Halloween is just around the corner, and I thought it was the perfect time to recommend some of my favorite movies, shows, and books that get me into the spooky spirit. These recommendations center mostly around thrillers rather than horror because, frankly, horror doesn’t appeal to me at all. So here are some thrilleresque forms of media that I adore all year round, but especially in the month of October.
M O V I E S
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – This movie is a classic, in my books. I watch it every year, and I never grow tired of the quirky characters living in Halloween Town as they discover that there is another holiday that people celebrate called Christmas. Jack Skellington is one of my favorite fictional characters simply because he is so odd and obsessed with Santa Claus, and Tim Burton’s claymation is truly inspiring. I could never grow tired of watching this movie.
Shutter Island (2010) – I can watch this movie every day, all year round, simply because I always notice something new with every viewing. This movie is about a detective, in the 50’s, who goes to a remote island for the criminally insane because one of the patients has disappeared without a trace. This psychological thriller will leave you questioning everything because the plot is so complex, along with the fact that the main character is an unreliable narrator. This is one of my top five favorite films of all time, so I highly recommend watching it, if you haven’t done so. (Also the book is fantastic, as well.)
Clue (1985) – If you are a fan of the board game Clue, then you’ll adore this cult classic film that ties together a mystery with comedy to create the perfect film to watch in October. This film follows the same concept as the board game: someone dies in a home and all the characters are a suspect to the murder. This movie is hilarious, entertaining, and spooky, and I love rewatching it for a good laugh. If you love a murder mystery with hilarious dialogue, you’ll love Clue.
S H O W S
The Walking Dead – If you love gory scenes, complex characters, and an addictive plotline, you have to watch The Walking Dead. Before starting this show, I was never a fan of zombies, but once I began the first episode, I was hooked. This show is so complex and explores themes of the loss of humanity, the fight between good and evil, and human survival. I can talk about the deeper meaning of TWD for days, but all I can say is, give this show a try. You’ll binge watch it and not regret picking it up.
Penny Dreadful – If you love Dracula, Frankenstein, Dorian Grey, and Victorian London, you’ll adore Penny Dreadful. This is probably the scariest thing on my list to consume, so beware. This show is dark and explores supernatural elements in a historical setting so flawlessly that you’ll feel like the characters are coming to life right before your eyes. I adore this show because it combines some of my favorite characters together in a world to interact with one another. If you’re a fan of classic gothic literature, you’d get a kick out of watching some of the most famous gothic characters interacting with one another.
MINDHUNTER – I just recently decided to watch this show on Netflix, but I didn’t realize that I’d binge watch the entire first season in two days. This show follows two FBI agents working for the Behavioral Science unit where they interview the criminally insane/serial killers in hopes of learning their psychology and what influenced them murdering so many people. This show explores gruesome murders in full graphic detail and is chilling when you listen to these killers recount how they got away with murdering so many women before they got caught. I’m immensely interested in criminal justice and crime shows, so this Netflix series took a hold of my attention and shook me to the core. The character development in this show is phenomenal and is subtle until the very end when you realize that these main characters are not who they were at the beginning of this show. I am absolutely obsessed with this show, and I cannot wait for the second season to come out.
B O O K S
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – There’s a reason why Christie is called the “Queen of Mystery”. She crafts the perfect murder mystery that slowly unravels and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The characters she creates are all complicated and full of secrets. ATTWN is Christie’s most famous novel, and I’d recommend picking it up for the Halloween season because this haunting tale of 10 people going to a remote island where one by one they are killed off is a story that has stuck with me ever since I read it years ago.
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Hass – While this is probably the least scary thing on my list, this book still has an underlying sense of eeriness that comes along with Haas’ tale. This story follows Anna and her friends on their trip to Aruba for spring break. Everything is fine until Anna’s best friend, Elise, is murdered and the only suspect the police hone in on is Anna. This book follows the events after Elise’s murder and what led up to it, and trust me, the ending will make you scream. The last line of this novel still haunts me, and I highly recommend it to any lovers of mystery.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I always feel that every book lover should read Frankenstein at some point in their life, just to see what it’s all about. Frankenstein is one of my favorite classic novels because it explores two of my favorite topics, humanity and god complexes. The dark setting of this novel is incredibly atmospheric and the prose is gorgeous. Everyone should read the first science-fiction novel ever created, and what better time to do that then in October?
That’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed these recommendations, and let me know if you love any of the things I mentioned above or if you have a recommendation for me! Xx Olivia