[Written By: Liam James]
Welcome back my fiendish friends – I knew you couldn’t stay away from me for too long! With the dark nights rolling in, the air getting colder and the rain begins to pour, this really is the best time to curl up under a blanket and watch something scary. I’ve got quite the treat for you this week as I serve you up some recommendations for the perfect tv shows/movies to accompany your spooky season celebrations. Whether you’re looking for something to completely chill your bones or something cute with elements of spookiness, I’ve got you!
TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007)
I consider this to be essential Halloween viewing and I make sure to watch it every year. Trick ‘r Treat is a horror-comedy anthology movie written and directed by Michael Dougherty, who also wrote and directed ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and the incredible Christmas horror movie ‘Krampus’. Four chilling stories are interwoven in this campy cult favourite, with the common element between them being the appearance of Sam,a trick-or-treater wearing the cutest orange onesie with a burlap sack over his head. To horror fans everywhere, Sam has now become as recognisable as Jason, Michael and Freddy! There is plenty to whet your horror appetite here as this film has a little something for everyone no matter what their favourite subgenre is. A sequel has been discussed since 2009 but there has yet to be any active development on it but hopefully we get to see Sam and more terrifying delights from Michael Dougherty on our screens soon!
MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
The passion project of the master of modern horror Mike Flanagan, Midnight Mass was released in 2021 to universal acclaim. Flanagan has openly discussed how deeply personal this story is to him and is one that dealt intimately with his upbringing in the Catholic Church, and his eventual sobriety and atheism. A beautiful, cinematic show that has arguably some of the best performances seen in tv for a while with particular stand outs being Hamish Linklater and Rahul Kohli (my future husband). I don’t want to give away too much about the story as I feel that this show is essential viewing for all horror fans but this will grip you by the heart, leave it broken and eventually freeze it in complete terror.
PRACTICAL MAGIC (1998)
Do you like witches? Gay icons? Tales about the power of female kinship? The answer to all those should be yes and Practical Magic should already be on your watchlist. Based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic is the perfect blend of horror, romance and comedy, all wrapped up with a neat bow consisting of some of the greatest stars of modern cinema. Icons like Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, Nicole Kidman and the one and only Sandra Bullock. With a killer soundtrack and some of the best 90’s whimisgoth aesthetics that inspired a generation, it really is the perfect popcorn movie for this time of the year.
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2019 – PRESENT)
One of the greatest comedy tv shows ever made. What We Do in the Shadows is an comedic horror mockumentary television series that is a spin-off of the 2014 movie of the same name and features a cast with some of the greatest comedic chops ever seen on screen. A complete love letter to the vampire genre and includes some hilarious celebrity cameos, this show really does have it all. The show cleverly gets you invested into these characters heavily and before you know it you are getting choked up in some of the shows greatly crafted emotional moments. Most people want a romance like Mortitia and Gomez but I would much prefer one like Nadja and Laszlo’s to be honest. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.
ELVRIA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1988)
Most young boys grew up wanting to be James Bond, Indiana Jones or Luke Skywalker. Me? I wanted to be Elvira and that still remains true to this day. The movie follows Cassandra Peterson as the TITular character following from her horror hostess duties on Elvira’s Movie Macabre and the audience follows along her adventure filled with blood, sex and rock and roll. Critically panned, the movie swiftly gained a large cult following and cemented Elvira as one of the greatest horror icons. If you love your horror served up with a generous dose of camp then this is certainly one for you and even if you don’t, Peterson has enough charisma to truly charm you into changing your mind.
THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA (2016 – PRESENT)
Drag. Filth. Horror. Glamour. That’s what you get with The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, a reality competition tv show that stars some of the greatest drag performers in the world. Each episode, the contestants are expected to adapt their style of drag to suit the challenge of the week, which is usually heavily inspired by horror media, and if they fail to do so, must endure ‘extermination challenges’ that really are not for the faint of heart. With some horror legends featuring as guest judges and challenges that create new drag cenobite creatures, this really is the perfect pinpoint on the queer/horror axis. A new all stars season has just been released over on Shudder so now is the perfect time to binge all previous seasons and get yourself caught up!