Movies for Halloween

Creepy Movies to Watch in October

The Orphanage

220px-ElorfanatoIt’s no secret that I’m a Guillermo Del Toro fangirl (the mess that was The Strain notwithstanding). In cinematic form, the man masters spine-tingling, bone-chilling creepiness like no one else—and does it in a gorgeously minimalistic way. No blood fountains and guts spillage here: the psychological terror is much, much worse, and it stays with you for days.

The Orphanage is less known than Pan’s Labyrinth or Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark; Del Toro produced it for a less-known director who’s a friend of his.  It’s a Spanish-language movie. You can always watch the English dub but I think you’d miss out because the actors do an amazing job.

The premise: a woman named Laura and her husband buy the old orphanage where Laura grew up until she was adopted and move in with their own adopted son, Simon. But before they can reopen the orphanage, Simon goes missing… and the only clue to finding him is an eerie game of Peek Behind the Curtain with some very creepy child ghosts.

There’s that one scene…where Laura is knocking on the wall and with every knock the ghosts get closer… is probably one of the most unnerving things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched the majority of the Saw movies.

The Woman in Black

aka Harry Potter and the Woman in Black or that movie where a grown-up Daniel Radcliffe looks like an unshaven Tim Burton character, woman in blackcomplete with under-eye circles.

A man comes to a small town to sell the mansion of an old recluse who recently passed away, and it turns out the house is haunted by the eponymous Woman in Black. The worst part: every time someone sees her, a child dies in the town. So naturally, the townspeople are none too happy about a stranger being there… except there’s much more to the story than that.

This movie is full of Victorian eeriness, and the late-fall atmosphere of perpetual gloom makes it perfect Halloween viewing. There’s creepy dolls that move on their own, a truly terrifying ghost and of course, a tragic backstory. The ending will give you The Feels, which is rare enough in a horror movie.

And of course… where would we be without Tim Burton. I’ll forgo the classics like Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas. Instead, try Sweeney Todd. There’s the same Tim Burtonesque dark humor, a broodingly hot I mean murderous Johnny Depp, a singing Bellatrix I mean Helena Bohnam Carter, and lots (and I mean lots) of fake blood. Truly epic amounts of bright red fake blood—the only bright thing in this dark, damp, smog-choked London. There’s a hole in the world like a big black pit, indeed.

(Also, these two make great Halloween costumes.)

Yes, they do.

Yes, they do.

And finally, a truly unorthodox choice as some might say… REPO: The Genetic Opera. (And again with the singing.) I like to think of REPO as a 21st century version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show—which really tells you everything you need to know, doesn’t it? Absurdist dark humor, singing, Paris Hilton’s face falling off, singing, Giles I mean Anthony Stewart Head chopping people’s vital organs out with a rusty blade as the Repo Man–while singing, the guy from Skinny Puppy, oh and did I mention the singing?

The story: in the future, an epidemic of organ failures nearly decimated mankind. A corporation that makes replacement organs rose to nigh-ultimate power and started a fashion for designer organs. (Remind you of anything?) And when you can’t pay for your organs… the Repo Man comes to take them back to GeneCo. You see where this is going.

I leave you with the IMMORTAL song from REPO, Zydrate Anatomy. If it doesn’t make you want to watch this movie, I don’t know what will.



  • Kathy Palm
    October 2, 2014

    I LOVE GUILLERMO DEL TORO! Except, The Strain has me going huh? Anyway… Pan’s Labyrinth and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark are a couple of my faves… so I shall hunt down The Orphanage. I really liked The Woman in Black! Sweeney Todd messed with my head … in a good way! Annabelle comes out tomorrow…

    • Jolene Haley
      Kathy Palm
      October 30, 2014

      I’m not familiar with Guillermo. Looks like I need to change that! Hehehe. Oh, and the Woman in Black, I haven’t seen yet either. I need to change this. AHHHHHHH.

  • Alice
    October 2, 2014

    Great picks. I watched the movie, A Winter’s Tale, and enjoyed the dark atmosphere of the fairy tale. The gangster and devil elements keeps the whole story dark and intriguing.

    • Jolene Haley
      October 30, 2014

      Hi Alice! Thanks for stopping by. I haven’t seen A Winter’s Tale yet either, but I love movies with a dark atmosphere. Super fun! I will definitely check this out.

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