We are almost halfway through October and with only a couple more weeks until Halloween, it’s time to get to business and start watching all the Halloween hits. So turn off the lights, grab the popcorn and tune into these spooky-season recommendations.
For a scary movie based on a well-known, true story, look no further. “The Conjuring” franchise focuses on the different cases of Lorraine and Ed Warren, a husband and wife who are famous paranormal investigators. The tales often involve a family who is struggling with a poltergeist in their house. They reach out to the Warrens for help, and the plots begin to diverge.
Each case is different; every demon haunts in its own way. The creepiest part of this franchise is that the hauntings often involve small children. The first two films are available to stream on Netflix. The most recent third film, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” and the series sister film “Annabelle” are both available for rent on Amazon Prime.
In 1969, Charlie Manson and his cult followers, responsible for numerous crimes, invaded the home of actress Shanon Tate and murdered her. Over 20 years later in 1981, a family of three and their family friend was murdered while staying in a cabin in a small resort town in California. These murders left an impact on screenwriter and director Bryan Bertino and inspired him to create “The Strangers.”
Both, this film and its mostly unrelated sequel film “The Strangers: Prey At Night,” follow the home invasions, escape attempts and murders of unassuming families who are being attacked by masked assailants. The films do a great job of creating dead space that lulls you into a state of peace before dragging you right out of the space. Both films are currently available to stream on Netflix or for purchase on Amazon Prime.
“The Lovely Bones”
One of the scariest aspects of life can be other people. In “The Lovely Bones,” a young woman named Susie is lured into her neighbor’s underground bunker and is brutally murdered. Throughout the rest of the movie, her soul lingers on Earth and watches her family struggle to come to terms with her death and attempt to reveal her killer.
This supernatural thriller drama isn’t the traditional type of scary. Its horror comes in the form of its realism and the startling realization that we may not know each other as well as we think we do — and that everyone does not have pure intentions. “The Lovely Bones” is available to stream on Netflix and Pluto TV or for purchase on Amazon Prime.
If nightmarish cryptids are more your speed, you may enjoy the History Channel series, “MonsterQuest.” Within the span of about 40 minutes, the show takes the viewer through the origins, eye-witness accounts and potential real-life evidence of legendary creatures from around the world. They even have an episode dedicated solely to South Jersey’s own Jersey Devil.
Whether it be a giant squid, Bigfoot, aliens or vampires, you’re sure to learn a lot about the myths and legends surrounding these terrifying creatures. Currently, 31 full-length episodes are available on the HISTORY YouTube Channel and additional episodes can be viewed through Discovery+ or with a History Vault subscription.
“Monster House” is a top pick for an animated Halloween movie to watch with children. While many people may have forgotten about it since its release in 2006, the movie checks all the horror movie boxes while still being enjoyable for kids. It follows three young friends as they explore their creepy neighbor, Mr. Nebbercracker’s house. It’s not long before they discover that the house itself is alive. Suddenly, they must escape while unraveling the mystery of how the house came to be haunted.
The film, written in part by Dan Harmon, stars the voices of big names like Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Mitchell Musso, Kevin James and Jason Lee. “Monster House” is available to stream on Netflix or for rent on Amazon Prime.
Looking for a mix of scary vibes and humor? You may enjoy “Buzzfeed Unsolved.” The series has two subheadings: “True Crime” and “Supernatural.” In “True Crime,” co-hosts Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, examine the details of various cases. Some cases involve murder, kidnapping or disappearances, but they all have one thing in common: they’re unsolved.
After presenting the audience with the facts of each case, they go over the possible theories behind these strange occurrences and leave it up to you to decide what you believe. In “Supernatural,” the pair explore haunted locations and search for creatures like Bigfoot. Both series are rooted in truth but are made light-hearted by the hosts’ energetic and comedic nature. Both series are available for free on the Buzzfeed Unsolved YouTube page or through a Hulu subscription.
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