WILLIAM KUNGA'S THRILLER
This is a list of my top ten personal favorite films to watch during the Halloween season. These movies range from eerie and chilling psychological thrillers to notable “flops” that are criticism-worthy, by my friends and family, to award-winning masterpieces.
10. Scooby Doo (2002) & Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed (2004)- PG
These live-action adaptations of the Mystery Gang are whirlwinds of nostalgia for me and my siblings. If it’s not for you, then it’ll be a great flick to watch and laugh at with friends and/or family. The movie also has a funny and impressive script for its genre.
9. Little Shop of Horrors Colorized Version (1960)- NR
No, this is not the musical with Steve Martin- although that version is good. If you’re having a movie marathon, I suggest that you watch this film first. It puts the viewer into a Halloween mindset with its spooky undertones. I also enjoy watching it because it’s very different than today’s movies due to its seemingly lack of a genre. It’s doesn’t have enough of the qualifications of a thriller, drama or any genre to be considered one, in my opinion. The film is closest to a comedic horror due to its darkly humorous moments. It’s simply “a classic”. In all honesty, it is a prolonged The Twilight Zone episode- another reason why I enjoy it.
8. Addams Family (1991) & Addams Family Values (1993)- PG-13
To sum it up in three words: American must-see. Aside from the iconic performances of Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston, and Raúl Juliá, this franchise really puts you into the Halloween mood. Its frequent dark, droll humor quips throughout the movie and its dry and macabre aesthetic make it the classic it is known as today.
7. A Quiet Place (2018)- PG-13
A Quiet Place has earned its title as a highlight in horror movie history. The majority of the film is silent, accentuating each and every sound, from footsteps, gasps, and clock ticks to fireworks and screams. John Krasinski does amazing work as a lead actor and director, especially considering the fact that this is his first project as a director.
6.Black Swan (2010)- R
I am a huge fun of psychological thrillers and any movie that deals with the mind. Black Swan embodies this at a high degree. It follows a passionate ballerina, Nina, who is playing the White Swan in Swan Lake, who fittingly represents her character and personality. With the pressure of everything the role entails, Nina sees herself turning into the opposite of who she thought she was. Black Swan is a highpoint in Portman’s and Kunis’ acting careers.
5. Carrie (1976)- R
I myself am surprised that this list only has one Stephen King flick. The story of Carrie is so gruesomely compelling. It tells the tale of a young girl with supernatural powers tormented by the world who, after being cruelly pranked by her peers, gets her revenge. This revenge takes place in the famous prom scene that is produced with such cinematographic flair and stunning acting from Stacy Spacek. Those eyes!
4. Get Out (2017)- R
When I saw that this film was being directed by comedian Jordan Peele, I expected a flop from an experimenting, green producer. I received so much more than what I anticipated. Not only is the movie a psychological thriller with a well-constructed story, but it is also a commentary on race and Black history. Along with this great story comes amazing cinematography, use of sound, and outstanding performances and scenes that make the viewer’s hairs stand. This is a 1,000% must-see.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)- PG
Ah, Tim Burton. The only human capable of creating creepy, yet family-friendly cinematic masterpieces. What makes this film so prominent is its art style. The Nightmare Before Christmas is perhaps the most well-known movie made entirely with claymation alongside Wallace and Gromit. Also contributing to its notability is its amazing musical score by Tim Burton’s go-to composer, Danny Elfman. This cult classic has gained fans from multiple generations due to its genuinely creepy and scary appearance and story.
2. Coraline (2009)- PG
You’ve done it again Burton! Another clay animated, creepily thrilling, and family-friendly masterpiece, except this time the story is even better. Coraline’s story, characters, art, and animation make it the adored piece it is. It also offers some food for thought for viewers and especially for speculators. Coraline’s bravery and intelligence at such a young age makes you wonder what you would do in her menacing situation. Speculators of this film debate whether Coraline’s quest is all in her mind, symbolic, or if it is actually real. My favorite portion of the film and the scariest is the last quarter, which you’ll have to watch yourself. Coraline is a definite must-see.
1. Rosemary’s Baby (1963)- R
A myriad of other films were considered for this list, but Rosemary’s Baby has always been number one, even when this list was in utero in my mind (childbirth pun hahaha, get it???). This is because of its thrilling story and its amazing, thought-provoking culmination. I shan’t spoil it but I will say the ending makes you wonder about human nature and morality: major food for thought. What adds on to this classic is Mia Farrow’s convincing performance as an expectant mother willing to do anything for unborn child’s safety. This classic is perhaps my favorite Halloween movie.
Coco (2017)- PG- my favorite Pixar movie. It represents Mexican culture beautifully and accurately, from what I know, through the use of music, art, and stories. It reminds the viewer of the importance of family and touches their heart in doing so. It doesn’t have too much of a Halloween vibe, but it is definitely a must-see.
It (2017)- R- this King adaptation and remake has incredible performances from Bill SKarsgard as the titular and terrifying role of Pennywise and from the children playing his victims. These performances are accompanied by a well-built and fun story.
Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)- R- one of Tim Burton’s more “mature” films. This musical movie adaptation of the musical has great performances by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Burton’s muses.
Spirited Away (2001)- PG- this film and all of Studio Ghibli’s other animations are perfect to watch on any occasion and with any mood.
Donnie Darko (2001)- R- I haven’t actually watched it yet, but from what I’ve heard from reviews and from friends, it is a must-see.
I wish you a happy movie marathon!