I’ve written before about my favorite movies for this time of year, but I thought I’d add a few more to the list.

I tend to like more tense, gothic movies, or even silly movies, rather than the super-scary, gory, slasher flicks. While I’ve seen my share of slasher movies, they’ve gotten so vivid over the years that I stopped watching them. I much prefer tension and suspense to outright gore. Some of these movies are suitable for children, but I always check out movies with the Dove Foundation before I let my kids/nieces/nephews watch anything. It drives the kids crazy because the Dove Foundation will list things like farting and smoking as warnings, but part of why I check out their reviews is because of their reaction.

So here’s another list of Halloween movies to add to your watch list, in no particular order. Blurbs and links courtesy of the IMDb website.

1. Sleepy Hollow

“Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.”

A campy, silly Tim Burton retelling of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that I love to watch every year. Yes, it’s crazy in a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp kind of way but the costumes and cinematography make up for some of the outrageousness and the spun-out-of-control plot twists.

2. The Haunting of Bly Manor

“After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry hires a young American nanny to care for his orphaned niece and nephew who reside at Bly Manor with the chef Owen, groundskeeper Jamie and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose.”

This is actually a 9-part TV miniseries currently on Netflix based loosely on the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. It was done by the same crew who made The Haunting of Hill House and while I wanted to love is as much as Hill House, I didn’t. But it is worth watching, if not for the scary ghost, if only for the wonderful relationships between the characters. Especially between Owen and Hannah. I dare you not to cry.

3. The Corpse Bride

“When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.”

This is a stop-motion animated movie by Tim Burton movie set in a fictional Victorian village. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Emily Watson provide the voices in this bittersweet story about the bonds of true love, friendship, and marriage.

4. House on Haunted Hill

“A millionaire offers $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with him and his wife.”

This classic Vincent Price movie is still as scary and tense as it was the first time I saw it. It’s in black and white is much better than the remake they did in 1999 and better than the Ted Turner colorized version. Word on the street says they’re remaking this movie again and currently in casting calls. I don’t know–I don’t think anyone could be as creepy and ghoulish as Vincent Price. And if you don’t know who Vincent Price is, we can’t be friends. lol.

5. The Lost Child

“An army veteran who returns home to the Ozarks finds an abandoned young boy in the woods, and as she searches for clues to the boy’s identity, discovers the local folklore about a spirit, which comes in the form of a child.”

This movie, also called “Tatterdemalion”, was one of my favorite movies this year. It’s both a gothic ghost story as well as a romance with a twist that I never saw coming. I adore gothic stories when they’re done well–except they’re usually not. So I was so happy to stumble upon this movie with all of the gothic elements that weren’t overdone or cliched. I honestly didn’t know, until the end, if there was a supernatural element or if the heroine was crazy. It kept me guessing up until the credits.

6. The Skeleton Key

“A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house’s dark past.”

This was another gothic movie that I absolutely loved. When it came out, nothing else had been made like this movie. Since then, there have been other copycat movies but all of the elements (voodoo, ghosts, New Orleans,) seem campy. Both the storytelling and the cinematography prevent this movie from feeling cliched or overdone. And talk about another twist I didn’t see coming!

7. Jessabelle

“Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape.”

The third gothic on this list, Jessabelle also takes place in Louisiana with elements of voodoo and ghosts and a romantic subplot. While I did guess the ending/twist of the this movie, I loved the spunky heroine and her hero. They weren’t stupid and made good decisions in the face of a scary situation. It was just too bad they were up against powers they could never have foreseen.

8. Dragonwyck

“A simple Connecticut farm girl is recruited by a distant relative, an aristocratic patroon, to be governess to his young daughter in his Hudson Valley mansion.”

I grew up not far from where this story was supposed to take place and had always heard stories about the Dutch patroons and their aristocratic way of life–and all of the secrecy that surrounded them. This is another Vincent Price classic based on a gothic romance by Anya Seton that I’ve read about a dozen times. If you can, watch the original black and white version. The shadows add another layer of tension to this Jane Eyre-like story. Anya Seton helped adapt this screenplay from her bestselling book of the same name which is probably why the movie is so great.

9. The Fly (1958)

“A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.”

Yes, another Vincent Price movie and this is so much better than all the remakes combined. This is a classic 1950’s Sci Fi/Horror story that will keep you up all night. And you’ll never look at the annoying house fly in the same way ever again.

10. The Addams Family

“Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.”

Make sure you watch the 1991 real-people version of this movie, and not the animated version. This is a very silly movie but I loved watching the Saturday morning reruns of this TV show and still enjoy seeing the characters come to life in their own movie. Christina Ricci, who is in Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp, plays the terrifying little girl named Wednesday. And the rest of the cast including Angelica Huston and Raul Julia are fabulous in their roles.

11. Interview with a Vampire

“A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.”

I have mixed feelings about this movie because I was such a fan of the books. I still think that Tom Cruise was the wrong actor to play Lestat, but I loved the rest of the casting. Including Brad Pitt as the reluctant vampire Louis. I wanted to love this movie as much as I loved the book, but I didn’t. Yet it doesn’t make it a bad movie. Yes, I’m conflicted!

12. Queen of the Damned

“In this loose sequel to Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), the vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the equally beautiful and monstrous queen of all vampires.”

Even though this movie departed from the books by a lot, I love it because it has the best heavy metal soundtrack of any movie ever made. I also thought that Stuart Townsend played a much better Lestat than Tom Cruise. It is a tragedy though that Aaliyah, the actress who played Queen Akasha, died in a tragic accident not long after the movie was filmed. If you’re not a fan of metal music from the early 2000s, you will be by the time this movie ends. Jonathan Davis, from the band Korn, wrote most of the songs and handpicked the musicians including Chester Bennington and Wayne Static to fill to out the soundtrack.

I had another movie to list, but that would have ended the list on the number 13 — which we all know is unlucky. So, until next year, happy Halloween movie watching!

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