Happy Halloween! | My Annual List of Scary Movies IV

Boo. . . . #happyhalloween #halloween #killercritter #mask #halloweencostume

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:

Scary Movies I
Scary Movies II 
Scary Movies III

Happy Halloweek, everyone!

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  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    November 1, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Even though, I’ll probably never watch any of these movies, I always love your Halloween posts! As someone who has never really been into Halloween as an adult, I appreciate your enthusiasm!

    Our Halloween “tradition” is to turn the lights off (so we don’t get trick-or-treaters) and eat dinner while watching a movie. (And drinking Halloween-themed wine!) We usually make Goulash (Ghoul-ash, get it? Lol.) and the only Halloween movie I like is The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Or is it a Christmas movie? I say Halloween.) This year, I didn’t really feel like cooking goulash, but Larry brought home beer & candy pairings, so we lit some candles and binged on candy like the fancy adults that we are! And then we watched 2 episodes of Stranger Things! We’re finally on board and I love it. We’re halfway through with Season 1 and hopefully we can stretch it out to watch Season 2 next week, but at 2 episodes per night, we might be finished with both seasons this weekend. And we didn’t even bother to turn all the lights off to prevent trick-or-treaters, as we have so few kids in our neighborhood that no one knocked.

    I’m also on board with Up & Vanished podcast – started listening during my walks this week. Thanks for the recs! (And P.S., my mom would never watch Stranger Things. Your mom is way cooler than mine!)

  • veronika
    November 2, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I love giving out candy (and scaring the kids) on Halloween! Unfortunately, I feel like trick-or-treating isn’t quite the same as when we were growing up. It seems as if there are fewer kids every year and that they come earlier and earlier. It just doesn’t seem right to trick-or-treat in the daylight! One of these days I want to throw a goth Halloween party – like total Victorian haunted house vibe. You’re invited…if you dare!

    Yay! So glad you took the Stranger Things plunge. I told you it wasn’t really scary! Maybe this will be your gateway into “scarier” movies? I love watching Nightmare before Christmas too (I’m going with that being a Halloween movie too). I also like to watch It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown every single year out of tradition.

    Let me know what you think of Up & Vanished!

  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    November 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    So we finished Season 1 of Stranger Things tonight. I had thought there were 10 episodes – didn’t realize there were only 8. Wah! Loved the first 7 episodes, but thought the finale was way too campy and moved way too fast in trying to explain everything. Also, thought the “monster”/demagorgen (not even going to google how to spell that, but glad I had my dorky husband next to me to explain it was from D&D) was much scarier when it was just a shadowy thing. Once I saw what it looked like in episode 8, I just thought it was kind of cheesy. But now that I’ve seen the finale, I totally get your Goonies comparison. (For the record, I thought The Goonies was scary as a kid. All those skeletons jumping out! Eek! Lol!) That being said, now I get all the popular culture references to ST and I can’t wait to watch Season 2 next week. (Went to a bar last year that was decorated like Stranger Things and saw tons of Halloween costumes at a party last year that made no sense to me, but now I understand the waffles and the bloody nose!)

    I seem to really love shows that are set in the 80s (this is another great thing about The Americans, though there are less 80s references than in ST) and we realized that the 12 year-old kids in ST were the exact same age as Larry, so I had fun asking him “Did you have that shirt?” (His answer: “I think I might have!”)

    I would totally go to your Halloween party! I always want to throw a Halloween party, but I can never get my shit together in time. There are so many fun ideas on social media and I love the idea of making skull-shaped cakes and dry ice cocktails and other creepy treats. (I’m way more into food than costumes – ha!)

    Have you guys watched Mindhunter? Think we’re going to start that after we finish ST.

  • Kevin
    November 3, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I’ve been on the fence on seeing IT. You may have sold me. Also thought A Cure For Wellness and It Comes At Night looked interesting. This is the first I’ve heard of The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Will look for it.

    I’m diggin’ the cat mask! I hope the boys took it well.

    Keeping Good Thoughts…

  • veronika
    November 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

    That was fast! ST is so good, huh? I love 80s movies and loved all the references that were made to some classics. But I also loved the 80s setting & clothes. Goonies kind of scared me too as a kid, but I still liked it, don’t know why. I’ve always liked kinda creepy stories.

    I like The Americans too, esp.since it takes place during the 80s. Just need to catch up on last season!

    My fear about throwing a Halloween party is that I’ll never take down the decorations kind of like how we don’t take down the xmas tree until like March (it’s still alive!). With my goth haunted house, I can imagine liking the decor enough to not be bothered one bit. My other Halloween party idea is a Heaven and Hell party since our house has multiple levels – come dressed as one or the other. The food menu on each level would be so fun to create. Love creepy treats!

    Mindhunter is next on the list! I’ve heard good things so I hope it’s a bingeworthy show!

  • veronika
    November 3, 2017 at 10:00 am

    That’s a fox!

    A Cure for Wellness is very strange but the visuals are really haunting. Curious to see what you think of It Comes at Night and Blackcoat’s. They def. are more slow-burn so people either love or hate that. It was just fun for me, especially since we saw it with friends who are screamers. Haha. Did you ever watch It Follows? That’s one of my fave scary movies in recent years.

  • Kevin
    November 3, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Foxy cat with eerie eyes.

    It Follows is another one that caught my eye. I’ll watch it after I watch IT.

    Keeping Good Thoughts…

  • veronika
    November 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Haha sounds like a plan!

  • Kevin
    December 1, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Eyes to see the world…
    …one side and then the other.
    Prancer in the park.

    Happy Birthday!

    Keeping Good Thoughts…