Tis the season to judge Disney+, Netflix and all streaming site’s Halloween movie sections! As well as streaming sites I have been going through the dusty DVD archives in my living room and scanning the depths of youtube determined to unearth good movies. As a lover of all things spooky, dark and horror I have (as I do every year) tried to watch a movie a day this Halloween season, some I haven’t seen before, some are childhood favourites and a few classics I have dug up from the depths of the 50s to 70s. I will make an effort not to reveal major plot twists or spoilers so you can enjoy them for yourselves. I shall list them in the order I watched them and rated the films out of 5 pumpkins scoring them by enjoyment and spook-ability.
First, we have the BBC three-part drama series Dracula (2020) which I am considering a film if you watch it all in one. Claes Bang plays the infamous Dracula deliciously, a perfect balance of devilishly handsome and terrifyingly murderous. With a few little changes to the original characters being explored in new and intriguing ways i would absolutely recomend this version. (On Netflix) 🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
The second movie is the absolute classic 2003 Haunted Mansion, a childhood favourite. I can’t say anything bad about this film. I love it. Eddie Murphy’s comedic style carries the entire film and not to mention the memorable and beloved characters such as the singing statues, it brings the best feelings. (On Disney+) 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
Third is the highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2, a fantastic remake with new content that feeds the nostalgia goblins. The attention to detail throughout created a well-fleshed-out experience all characters new and old are brilliant additions to the universe. However, nothing can compare to the original. (On Disney+) 🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
Now Monster House, I love this movie because although it’s an animated children’s movie it still manages to play on some classic gothic horror tropes of sentient and vengeful houses. The animation style adds to the creepy vibe so if you don’t like gory horror movies Monster House is a family-friendly spooky movie alternative.
(On Netflix) 🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
This golden olden adaptation of Dracula (1958) is an enjoyable classic starring the celebrated Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It follows the Bram Stoker novel quite accurately with a few choice changes. At some points it can drag a bit but is still creepy and well done. I’m glad I watched it! (YouTube) 🎃🎃🎃/5
Keeping in the theme of old movies next up is Horror Express 1972 where again Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing enjoy a spooky adventure. This wacky movie contains death, twists and great old special effect techniques in what I can only describe as a murder mystery monster hunt on a train. The characters are quirky adding to the overall bizarre plot. There are much better films from this era but if you are looking for weird this works. (YouTube) 🎃🎃/5
The 1959 House On Haunted Hill is a classic in old horror collections starring the king of old-school horror Vincent Price. Campy and humorous this film is full of twists and jumps it’s not particularly scary but definitely enjoyable. (On Amazon Prime) 🎃🎃🎃/5
Suspiria 1977 version had some of the best lighting, colour pallet and set design of the era in my opinion. This story of a young woman moving country to join a famous dance school is a psychedelic nightmare of paranoia. Perhaps a little dated and not for everyone it is very much an art-house vibe. (On Amazon Prime) 🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
Now they remade Suspiria in 2018 and I had to watch this one after enjoying the first. Essentially the same plot with a little more fleshed-out horror takes the story and looks at it through a dark and ominous lens with a lot more body horror and gore than the first. A perfect soundtrack by Thom York and fantastically curated dance scenes. (On Amazon Prime) 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃/5
The last of our list is The Little Vampire (2000) another of my favourite films, the live-action not the abomination that is the animated remake we will not talk about that one. A wholesome story of a lonely child that befriends a vampire child then they save the day (i wish that was my life). Very charming and cute not scary unless vampire cows freak you out. (On Amazon Prime) 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃/5