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The Top 10 Movies and TV Shows to Watch This Fall

Darkness falls across land, the midnight hour is close at hand, students crawl in search of fun, wishing midterms could be done. With every falling leaf, and an additional layer of warmth we put on, the atmosphere on campus changes. Nothing matches the fresh crisp air and the cooling breeze of fall. The hikes get prettier, nights get cozier (not to mention all of the seasonal flavors), and the pumpkins come out. Cool fall nights are the perfect time to cozy up under warm blankets and watch a movie. Listed below are the top ten movies and TV shows for you to watch this fall… 

10. Gossip Girl (the original) 

Despite not having many trees, New York City is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall. Watching Central Park turn bright orange and the streets fill with hay barrels and pumpkins is something you would not want to miss. There is no better way to look at these things than through the eyes of the Manhattan Elite. While the show takes place throughout all of the seasons, it does have plenty of episodes set in the fall. Watching the complex drama of the royal Upper East Side is the perfect way to enjoy a chilly, late night. You can watch Gossip Girl on HBO Max or rent episodes on a streaming service. 

Gossip Girl screencap
Warner Bros. Television

9. Mean Girls 

One of the most important things about the fall for us students is the start of a new school year and the complex social navigation that comes with it. Mean Girls hilariously brings those struggles to life. One of the most classic movies in the market, it will likely be a rewatch for many. Not to worry because from personal experience, I can say that Mean Girls only gets better every time you watch it over. This is also a perfect movie to watch with your roommate(s) or suitemate(s) because you can either laugh with it, or at it. Not to mention, it includes one of the best Halloween scenes in cinematic history. You can watch Mean Girls for free on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, or rent it on any streaming service. 

8. Coraline

A large percentage of people can say that at some point in their early childhood they were traumatized by this movie. Whether you fall into that category or not, Coraline is such an exquisitely produced film. From the animation techniques to the mysteries and symbolism in the plot, it’s a must watch. No matter how old you are, watching this movie will get you thinking. The cold, dark, rainy days fit the fall vibe perfectly, and the eerie button eyes will send shivers down your spine. I would recommend looking up conspiracy theories about the movie after watching. You won’t regret it. You can watch Coraline by renting it on any streaming service. 

Coraline Movie Poster

7. Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls does an amazing job combining the beginning of the school year with beautiful, fall foliage. The show is set in the made-up town of Stars Hollow. A quaint, quiet, cute town in Connecticut. While watching the show you’ll get beautiful camera shots of New England in the fall, the hilarious life of Lorelai Gilmore, and the complicated social drama of young Rory Gilmore. One thing is for sure, you’ll find yourself trapped in the show, unable to stop watching until you’ve watched through all seven seasons. When you’re done with that, Netflix released a reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life which is just as worthy as the original. You can watch Gilmore Girls, and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix. 

6. The Addams Family

The Addams Family is the best “family friendly scary movie”. It’s a well balanced mixture of funny and eerie. The Addams Family is one of those movies where you can’t decide which character you want to be most – the beautiful and dangerous Morticia Addams, the cunning Wednesday, or the hilarious Pubert. The Addams Family also pays tribute to the importance and chaos of family. The fall can be a difficult time for many college students as they leave their family for what may be the first time, and The Addams Family could help you deal with some of the homesickness. You can watch The Adams Family on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, or by renting it on any streaming service. 

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Nothing screams fall like the start of the school year, finding new crushes and panicking when you see them in the hallways, attending homecoming, and fighting a robot-bird-demon if your name is Peter Parker. Spider-Man: Homecoming does a wonderful job of bringing all the up-most relatable struggles of a teenager in the fall to life (and then goes a little further). Both hilarious and action packed, the story of Peter Parker and his buddies does a great job encompassing a different aspect of fall that is often overlooked. You can rent this movie on any streaming service or watch it with a Starz subscription. 

Tom Holland as Spider-Man
Marvel Studios

4. The Conjuring 

The Conjuring is not for the faint of heart, but is most definitely worth the sleepless nights. This movie is wonderfully filmed, so if you’re a fan of looking deeper into the camera work behind a production, this is for you. Though, be warned. Due to these filming techniques, The Conjuring is a horror film that will leave you chilled. It does a good job encompassing the dark, cold, and scary side of fall. With plenty of jump scares to go around, this movie also has a very developed and interesting plot. If you find yourself caught up in it, there are many other movies set inside the “conjuring universe” which work hand in hand. You can watch The Conjuring on HBO Max or rent it on any streaming service 

3. The Silence of the Lambs 

The Silence of the Lambs is an interesting combination of psychological thriller and the old school type of scary movie. It leaves you wondering why you feel slightly “off” and “unsettled” at the end of the movie, despite not ever being “scared” throughout the viewing. Whether you like or dislike thrillers, The Silence of the Lambs is a classic, both for fall movies and cinema in general. I would recommend watching this movie just to appreciate the storyline, camerawork, and acting. That being said, it will most definitely leave you feeling the familiar eerie feeling of the fall, and asking your roommate(s) about possibly doing a haunted hayride. You can watch Silence of the Lambs for free on Youtube, Tubi and PLuto TV. You can also rent this movie on Itunes, Amazon Prime or other streaming services. 

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

Nothing hits the spot like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. More so than the other movies in the storyline, the first installment of this series particularly brings to life the ambiance of fall. While simultaneously having some scarier moments, this movie is very pure as the characters are still very young, and will undoubtedly put a reminiscent smile on your face. With the start of the magical school year, an emphasis on Halloween, trolls and creepy professors – this movie will help you appreciate how magical fall truly is. This movie is available with a Peacock subscription, Hulu, and HBO Max. You can also rent it on Amazon Prime, Itunes or any other streaming service. 

1. Stranger Things 

Stranger Things is, undoubtedly, the perfect fall show. The perfect level of scary, funny, and overall fall-themed, this show will also take up enough time to watch all the way through so that you can spend most of fall working on it. In addition to the beautiful scenery which consists of orange leaves, pumpkins, Halloween decorations and alternate dimensions, Stranger Things also does an amazing job bringing the 80’s to life. I would say the style of the show – from the camera work and soundtrack, to the costumes and character personalities – in itself makes it an amazing watch. Nothing fits fall more than a mystery, comedy, thriller about a bunch of teenagers around Halloween in the ’80s. You can watch Stranger Things on Netflix. 

Yana Medvedeva

CU Boulder '25

I am a student at CU Boulder, but am originally from New Jersey. I love Op-eds, creative, and persuasive writing. I also love spending time outside, whether that be running, hiking, or just hanging out with some friends. In the winter, you'll definitely catch me on the slopes!
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