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Spookies

Ideas For a Mellow Halloween

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Not to be a downer, but a lot of people are gonna get that 'rona on Halloween. Bars will be packed, booze will be plentiful and good choices will be few and far between, so if you don't feel like playing around with all that, I've made you a list of spookies you can check out with your friends, loved ones and everyone in between.

The end of the world is very purple in "The Color Out of Space." - PHOTO COURTESY OF IMDB
  • Photo courtesy of IMDB
  • The end of the world is very purple in "The Color Out of Space."

Since I'm a film nerd, however, I'm not recommending you watch "Hocus Pocus" for the 50th time. Instead, I want us out of our comfort zones watching scary movies that we might not have seen from some of the different sub-genres of horror. Let's take some chances and get weird with it.

ZOMBIES:
"#Alive" (2020) - A South Korean zombie epic about a gamer trapped in his high-rise apartment building during an uprising of the hungry dead. The zombies are scary, the camerawork is tight and the gore is plentiful, but the real find here is watching a normal guy use modern technology to try to save his own life. A modern zombie classic. Now streaming on Netflix.

COSMIC HORROR:
"Color Out of Space" (2020) - Everything is better with a little Nicolas Cage, and this HP Lovecraft goop fest has Cage mega-acting so hard that he's in serious danger of spontaneous combustion. He plays an alpaca farmer whose family is put in danger by the crash of a purple meteorite that makes everything...squishy. Beautiful to look at and horrifying to contemplate. Now Streaming on Shudder.

VAMPIRES:
"Fright Night" (1985) - A teenager and an aging TV horror host team up to take on a vampire named Jerry who moves in next door. This is an absolutely charming throwback to when horror could be innocent and a little goofy without any irony or cynicism. Still one of the best horror/comedy hybrids of all time. Now Streaming on Amazon.

GHOSTS:
"Ghost Stories" (2018) - A British anthology flick about a supernatural debunker who comes across three cases he can't explain...each one creepier than the last. Based on a play and filled with some deft writing and directing, this one sticks in your head for a long time after. Just good old-fashioned fun. Now Streaming on Hulu.

FAMILY:
"The Witches" (1990) - A brand-new version of this just came out from Robert ("Back to the Future" Zemeckis, but the 1990 version is still SOOO much better and scarier. Based on the book by super weirdo Roald Dahl and with puppets from Jim Henson, this is the movie that made me a fan of spookies as a kid. You'll never look at mice the same way again. Now STREAMING on HBOMax.

SLASHER:
"The House That Jack Built" (2018) - This is the one for those who like a little bit of art house with their horror. From Lars von Trier, director of "Antichrist," comes another nightmare about a prolific serial killer hunting young women throughout Washington State in the 1970s and '80s. This is actually a sly retelling of Dante's "Inferno" but with more blood and terror. This is for expert level horror nerds. Now Streaming on Hulu.

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