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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

It’s officially fall and it’s time to get cozy. Autumn is one of my favorite times for media consumption, and I’ve developed my essential watchlist to welcome in the season. For me, autumn is synonymous with murder mysteries, dark academia, and gothic settings. These recommendations range from lighthearted comedy dramas to gritty crime to psychological thrillers. So sit back, relax, and curl up with a warm apple cider and one of the following programs. 


Knives Out— Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Knives Out is the all-time quintessential murder mystery movie. The New England fall vibes are unparalleled. The film is funny with plenty of twists and turns. The misty Gothic setting makes it perfect for a rainy fall evening. The movie draws on elements from classic mystery tropes but with a modern twist. Despite the fact that the plot never changes, I’ve watched the movie at least 10 times and it still never gets old. 

Coraline— Animation, drama, family, fantasy

Coraline and its accompanying nostalgia make it wonderful for an autumn re-watch. The visuals in the movie are striking and spooky. Watching this movie with adult eyes has increased my appreciation tenfold. When I read the book as a young girl, I related to Coraline’s fear in the face of a challenge. But her bravery leads her to triumph over the evil Other Mother, a heartwarming resolution to a creepy supernatural story. 

Enola Holmes 1 & 2— Action, adventure, crime, drama, mystery

Enola Holmes 1 & 2 are highly underrated and remarkably fun fall movies. Enola Holmes is the teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes living in London solving mysteries of her own. Millie Bobby Brown charms in the role alongside Henry Caville playing Sherlock Holmes and Helena Bonham Carter playing their mother. The film is light-hearted, clever, and action-packed taking place against the backdrop of Victorian London. The feminist themes and plucky young protagonist makes it a movie I can’t help but love for fall. 

Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes

Sleepy Hollow— Fantasy, horror, mystery

Sleepy Hollow is one of my creepier recommendations for fall. The scientifically minded Ichabod Crane is sent to investigate the decapitations of three community members of Sleepy Hollow, a small town in upstate New York. He eventually unravels the murder plot and it’s much more sinister than he imagined. There are supernatural and occult themes that make this film outside my usual wheelhouse but the mystery and gothic elements kept me hooked. 

TV recommendations

Only Murders in the Building— Comedy, crime, drama, mystery, thriller

This show has been a favorite murder mystery of mine since it came out. It’s set in New York, it has an all-star cast, and twists that keep you hooked the whole way through. Just as it keeps you guessing, it also keeps you laughing at the endless hijinks and tomfoolery of Steve Martin and Martin Short.

jenna ortega as wednesday

Wednesday— Comedy, crime, fantasy, mystery

If you didn’t catch this show when it came out last year, now is your chance to watch it before Halloween! The setting is the darkest of dark academia — a Gothic-looking school for outcasts with supernatural powers. When someone turns up dead in the forest near the school, Wednesday begins to solve the case. The coming-of-age elements pair perfectly with the Gothic setting, making it ideal to watch in early October.

Ratched— Crime, drama, history, mystery, thriller

Ratched is the most eerie of my top fall TV picks. The show takes place in a mental hospital in northern California and has elements of murder, crime, and abuse. Some elements may be disturbing when it comes to certain psychological treatments. The show is set in the late 1940s and features bold colors and visually appealing scenery. 

These are my most recommended and re-watched fall movies and shows. Whether you like something more nostalgic or more thrilling, this list is sure to have something for you.

Zoe Brown is a member of the writing team at Her Campus at KU chapter. She is also the Co-Manager of the Her Campus KU Book Club. Zoe enjoys writing about dating and relationships, friendship, professional development, and books. Beyond Her Campus, Zoe is a second-year master's student getting her degree in urban planning. She is currently the planning intern for the City of Topeka. Zoe formerly worked as an intern in the Johnson County, KS planning department as well as the Missouri Housing Development Commission. She is the president of the Kansas Association of Planning Students. Zoe plans to graduate in May and intends to find a job as a city planner in the Midwest. In her free time, Zoe goes to yoga and plays in her recreational volleyball league. She enjoys cooking while listening to jazz and can often be found cuddled up, reading a murder mystery. She loves showing her friends around Lawrence, particularly to all her favorite local book stores.