Illustration credit: Julia Gavieta, Senior Graphic Designer

Girl from Nowhere (2018-)

Julia Gavieta, Senior Graphic Designer

If you love mysterious, psychological thriller-horror movies or series, I highly recommend “Girl From Nowhere.” It’s about a mysterious beautiful girl named Nanno, who transfers to a different school every episode and almost entices the darkness out of people, exposing the misdeeds of the students and teachers. Because the series is an anthology, each fifty-minute episode acts as a stand-alone movie, making it perfect for Halloween group-watching!

Over the Garden Wall (2014)

Julia Gavieta, Senior Graphic Designer

This is the perfect ‘fall’ show to binge on because it’s a miniseries with a total runtime of 2 hours and because of its gorgeous art style reminiscent of old-timey children’s books and folktales from the 1800s. It’s about two brothers who mysteriously end up lost in some strange woods and encounter many strange characters as they wander back home. Despite its calming and childish art style, there is an ominous and dreadful atmosphere that increasingly grows as the show continues.

Corpse Bride (2005)

Daniela Atere, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

For anyone obsessed with Tim Burton’s macabre animation style, this is definitely a film to add to your Halloween movie list. The film centres on the miscommunication between Victor and the corpse bride, Emily, as he mistakenly marries her while practicing wedding vows in the woods for his living fiancé, Victoria. The film combines whimsical and gothic elements to create a distinct Dracula-esque aesthetic. However, don’t let this deter you, as it also has sweet moments of romance and a catchy soundtrack to sing along to.

Suspiria (1977)

Diana Kobetic, Associate Arts and Culture Editor

For would-be horror fans who are just slightly too afraid of the real deal, Dario Argento’s 1977 supernatural thriller offers the perfect middle ground, allowing viewers to indulge in festive fright while still being able to fall asleep somewhat peacefully once the screen turns black. Though many enjoyed the recent remake, the original film’s wildly colourful cinematography, thrilling score, and lush and vibrant set design situate the work at a unique crossroads between a surreal arthouse experience, and an enormously creative exploration of the ‘haunted house’ trope, in ways that you would never expect.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Meghan Butcher, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

If you, like any bona fide horror fan, have seen The Shining one too many times, you may feel inclined to watch another of Kubrick’s films this year. A Clockwork Orange, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, doesn’t fall into the horror or Halloween category, but the moral conflict and shock factor are just as jarring as a good jump-scare. A delinquent teen in a futuristic society, in prison for killing a woman, agrees to be the subject of an experimental treatment which causes him to abhor all acts and images of violence — and is exposed to plenty when an old victim of his crimes decides to take revenge. Bonus points for this flick: the soundtrack is a smorgasbord of Beethoven, Singing in the Rain, and Moog synthesizer pieces.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Ariana Nicola, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

Every year when Halloween rolls around, this is the first movie on my “nostalgia-filled spooky movies from your childhood you completely forgot about” list. If Crimson Peak was a bit too dramatic and scary for you, look no further! The soundtrack, characters, and plot are all amazing. The atmosphere is perfect for any autumn or dark academia lover. Though it doesn’t take place at a prestigious school, this family finds themselves entangled with the haunted mansion. It’s beautiful and wonderfully eerie, with secret passages, elite balls, grand staircases, mysterious deaths, and graveyards; the aesthetic and set design of The Haunted Mansion is incredible. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s a Disney children’s movie – it’ll be sure to give you a fright, and years later I still get nightmares from the mausoleum scene. The lighthearted comedy and scares are perfectly balanced. Eddie Murphy is hilarious and can change a scene’s mood in seconds. Honourable mentions for more movies like this: Twitches, Beetlejuice, Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus!

