sarashina: (Default)
Hello everyone! I am all settled in on my couch and ready to find some movies to watch. If you were looking to do the same, here are some Halloween recs from me, and all are varying levels of creepy (and quality for that matter):

The Shining - A classic, set in a deserted Colorado hotel during the winter and following the new groundskeeper and his family. The plot is twisty but the scares are brilliant in their simplicity; the trailer is a great example. RED RUM.

Coraline - A dark stop-motion fairytale, adapted from Neil Gaiman's novella. More deliciously creepy than terrifying, but plays on primal fears like the best children's stories do.

Beetlejuice - One of my childhood favorites! It's more of a comedy than anything, but one with an offbeat, eerie sensibility. The Banana Boat Song scene is my favorite.

The Gift - And here's a favorite that few people have heard of, by Sam Raimi. The cast is great, and brings out so many of the tropes I'm weak for: reluctant psychics, ghosts, and a Southern backdrop. You can't really go wrong with Cate Blanchett in the lead, either.

Sleepy Hollow - I've always adored the Headless Horseman story, and I watched the Bing Crosby-narrated cartoon version repeatedly every Halloween. The more recent Johnny Depp version is completely ridiculous, and also completely entertaining. Watch it for Christopher Walken and his prosthetic teeth. YAAHHHHH!

A Disney Halloween - The absolute staple of my childhood Halloween! This is a Disney clip show, narrated by the wicked stepmother's magic mirror, of various supernatural Disney shorts. It used to be on all the time, and I always loved watching it before Trick or Treat time. I don't think it's available online anywhere, but if you have an old copy lying around, watch it for me!

Guillermo del Toro's works - Pan's Labyrinth is a given, but have you seen The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone? Both are, much like PL, a powerful combination of terrifying and sad, but Orphanage is the more depressing of the two.

A Tale of Two Sisters and Lake Mungo - The former is a Korean thriller, and the latter is an Australian mockumentary. Both are ultimately more sad than scary, but both are great examples of using the lull in the action to build tension. AToTS pulls off some great scary moments with an almost J-horror aesthetic, except they're more affecting to me than J-horror because of the sparsity. Mungo, meanwhile, uses the entire movie to build tension, leading up to one reveal at the end that left me unsettled for the rest of the day.

Non-movie recs:

The Dionaea House - A technological horror story. Check it out here - the door is open!

Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff - the second and strongest book of Huff's Smoke trilogy, and though knowledge of the first book helps, if you don't mind spoilers, prior knowledge is not required for the main plot. The best thing about these books is the hysterical protagonist, Tony, and the narrative has a lot of his personality despite being in third person. The haunted house here is a great one, though, and once you get to the creepy parts, you might have to stay up all night to get to the end.

Ghost Hunt and Mononoke - My favorite horror anime. The latter is just incredibly inventive while at the same time being the most Japanese thing ever, and GH is fun, cute, and has a great group dynamic. GH has several different arcs, and the levels of creepiness vary, but the only one that crosses the line into terrifying is the "Bloodstained Labyrinth" arc.

So there you have it! You can pick your poison depending on your tolerance. Sooo... got any recs for me? :D
sarashina: (Default)
I AM ON LJ AT WORK. GASP. That should tell you how quiet it is around here.

But anyway. Let's have some writing fun, shall we?

If you're reading this post, leave a prompt - it can be as specific or vague as you like. I will choose at least one and write a little Halloween story! ♥

October 2013



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