — which I think may have to become a new Halloween tradition. It felt good to be back doing something as simple as baking banana bread, and even better eating said bread while watching scary movies.
I know this post is waaaay late as it’s technically not Halloween here in Korea, but as I’m writing this it’s still Halloween back in the States so it still counts! Plus, if you’re like me and love Halloween (my favorite day of the year), then you’ll be celebrating Halloweek instead of just one day!
So without further ado, here’s my annual list of scary Halloween movies:
My 2017 List of Scary Halloween Movies
- A Cure for Wellness | I would classify this movie as more unsettling and disturbing over scary, with haunting imagery. The story revolves around a guy who is sent to a “wellness center” located in a remote part of the Swiss Alps, to retrieve the CEO of the company. At first glance, everything seems normal, but as most scary stories go, things are not all that they seem.
- The Blackcoat’s Daughter | I had no idea what to expect going into this movie, and man, we were pleasantly creeped out! There are two simultaneous stories contained in the movie – one of two girls who are left behind at their creepy boarding school over winter break and one of a young woman trying to return to the boarding school. I know that doesn’t really give a very description of the movie, but I think the less I say about it, the better it will be for those who watch it. Dark, atmospheric, deliberate story-telling all add to the feeling of suspense. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea (definitely an “indie flick”), but we both really liked it.
- It | We saw this remake of the Stephen King classic at a movie theater here in Korea and of course, we loved it! I don’t find clowns to be particularly scary, although I do recall being pretty scared watching the original movie when we were kids. I’m not really the type of person to jump or scream during scary movies, but I will admit there were a few parts in this movie that startled me a little bit in the way that kind of made me laugh after. Even though this was a remake of an older movie, it still felt fresh and new, and still very scary. I would definitely watch it again.
- House on Willow Street | A gang of clueless criminals kidnaps a girl for ransom, only to discover too late that the girl has been possessed. Now the hunters have become the hunted. Sly thought this movie was dumb, but I still enjoyed it because of its campy 80s horror movie vibe. It’s the kind of movie where everyone is doing exactly what you wouldn’t in that situation and where you are constantly yelling, “Get out of there, idiot!” at the TV.
- Ouija: Origin of Evil | In the late 60s, a single mom and her children operate as scam artists/mediums outside of their creepy Victorian home. The girls discover an Ouija board, which are all the rage at the time, and bring one home to use as one of their props. The smallest of the children takes to the Ouija board immediately and soon becomes possessed. I had low expectations for this movie given that the other Ouija movie sucked, but this one was definitely the better of the two. It delivers a few startles without being too scary.
- The Disappointments Room | This is the kind of movie that makes you wonder what happened to Kate Beckinsdale’s career. An architect, her husband, and their kid move from the city to a grandiose old fixer-upper in the country. Even though Kate’s character is an architect who grew up assisting her dad who was a contractor, she somehow manages to take on this massive project without a)consulting the blueprints and b)doing a full house tour. After moving in, surprise, surprise, they “discover” a not-so-hidden room (like seriously, it’s off a very ornate staircase and has the house’s only round window) that was once used as a “disappointments room”. I’m guessing they didn’t visit the house before they bought it? Doesn’t sound like an architect/contractor to me. I know I’m getting lost in the details instead of the plot. In short, they got the title of the movie right: it’s a total disappointment.
- The Veil | See above RE: what the hell happened to the main character’s (Jessica Alba) career that she’s starring in a movie like this. I tend to find books and movies about cults to be one of the most terrifying things out there, so I was immediately drawn to this movie about a cult leader who convinces his flock to kill themselves. Everyone in the cult dies except for one girl. 25 years later, a documentary crew convinces the survivor to return to the cult compound to try to answer questions as to why she was allowed to live. The first 30 minutes of the movie had potential, and then the rest just fell apart to absolute stupidity.
