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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In the Mood for a Scary Movie?



Nine Netflix (Streaming Only) Movies to Marathon on Halloween
by Jocelyn DeVore

When it comes to compiling movies for a marathon, I follow the “High Fidelity” rules for making a compilation tape. According to Rob Gordon, the rules are as follows:

  1. You have to kick it off with something that will grab their attention,
  2. Then kick it up a notch,
  3. But you don’t want to go overboard, so you have to cool it down
For the perfect Halloween marathon, there are a few extra considerations to keep in mind:
  • Various movie tastes (slasher versus atmospheric movies, for example)
  • Manage your time. Plan out which intermission will include ordering the pizza, popping the popcorn, and setting the mood for trick-or-treaters. The peak trick-or-treating time should coordinate with the movie which best sets the mood you are aiming for.
  • Audience temperament. Are they chatty? Easily excitable? Are you looking for jump scares or a slow burn?
Check out the two categories of movies below. Depending on how much time you have, choose a couple from the first category and a couple from the second. That’ll average out to 8 hours of good, wholesome fun.


Category 1: The Comedic Horror Film to Ease Into Halloween

My attention grabbers are movies which lighten the mood and add in a bit of the creep or ick factor. Normally when you start a 4-5 movie marathon, it’ll be mid-to-late afternoon. This means it’ll still be light out, so you don’t to pull out the big guns just yet. Start it off with something fun while everyone gets situated.

Scream
A serial killer taunts and kills off a group of friends, one-by-one. Scream is a 90’s classic, and a great choice to set the scene for what we should expect from other movies. I would choose this for my second movie during a horror-thon; just in time for it to start getting dark.

The Babysitter
A young teen boy finds out just what his hot babysitter is up to when he stays up past his bedtime. This is the newest edition to the list. The Babysitter is a tongue-in-cheek Netflix original movie with just a touch of adult humor and plenty of sarcasm and wit. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and is directed by Supernatural’s McG.

Tucker and Dale Versus Evil
Tucker and Dale are hillbillies on vacation who get mistaken for serial killers out in the woods. Hilarity ensues. Well, hilarity and a lot of red dye #5. This is a hidden gem in the rabbit hole that is Netflix. Surprisingly high quality, funny, and great performances by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, who play the two main characters.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This isn’t so much funny as it is “new classic”. I highly recommend this movie for those who are fans of Freddy Kruger and the Elm Street franchise.

Category 2: The Perfect Trick-or-Treating Movie

Our neighborhood has a lot of youngsters and is smack dab in the middle of Halloween lane. Around the time when we start the third movie in our marathon, trick-or-treaters start to ring our doorbell. I like atmospheric movies for the second half of the marathon: lots of creaky boards, creepy music, and screams. As the night goes on, keep to the moody movies to accentuate the creepy noises your house likes to make in the middle of the night.

Hush
Hush has quite an interesting premise. A deaf writer is stalked in her secluded house by a sadistic killer who is enthralled by the challenge. It is surprisingly sharp, timed perfectly, and is effective in adding a level of creepiness to any evening. Make sure to lock your doors and windows.

Jaws
If you weren’t afraid of going into the water, this will make sure of it. A great classic. If you haven’t already seen it, you can’t call yourself a horror movie fanatic without adding this one to your bucket list.

The Host
Asian monster movies are one of my favorites and this one is no exception. This monster flick hales from Korea and combines elements of horror, sci-fi, and action.

The Babadook
The Babadook is the newest movie in this category. It is a great atmospheric movie about the monster that hides in the shadows. Depending on how (or if you want to analyze it), there are a lot of layers to chat about.

It Follows
If your group of friends isn’t the slasher type, It Follows is a great movie to consider. Thoughtful, deliberate, atmospheric, and suspenseful, this is a classic horror movie that relies on the unknown being as fearsome as being a teenager in a sex-fueled world.

(Bonus Alternate) Saw
I’m not big on slasher movies and this one isn’t really atmospheric, but it will add the screams and squelch noises you might be looking for on Halloween night. Stick to the first installment in this lengthy series. In my opinion, it was the most innovative without being overly graphic.

It is difficult to compile a list from such a varied genre like horror. Classics like Halloween, Rosemary’s Baby, Omen, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street are always on my list but they are only available with the DVD subscription to Netflix. 

Did I miss any great horror movies on Netflix right now? Jot them down in the comments.

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JOCELYN DEVORE is a writer and storyteller from the Pacific Northwest. She has written for a number of non-fiction online magazines and is a cozy mystery ghostwriter. She is still learning how to properly use a semicolon and frequently breaks the rules for sentence fragments because she finds them punchy, dramatic, and short. Just like her. She also writes, directs, and produces her own Lovecraftian audio drama, Poplar Cove.

When she’s not writing, you can often find her curled up on the couch with a book and a cup of coffee, or watching a scary movie on Netflix. You can also find her online at www.jocelyndevore.com.
 


If you enjoyed this article, you might want to check out her short story, "Fulfilling," elsewhere on this site.

 

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