What do you mean zombies aren't sexy?
It might seem a little early but holidays and events have taken on a whole new meaning this year as the world collectively tries to rush towards the finish line of a horrific 2020. In that spirit of moving things along, we’re jumping on the spooky train early and bringing Halloween just that bit closer.
The new trailer for the rebooted Witches dropped last week and it looks like it promises to be a cosy yet spooky retelling of the classic Roald Dahl kids book. How Anne Hathaway will compare to the exemplary Angelica Huston in the plum role of the Grand High Witch remains to be seen.
It comes at the right time as Halloween approaches. While we may not be dressing up as slutty cats or superheroes this year to head to mammoth Halloween bashes, we can still celebrate all things macabre by decorating the house and settling in for some dead good entertaintment. So, sit back and let us run through some ghoulish treasures both old and new.
The Witches – Well it would be rude not to start with the original 1990 movie directed by Brit Nicolas Roeg. Performing poorly at the box office at the time it’s garnered a cult following ever since and with Jim Henson on creature duties (seeing the aforementioned Angelica Huston transform is horror comedy at its best before CGI took over. A classic that’s perfect family viewing as the spooky nights draw in.
Hocus Pocus – Originally released to not much praise back in 1993 (Bette Midler turned down Sister Act in order to do the film), it has slowly gained in cult popularity since then to become a Halloween staple. Good news is that a sequel is in the works and all three of the main stars Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker on board.
Beetlejuice – The third or our Halloween big three 90s movies from legendary director Tim Burton. Michael Keaton is in pure grotesque form as the titular supernatural sex pest who helps a young couple who’ve just been killed (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) scare away the people who’ve moved into their dream house. It’s pure Burton horror fantasy that’s worth multiple viewings, not just for a teenage Winona Ryder but for Schitt’s Creek’s own Moira Rose Catherine O’Hara pulling out all the stops as only she could.
Actor Ross Lynch plays Sabrina's spooky love interest
The Chilling Adventures Sabrina – No not the wholesome show from the 90’s starring Melissa Joan Hart, this is the Netflix original that’s closer to the dark source material. With themes of the devil, demons and witches there are two series to indulge in as you follow all of Sabrina’s spooky shenanigans.
Trick ‘R Treat – What other time of the year are you supposed to watch classics like this? Released in 2007, this anthology shares a common theme in Sam, a little boy in pyjamas and a burlap sack over his suspiciously big head. Starring Anna Paquin and Brian Cox it follows all the classic horror tropes but does so with decent writing, acting and effects. A lot better than you’d give it credit for.
Death warmed up
Drag Me To Hell – You only need to look on any streaming service and you’ll find a barrage of horror flicks that vary in quality wildly. Halloween is about darkness sure, but also a bit of fun which is what you get in spades with Drag Me To Hell. Directed by the creator of Evil Dead Sam Raimi (who also directed the Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies) it’s a fantastic supernatural yarn with a star turn from Alison Lohman. While it’s scary and thrilling, it’s also hilarious with some hideously gratuitous gory moments than even the queasiest of customers will hoot at.
Stars and creators of Dragula, the Boulet Brothers
Hubie Halloween – A former number 1 on Netflix and part of Adam Sandler’s giant deal with the create movie content for them. Released recently in time for Halloween 2020 it all depends on your feelings about Sandler. It’s had a few mixed reviews so we’ll leave this one up to you whether you think it’s worth your time.
Luigi’s Mansion – Yes, as in Mario’s slightly taller and skinnier brother. In the last few years he’s branched off on his own a little and this latest instalment in his spooky haunted house series is the best yet. Exclusively available for wildly popular Nintendo Switch, it provides ghostly chills and ghoulish spills delivered with laughs and gorgeous graphics and music.
Halloween – Yes, a little on the nose with this one but it’s the franchise that keeps giving. With Jamie Lee Curtis fully back on board probably until she gets killed off, the legend of Michael Myers lives on. Curtis’ character nowadays is more of a horror Sarah Connor (from the Terminator series) and it’s particularly satisfying to see a woman your gran’s age open a can of whoopass on the bad guy. There are so many entries in the franchise but we’d advise stick to the ones with Jamie Lee in them.
The Simpsons : The Treehouse Of Horror – We’ve all seen at least one of these special Halloween episodes but they are still going with Treehouse Of Horror XXXI is out next week. Always centring on three separate tales, they’ve run the gamut of themes and parodies over the that 31 years. Yes, that’s how long the Simpson’s has been going, which is frankly horrific enough in itself.
Mike Colter showing us just why we want to watch Evil
Evil – Showing currently on cable channel Alibi, this new series focusses on demons and exorcism so it’s perfect for a ghoulish gander. It stars Mike Colter (Luke Cage, The Good Wife) as a hot priest-in-training as he and his team do battle against a very modern mobilised evil. Definite hints of The X-Files with sexual tension between the two leads as they try to debunk the other’s theories each episode.
Hereditary – A good way to judge if a horror film is any good is if you look at the cast list and this stars Aussie legend Toni Collette who is a benchmark for quality. Approach this one with caution though as it’s not for the faint hearted. Collette puts in an award-winning performance in Hereditary which is one of the best horror ever put to film. We won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it but be prepared to be suitably freaked out as the tension builds to its mind-blowing finale.
Dracula goes drag
Dragula – This is a little gem if you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race in any of its many iterations. The first three series are currently available on Amazon Prime and you’ll wonder how you’d never seen it before. It’s like a filthier, horror version of Drag Race hosted and judged by the Boulet Brothers. Any shoe where the contestants are told ‘If you came here expecting anything less than getting punched in the face at least once then you definitely signed up for the wrong competition’. After each week’s themed floor show, the bottom contestants must compete it gruelling tasks such as mud wrestling or eating pig brains.
Matt Bomer in AHS looking a lil psycho
American Horror Story – We couldn’t have a list of Halloween classics without AHS. Creator of the show, Ryan Murphy, now has a giant deal with Netflix and recently released AHS star Sarah Paulson vehicle Ratched on the platform. This is the perfect time to revisit the series with almost every horror genre covered making it a smorgasbord of hideous treats for fans. With huge parts for icons like Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange, there are 9 seasons to gorge on this autumn.