- Annabelle: Creation | While I don’t find clowns to be necessarily creepy, I don’t particularly like porcelain dolls. Anyone who has a house of vintage dolls = nope. I guess other people find dolls to be creepy too because this is the second Annabelle movie. Annabelle, if you haven’t guessed, is a possessed doll. In case you’re thinking this movie is like Chucky, it isn’t. It’s a bit more sinister and demonic. And while I find Chucky movies to be silly and funny, I thought this Annabelle movie definitely had some moments with high creep factor.
- It Comes at Night | It seems like people either really love or really hate this movie. We really liked it. To me, the scariest movies are the ones that are completely psychological — where maybe you’re given a suggestion that something is not quite right (in this case, an unexplained virus that has killed off a large chunk of the population), but you are never shown the actual face of the enemy. Or better yet, you’re not quite sure who the enemy is… In this movie, a family is trapped inside their home, living off the grid, while trying to fight a faceless, nameless outside terror that only seems to come at night. We both found the movie to be suspenseful and full of unanswered questions (in a good way). It Comes at Night and The Blackcoat’s Daughter were probably my two favorite movies we watched this Halloween.
- A Ghost Story | Hey, you know what’s scary? Watching a movie with someone who has been accused of sexual harassment (Casey Affleck) by multiple women and who still receives awards! SCARY! Sorry, where were we? Oh, yes, the movie. Ghost Story is told from the perspective of a ghost rather than from those who are haunted. It’s definitely a different take on the standard ghost story trope, and if you’re a cinematography/photo buff, you’ll probably find the way the movie was filmed to be interesting as well. More depressing and thoughtful than scary – a good movie for people who don’t like scary movies.
- Better Watch Out | I can’t tell if this movie is better to watch during Halloween or during Christmas. The story takes place over Christmas holidays, but the plot is kind of like Scream. Better Watch Out plays on the popular urban legend where the babysitter receives a menacing phone call — but did the call come from inside or outside the house? That’s not the exact plot, but this is a home invasion type movie where the main character can’t tell if the threat is coming from outside…or inside… Overall, somewhat humorous, annoying villain, and while not very scary, I thought it was fun.
- Get Out | This was listed as one of the top thrillers of the year, so I saved it to watch on Halloween. Unfortunately, Sly fell asleep before we got to it, so I’ll have to watch it during Halloweek! Get out looks like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner gone terribly wrong. I mean, if you google the movie, you’ll see images of a very scared guy, crying. So it has to be scary, right? Hope it lives up to the hype.
- The Ice Cream Truck | A vintage ice cream truck roams the streets of suburbia, but the ice cream man has more on his mind than selling ice cream… This is another movie we’ll be watching this week. This movie looks like it could either be satisfyingly dark and sinister or really stupid. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.
- Stranger Things (Netflix) | We have been waiting for series two of Stranger Things ever since we binge-watched the first season last year. If you haven’t watched season 1, watch it now! Stranger Things is a totally nostalgic throwback that pays homage to so many classic 80s movies. It’s more like an adventure story (like Goonies) than a pure horror story. We tried to dole out the episodes in doses, but we couldn’t resist binging on this season too. The perfect show to watch on Halloween!
There are also a TON of new horror movies streaming on Netflix and Hulu right now that we didn’t get a chance to watch. Of the new additions, I’m most looking forward to watching The Babysitter. I’ve added the following to my streaming queue.
- Gerald’s Game (Netflix)
- Little Evil (Netflix)
- Stan Against Evil (Hulu)
- The Babysitter (Netflix)
- The Devil’s Candy (Netflix)
- Beyond the Gates (Netflix)
- Cult of Chucky (Netflix)
- Extraordinary Tales (Netflix)
- A Dark Song (Netflix)
- The Den (Netflix)
- The Presence (Netflix)
- Dig Two Graves (Netflix)
Want even more movie suggestions? Check out previous my Halloween movie lists from previous years:
Happy Halloweek, everyone!