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Fall Watchlist: Autumnal Movies and Shows That Won’t Give You Nightmares

Once we get to October everyone seems eager to watch scary movies and TV shows. I, personally, won’t watch a horror movie unless physically forced. If you’re like me, here are some autumnal (and semi-spooky) movies and shows that are fun alternatives to your standard Halloween horror movies. They will get you in the fall spirit without causing you to lose any sleep!

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Maybe it’s the orange color scheme Wes Anderson uses or maybe it’s the cider that Mr. Fox steals…Regardless, Fantastic Mr. Fox always reminds me of the fall. With an absolutely stacked cast (most of which you could guess if you are familiar with Wes Anderson) and an aesthetically pleasing stop-motion style, this is a great watch for the autumn months. It’s currently available on Disney+.

Over the Garden Wall (2014)

Over the Garden Wall is a 10 episode animated miniseries made for Cartoon Network. It follows two brothers, Wirt and Greg, as they try to find their way home after getting lost in a mysterious forest. Voices include Elijah Wood, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, and John Cleese. It’s spooky, a little weird, and quite funny. Over the Garden Wall is perfect if you want to watch something good to get you in the spirit for Halloween, but you also want to avoid the horror genre. It’s available to watch on Hulu and HBO Max.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Jennifer’s Body is probably the closest thing to horror on this list. This 2000s cult-classic stars Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried and includes appearances from Chris Pratt, Adam Brody, and J.K. Simmons. When Jennifer (Megan Fox) gets possessed by a demon and starts murdering boys, we get a highly quotable and rewatchable horror-comedy perfect for October. It’s free to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

If October has you wanting monsters, vampires, and other creatures of that sort, look no further than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, a vampire hunter who has to juggle her duties as the slayer with her regular teenage life. It ran for seven seasons, so if you want something to last you all fall this will be perfect. You can stream it on Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. 

Knives Out (2019)

This who-done-it story features a giant spooky looking mansion, great sweaters (most notably the cable-knit one worn by Chris Evans), another powerhouse cast, and an unpredictable plot. The movie was shot between October and December and its fall aesthetic secured its place on this list. The film is currently on Amazon Prime Video and, even if you know all the twists and turns of the plot, it holds up on a rewatch. 

My So-Called Life (1994)

If you’ve already filtered through all the teen high school dramas TV has to offer, I recommend My So-Called Life. It stars Claire Danes, opposite Jared Leto, in both of their breakout roles. It’s angsty, fun, low commitment due to its single season, and takes place almost entirely during the fall. It’s on Hulu and also available on ABC.com with ads. 

Happy watching!

Lucy Gibbs

Kenyon '23

Lucy is a junior at Kenyon college who is originally from the San Fransisco Bay Area. She is majoring in History and minoring in Art History. She loves spending time outdoors, watching baseball and football, painting, building things, and getting much too invested in TV and movies. Lucy also plays for one of Kenyon's ultimate frisbee teams.
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