Five Spooky Favorites

Oct. 30, Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.  Beset with tragedy, he was the picture of humility, living most of his life as doorkeeper for the Jesuits.  His piety attracted the attention of many, including the St. Peter Claver and fellow Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems.

-- 1 --

I first saw Beetlejuice when I was five years old at a friend's house, and while I wouldn't recommend it showing it to your kindergartner, it's been a favorite of mine ever since.  This campy goth movie is totally fun and features a young Winona Ryder!

-- 2 --

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie, not the awful WB televesion series!) hails from the same time period as Beetlejuice and is a cult classic.  It should be too, as it hilariously parodies the genre.  This one is so much fun!  I highly recommend it!  And hey, apparently the same guy created Firefly.  So win-win!

-- 3 --

Do you miss the good ol' Disney Chanel days before Lizzie McGuire (gag!)?  Remember when the Disney Channel Original movies weren't mass produced and actually approached interesting plots, rather than throwing a punned title out on the table and writing them from there?  Remember the original series that were thought-provoking, like So Weird, or actually entertaining, like Even Stevens?  Remember the good movies like My Stepsister Is an Alien and the Luck of the Irish?  Me, too.

Halloweentown falls in with the above.  There's a whole series of movies that progresses after this one, and they all have their charms, but when you must choose, stick with the original.

-- 4 --

The classic Halloween movie.  Hocus Pocus is a must-see.

-- 5 --

The Others is probably my favorite scary movie, period.  Now, I'm more creeped out by mind games and mysteries, so keep that in mind--there's no gore and a lot of things that are only circumstantially scary (not inherently so), but man!  This will creep you out!  In a good way!  It's the quintessential, turn-of-the-century, haunted English mansion ghost story.  But you won't be bored for a minute.

Runners up included:

  • The Blair Witch Project--they say what we're scared of most is the unknown.  I think that's what did it for me in this movie.  The not-seeing.  It helped that it was creepily made to look like a found medium.
  • Sweeney Todd--when you want to sing and dance a bit macabre, or a lot.  It's tons of fun, and the bloodiness is so over the top it swings back around 180 degrees and doesn't bother me.
  • Sleepy Hollow--also with Johnny Depp, and Christina Ricci, if you like colonial history like me, this one is enjoyable and scary!  Thought it has a bit of a weird take on the source of the trouble.
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show--excluded because, well, moral offense abounds.  I watch it up to the part when they finish singing the Time Warp--which, let's face it, is the most important part of the whole film!

What do you like to cuddle up to watch on a cold evening?  Any favorite scary movies to recommend?  What about Halloween favorites?

Five Favorites is hosted this week at Mama Needs Coffee.



  1. I made my mom go to the movie theater with me to see Sweeney Todd. She hated it (as I thought she would, but of course, I didn't mention that fact when I asked her to go with me) and I loved it (also no surprise). I also love Hocus Pocus and enjoyed The Others, but haven't seen another thing on your list or runners up!

    1. If you've got those three, I think you're pretty well-read (well-viewed?) in the Halloween movie department!

  2. Joss Whedon also created the Buffy TV show on the WB - it's one of those that you have to watch a few episodes before it gets you, but if nothing else look up the Musical Episode it has some good stuff in it. My two favorites for Halloween are actually The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline (not Halloween in particular, but definitely spooky as only Neil Gaiman does it).

    1. Both of those were on my brainstorming list, too! If it were ten, or even fifteen favorites, we'd be set (I originally wrote down 18 different movies!). Tim Burton has a special kind of charm and he really "gets" the not-so-spooky spooky side of Halloween. But Sleepy Hollow is sca-ry!

      Maybe I'm conflating Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Charmed. I remember specific moments of wanting to gag while watching the latter--dating your guardian angel . . . really? It just annoyed me, I could never get into it! I think I stuck longer with Angel, but I got tired of the endless winding plots that never got anywhere or didn't live up to my expectations . . . weird father-son-girlfriend love triangle going on there . . . Cordelia as the queen of another demon dimension . . . it was just silly! :p

      I'll check out that musical episode of BtVS, though. Thanks, Molly!

  3. Signs and The Village (both directed by M. Night Shyamalan) are pretty awesome picks for The Others-style suspense, while the Poltergeist flicks (various directors, but the first one had Spielberg involved in the writing process) deliver some pretty good scary-ghost special effects. And then for slash-and-gore monster style you can't beat the Alien franchise. I love me some concentrated acid for blood...
    -The Neglected Husband


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