Here's the problem with being certifiably obsessed with all things fall, October and Halloween: there's only so much to talk about. How many times can you write about smelling fall, blood sangria, fall nail polish, and things that scare you? Well, if you're me, the limit does not exist. But I'm a considerate little weirdo, I understand there are only so many times you can read about how much I still love supernaturals and the like. As a book reviewer/storyteller, I feel compelled to jabber on about all spooky reads and movies for the season. But I've done that very same thing 2 times already and honestly, not much has changed. If you are looking for spooky recommendations, check out the video/montage I did last year:
This year, instead of a huge list of recommendations, here are 5 books and 5 movies that are pretty much synonymous with the season. Sure, they are also 'recommendations', but these are the books and movies that without, it just doesn't feel right. A Fall-O-Ween heartbeat so to speak.
(1) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I've always loved the tale of Jekyll and his abject repulsion at his evil side. It was such a brilliant way for Stevenson to comment on the power of society and appearances and dark desires. The atmosphere and tone of the book make it a perfect fall read, and the gothic elements get its spooky hooks into you, like some sinister thing is just around the bend. Other novels that serve it also? Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights.
(2) The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
What's this time of year without a little Edgar Allan Poe? Not this time of year. As a teen, I was all about Poe. I even tried my hand at poetry back then because of him. He has so many perfectly spooky and atmospheric works but a favorite of mine is The Cask of Amontillado. For one, Amontillado is a fun word to say. But moreover, Poe tells a tale of insult and how far some will go to rectify the offense. You also can't go wrong with Tell Tale Heart or The Raven, but you knew that already.
(3) It by Stephen King
Another childhood favorite, It by Stephen King is fantastically creepy in both it's literary and cinematic forms. I actually watched the movie first, not realizing it was a novel, and later read the chunker of a book. Was it was worth every second? Yes. Did they both give me nightmares? Hell yes. And although the story of Pennywise the clown luring away children to their deaths sounds like the most disturbed idea for a story that has ever existed, it's still a classic.
(4) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I'm sure you are well aware of my love for this book by now. (If you aren't, check out my raving review.) Back at the beginning of August when I began planning Fall-O-Ween in earnest -- yes, I plan for it that early, I thought "ooo, now I can read Anna again'. Which was silly because (1) I can read the book anytime I damn well please, and (2) how many damn times am I gonna read this book? But whether that's 4 or 400, Anna Dressed In Blood will always have a special place in my heart.
(5) Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice
A book by The Mother of Vampires is a must read for the Halloween season. Basically if it ain't got Lestat de Lioncourt in it, I'on want it! Mostly. Another favorite of teenage, morose Kari, Interview with a Vampire has got everything you need for the season -- a gothic atmosphere, a tale of love and loss, a few vengeful foes, and a hot vampire that wants your soul.
(1) Hocus Pocus
All hail the Halloween classic. If it's October and you're not watching Hocus Pocus, what are you doing with your life? A candle that can be lit only by a virgin on All Hallows Eve brings back the Sanderson Sisters, three witches who must suck the souls of children to survive the night. And just like that, poof!, I am brought to life. If you need reminding of how amazing this movie is, I've fangirled over it in gif form. Your welcome.
Another well-loved Halloween movie, Halloweentown features a girl who discovers that she is from a mysterious town where it is Halloween all year round. Not only is this movie fun and full of so much nostalgia, but there are three sequels that are also a good time (except not really the Return one because you can't switch actresses on me and expect me not to notice!). Also, I'm waiting for my parents to tell me I was born in Halloweentown. It would explain a lot.
(3) The Craft
Eeeeee! I love, love, love The Craft! Have I mentioned what a strange child I was? Kari, you're still strange, says a murmur from the audience. Touché. Well, the story of the new girl recruited into the local high school's witch coven of 3 who cast spells on their peers? That was cinematic gold for me. Of course, the movie culminates in the typical 1990s teen movie fashion, making it even more fun. Like Mean Girls except 15 years earlier and much more cryptic.
This movie is instant happiness for me. While watching the first episode of Stranger Things (you know that Netflix series that is taking over the world), I got major Underwraps flashback feels. It's such a fun movie because of the premise, but really it's the characters and the actors that portray them that make it so good. Marshall is the adventurous boy who's always looking for, you guessed it, adventure and together with his sarcastic, gender-role-shunning best friend Amy and the scaredy-cat, rule-following Gilbert, he finds one. You guys, I wanted to be part of that squad soooo bad.
(5) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Whether it's the 1974 original or the 2003 remake, the gore and suspense of this film has me on the edge of my seat every single time. A gruesome, true thriller complete with an abandoned house, a chainsaw killer, and a hot girl in a torn tank top (at least for the remake) is the makings of a quintessential Halloween movie, and I'm always here for it.