5 Movies and Shows Non-Horror Fans can Binge to Join in on the Halloween Festivities

If you’re like me and shudder at the mention of films like Silence of the Lambs, Halloween may not be your favourite time of year. It’s filled with the release of splendid horror films that you so desperately want to watch, but you also don’t want nightmares for the next few months. Luckily, there are a few films and shows that cater to people with our viewing habits. They teeter on the edge of the horror genre, giving us spooky vibes without the terrifying side effect of determining whether that pile of clothes in the corner of your bedroom is a demon or just the remnants of your lazy laundry habits.

Here are 5 movie and shows that will make sure we won’t miss out on the whirlwind genre:


1. Penny Dreadful

This gloriously gothic three-season show, starring the ever-talented Eva Green and a host of fantastic actors, is an absolute masterpiece. Delving deep into the gothic genre, we are introduced to a group of infamous characters, from Frankenstein to Dorian Gray, that band together to defeat the impending threat of Dracula. Though the show tests the boundaries between horror and gothic thriller, it remains enjoyable, intriguing, and mysterious. Most importantly, it retains the common theme of humanity at its core. We learn about the tragic background of characters we quickly learn to care about, bend our morals to appreciate the challenging circumstances, and are invited to consider whether dark always conquers light. This show is a piece of art in itself and its brilliance cannot be emphasised.


2. The Haunting of Hill House

This show received rave reviews for very good reasons. Again, dabbling in the boundary between thriller and horror, we are brought into the setting of Hill House, where the unsuspecting Crain family reside. Seeking to only live here temporarily, they soon encounter the threatening character of the house itself. With each of the five children receiving ample screen time, as children and adults, the audience witnesses the trauma and heartbreak their childhood had on them. Like Penny Dreadful, this show places the resilience of humanity centre-stage. Haunted not only by ghosts, but by the memories of a once perfect family life, The Haunting of Hill House can both frighten you and make you cry in the same episode. While it may be jumpy at times, its unfaltering focus on the importance of family will inevitably draw you in.


3. Inheritance

A psychological thriller at heart, Inheritance is refreshingly approachable, understandable, and suspenseful. After the mysterious death of a family’s patriarch, his only daughter, Lauren, is forced to reckon with his most hidden secret. At the will reading, she is discreetly given a key to a nearby bunker, opening it to find a dehydrated and underfed man chained inside. As she pieces together the full story, the audience watches her battle with her own morals and the constantly impending force of her father’s destructive legacy. We witness whether her role as a District Attorney batters her conscience or confirms the rebellious nature her father rejected. Placing the vitality of family and family image at its centre, the audience travels down a dangerous path with Lauren uncovering truths, but no jump scares or horror elements alike along the way.


4. Gone Girl

Adapted from the wildly popular book, Gone Girl, traces the revengeful disappearance of the picture perfect Amy Dunne. Upon first blush, such a disappearance is a disgusting disruption on the Dunnes’ suburban lifestyle, engaging the neighbourhood and community in search parties and remembrance gatherings. This, however, is only a momentary kindness before the audience learns the fragility of the Dunnes’ marriage, their broken communication, and their equal capacity for destruction. Told from differing perspectives, we quickly learn that the pair are unreliable narrators. Through each dark twist and turn, we begin to question whether the reckless pair truly deserved each other. Filled with compelling storylines and a stellar script, this film is an unmissable classic. 


5. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

A far cry from the calm and comedic Sabrina the Teenage Witch, we are invited into a deliciously dark world of the supernatural. Told from (primarily) the perspective of heroine Sabrina Spellman herself, we see her grapple with an impending dark force, her own moral compass, and the regular woes of being a sixteen-year-old. Essentially, it is a coming-of-age story, with notable engagements of ghoulish tendencies and fiendish monsters. Travelling with Sabrina on her ever-changing journey, the audience encounters every danger and disaster along the way. Yet, we are able to actually understand Sabrina’s perspective, championing her newfound growth and authority. With only some mild gore and disruptive monsters, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the epitome of the Halloween spirit.