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5 Movies to Get you in the Mood for Spooky Season

It’s finally September, which means it’s almost fall! Although the weather isn’t exactly giving off autumn vibes, that doesn’t mean you can’t relax with a steaming cup of hot chocolate (or, if you’re like me, coffee) and watch a seasonal flick. I think we can all agree that Halloween and fall themed movies are the best, but I know some people have a hard time thinking of really good ones. With that said, here is my list of my top 5 favorite seasonal movies that will give you nostalgia as well as a little spook!

Hocus Pocus (PG)

This movie is incredibly nostalgic for me personally. My sisters and I loved watching this every fall. Although it’s technically a Halloween movie, I think watching it a little early can’t hurt. In case you haven’t seen it, the film is set in Salem, MA and based around a teenage boy, Max, and his little sister, Dani. The two have a strained relationship and often fight. When Max accidentally brings back the Sandersen Sisters, a group of witches that had been gone for 300 years, he and Dani must try to stop them from sucking the souls out of all the children in Salem. This movie is cute and funny without being corny. It’s also timeless, so I definitely recommend it for this fall!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)

Now, this movie is definitely interesting. The concept is that there are “lands” for each holiday. The film centers around Jack Skellington, who is essentially the king of the Halloween land. He stumbles upon Christmas land, which he finds extremely intriguing. The joy and delight he experiences is so foreign to him and his people. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it definitely takes a sinister turn. Watch it for yourself and find out! It’s such an interesting concept that you don’t want to miss out on.

Coraline (PG)

Coraline is actually one of my favorite movies of all time. Like the Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s animated and technically for children. It focuses on a young girl named, you guessed it, Coraline. When her parents uproot her life and move all the way from Michigan to Oregon, she is angry, lonely, and bored. She needs some excitement in her life, as most kids do. While exploring her new home one day, she finds a tiny door that attaches one house to another. That night, she enters the door and travels to another dimension which leads her to discover that she has an  “other mother” who has buttons for eyes. Her “other mother” cooks her delicious meals, buys her clothes, and butters her up with gifts. Everything changes when her “other mother” begins to get possessive. This movie is so so so good. If there’s one movie you need to watch out of this entire list, it’s this one. Although it’s directed toward children, the graphics are so creepy and well done. This movie will definitely challenge your mind and get you thinking!

The Shining (R)

This is such a classic. Made in the 80’s, the film is still popular to this day. The Torrance family is asked to come to a hotel to take care of it in its offseason. Jack, the father, is a writer and thinks the isolation from the outside world will get his creative juices flowing. His son, Danny, begins talking about seeing visions and hearing voices say disturbing things. The family begins to wonder if they’re actually alone in the hotel, or if other entities are joining them for the winter. Although it’s a little lengthy, the plot of this film is extremely spooky and filled with twists. Since it’s from the 80’s, the acting is cheesy at some points, but overall, it’s excellent. Just a head’s up, there is a little nudity and language. If you’d rather watch something more family friendly, this one may not be for you. If you don’t mind, definitely give this a watch.

Us (R)

This one is actually terrifying. The Wilson family’s beach trip turns sour when the mother, Adelaide, is reminded of a suppressed traumatic experience from when she was a child. The family is met with a group of masked strangers outside of their home. If that isn’t horrifying enough, when their faces are revealed, they are the Wilson’s doppelgangers. This movie is not only extremely scary, but it’s so psychological for the viewers. It makes you question your own reality and if the life you’re living is the only one your soul is also living. Definitely watch this movie with someone else if you can. Yes, it’s that scary.

Sarah Mengel

Kutztown '23

Senior English major with a minor coffee addiction :)
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