Countdown (2019)

Liam Sherlock, Senior News Editor

This is a ninety-minute horror flick that combines supernatural horror and psychological thriller techniques to keep you glued on the edge of your seat for the duration. It follows a nurse who installs an app that tells you when you are to die. However, this is a digital version of a curse that results in a fate worse than death if you cheat it. She gets three days. The movie uses violence effectively, including just the right amount of deaths so that each has an impact and escalates the tension the watcher feels. It adapts a clichéd concept to the 21st century, playing on anxieties about apps, privacy, technology that we can’t control, and those universally unread T&Cs you habitually consent to nowadays. This is all painted onto a backdrop of universal fears such as death, the unknown, and the consequences of trying to alter the future. This is not however some dime-store “modern” adaptation, but instead a worthy reception of the horror movie to the 21st-century social context. Despite numerous horror movie tropes, the fresh execution and well-balanced modern concepts steer the movie clear of clichés and render this a true work of art as well as a chilling fear-fest. All-in-all an excellent and satisfying horror flick, that I can’t recommend enough, especially for the literary movie snobs out there.

Scream Queens (2015-2016)

Despite being a few years old, this parody show from Fox maintains a unique charm. A far less highbrow show than the previous entry, it is an unholy blending of horror, melodrama, and comedy (with the second season drawing on O.R. dramas as well). The show constantly parodies itself, as well as the genre as a whole, actively playing into and engaging with clichés and tropes, while using a modern lens and interpretation to offer some extremely on-the-nose progressive reactions to traditional horror elements. The show glories in the excessive gore of the genre, while simultaneously building the deaths to be meaningful and add tension and mystery. It does not shy away from its other elements either, winding an extremely dark, occasionally offensive strain of humour throughout the show. This humour doesn’t just blend genres; instead, it glories in the exaggeration and melodrama, creating a playful atmosphere, and crisply juxtaposes with the raw gore and horror of the plot. This creates an emotional rollercoaster swinging you from one extreme of human experience to the other in seconds. Simply put, it pushes viewers and their expectations to — and beyond — their limits. Overall, this is a unique slasher-parody-comedy that brings laughs and half-sincere screams in like measure. It may be overwhelming for the average person, but it is highly recommended for the dead-inside, midterm-wearied student that wants to feel something — anything.

Black Christmas (1974)

Payton Knox, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

While a group of sorority girls gather at their house and prepare for the Christmas season, a mysterious figure watches them from outside, undetected, before scaling a trellis and climbing inside through the upstairs window. After this haunting first sequence, effectively shot in the point-of-view of the perverse figure, Black Christmas only grows eerier with threatening phone calls hurling obscenities at the girls, as well as a series of gruesome murders occurring inside the sorority house itself.  This classic slasher is especially for anyone who likes their horror laced with subtle feminist themes, which, despite the film’s approaching its fiftieth anniversary, explore issues that still feel too relevant today. By the film’s chilling conclusion, it is no surprise how it has garnered a cult following over the years, and its prominence is solidified in the later films it influenced, including John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween (1978). It is also worth noting that, as Black Christmas was filmed in Toronto, some locations in the film may look pretty familiar to a U of T student, with Trinity even making its own appearance in a few shots.

Perfect Blue (1997)

James Jiang, Trin News Staff Writer

A cult classic for horror anime fans, Perfect Blue is a psychological thriller produced in 1997. The animated film follows Mima Kirigoe, a pop-singer-turned-actress, as she slowly loses her sanity and her sense of reality – something brought about by an obsessed stalker and the ghost of her past. To me, this film is the definition of horrific. I loved how it was so mind-bending and uncomfortable to watch at every turn. The discomfort the film makes you feel is addictive and electrifying. Likewise, its depictions of graphic violence, body horror, and insane psychology are similarly uncomfortable yet compelling. Perfect Blue is a must-watch horror film – and what better occasion to watch it than Halloween. 

It Follows (2014)

Luis Sanchez, Arts and Culture Staff Writer

This breakout 2014 indie horror film is the perfect mix of a fresh and creative horror premise mixed with relevant themes for today’s generation. It follows Jay, a high school teenager who contracts an STD – a sexually contracted demon that will possess the body of anyone near her to kill her one step at a time. Far from your typical recycled, been-there-done-that horror film, It follows is genuinely creepy as hell and filled with suspense. The film doesn’t rely on jump scares (although there are one or two), because the director created such an unsettling atmosphere. It’s a beautiful film that may as well convince you to buy a chastity ring. A must-watch for any horror fan.

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