It’s baaaaack. I had so much fun with “Spooktober” last season that I decided to continue it and so here is “Spooktober 2020”. Spooktober 2020 will be a little different than last year. I love Halloween. In fact, I’m a Halloween nut. It is my favorite holiday of the year during my favorite season of the year. Scary movies and Halloween influenced movies are a big part of celebrating that season, but so are books, music, and television. Each day this October I have chosen a Halloween or horror inspired piece from multiple mediums. I didn’t attempt as many first viewings this year, but I did a LOT of revisits that I hadn’t seen in 10-20 years which is why you’ll see a pretty heavy handed 80’s and 90’s list here. I hope you enjoy it and please share some of your favorite inspirations for “Spooktober” 2020.
Spooktober Day #1
1000 Piece Halloween Puzzle
This one only took two days. The pieces were cheap and it was not the fun I was hoping for.
Brosnan and Leah helped me finish this too, so it was as family affair AND I had room at the dinner table for all of us yesterday.
Spooktober Day #2
I am Legend
For day number 2 of this horror fest I am revisiting one of my favorite novels (though just barely) of all time. I am Legend is a masterpiece that I think may even be more powerful today.
Spooktober Day #3
This show is full of the creep you outs. Possession, the devil’s plan, and religious dogmatically influenced mediums don’t do much in the way of scary for me, but I do often enjoy them and this was a ton of fun, plus I’m a huge fan of Michael Emerson who is an absolute monster in this. There’s a lot of scientific versus faith posturing and that is the most interesting part to me.
Spooktober Day #4
Vampire Hunter D
I haven’t watched this in probably close to two decades and was itching for a revisit.
My memories were not mistaken. The art and animation are magnificent, the characters rich and the story fascinating. I can’t wait to show this to Brosnan. I highly recommend.
Spooktober Day #5
Michael Jackson’s Thriller
This pretty much doubles as a cinematic short with the direction of John Landis and incredible makeup of Rick Baker. When it was released I was obsessed with MJ and being very young my Mom was worried about letting me watch the video thinking I’d be afraid of him, but instead I greedily asked to watch it again. And again. This is a classic and still sets the bar for the best music videos in existence.
Spooktober Day #6
Vittorio the Vampire
One day behind already. I will catch up. Vittorio may be one of Anne Rice’s lesser stories as far character’s and plot is concerned, but it is easily one of her most enjoyable books to read just because of the imagery and flow of writing. It’s beautiful.
Spooktober Day #7
Dj Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – A Nightmare On My Street
Back to the videos and I always feel like this is an overlooked song and video and is a great horror/Halloween themed bit. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were a dynamic team. When you go back before MIB and Gettin’ Jiggy and check out songs like “You saw my Blinker” and more there was a wonderful mix of great rhymes and humor.
Spooktober Day #8
Scary Stories: The Documentary
By the time I had gotten my hands on this book as a kid I was under age 9 or 10, but I had already started reading Stephen King’s “It” because I “borrowed” a copy from under my Mom’s bed. I remember being more fascinated with the art than the actual stories, but I was engrossed with it.
This doc was a sweet trip down memory lane. I may watch the actual movie before Spooktober is over or maybe I’ll pick up the book and read it again for the first time in 25 years.
Spooktober Day #9
30 Days Of Night
This is easily one of my favorite vampire films. The premise, the imagery, a fantastic cast and a diabolical trip from start to finish makes this an awesome and relatively terrifying flick. Did I mention Ben Foster? We should always acknowledge Ben Foster. Not a big gore fan, but this is gore done right with impact.
Spooktober Day #10
Roseanne Halloween Episodes
This years Spooktober is different from years past where I’m mixing up mediums (I can do WHAT I WANT) and part of that inspiration was the memories of sitcoms and shows that gave us exciting and often silly holiday themed episodes (Evil did a couple and they were fun) and the show that. I remember doing Halloween the best and doing it EVERY year was Roseanne. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of the show, but I was until the last season or so and these little specials were the absolute BEST.
Spooktober Day #11
I LOVE this movie and it needs more attention and respect. It embodies all of the late 90’s tropes in the best way possible. The cast is phenomenal with a very young and extremely awesome Josh Hartnett. This movie is funny, scary, and just awesome.
Spooktober Day #12
Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice was my favorite author during my adolescence and I spent a great deal of time obsessing over The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches, but that seed was planted with this film. At this point, I knew Brad Pitt from Kalifornia and Cool World and I liked him….a lot.
I fell in love with Interview and can’t count how many times I re-watched it, but it has been a very long time since I revisited it, and am relatively surprised at how well it has aged. It is one of the best classic-style vampire films, character-driven with a vacation in time. And Tom Cruise is just on FIRE as Lestat de Lioncourt, the brat prince. If you haven’t seen it already this should be required viewing.
Spooktober Day #13
The Haunting of Bly Manor
This started out strong for me, but is losing it’s momentum. I enjoyed the subtle scares in the first few episodes (the shot below is my favorite) and was prepared for a slow burn.
Spooktober Day #14
The Haunting of Bly Manor – The Conclusion
I can admit when I’m wrong. I prefer a slow burn when I can give it my attention. Yesterday was met with multiple pauses. This can make it difficult to invest where you need to give your full emotional attention. I rose at 5 and concluded the tale while working this a.m. and I thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 episodes.
Spooktober Day #15
Not a huge fan, though effective in it’s attempts to creep. The visual landscape was magnificent and easily the highlight with all of the bizarre architecture and contrast of colors. I struggle with people ignoring red flags in these scenarios, but the truth is people accepting twisted realities because that’s what they’re told is far more plausible than I’m comfortable admitting.
It was fine. Not remarkable or shocking, but effective.
Spooktober Day #16
1,000 Piece Halloween Puzzle
This was tough. It took all of yesterday and most of this a.m. All of the shapes were weird and the details were bananas. It was cool though. Mike has requested I glue this one. This was great inspiration for Spooktober 2020!
Spooktober Day #17
The Cabin in the Woods
I know this was on last years list, but I watched it again Friday and it’s becoming a regular getting cycled into my annual watching schedule. It’s just so much fun and so effective on what it does. It manages to throw typical horror movie tropes on their head while also still using them and making them scary and hilarious. I’ve been a fan of Drew Goddard for some time, but this is just more evidence that he’s a badass creator.
Spooktober Day #18
This came out the same year as “The Abyss” and “DeepStar Six”. The Abyss is a magical piece of film making and Leviathan is not, even though both films begin with parallel plots. Underwater drill teams find Russian subs with bad stuff. A Hurricane is coming. Something goes terribly wrong.
The similarities end there. Leviathan suffers from crude special effects and choppy dialogue. It is no masterpiece, but it’s still a fun monster movie. Ernie Hudson is fantastic and if you dig Peter Weller he’s in full form here.
Spooktober Day #19
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes
One of the more clever little bits of the Buffyverse is that Halloween is a notoriously dullsville evening for spooks, vamps and supernatural badness. They think the holiday is lame and take the night off. But in the world of Buffy exceptions are made.
“Halloween” in season 2 is one of the best episodes of the entire series and fully captures the Halloween spirit. “Fear Itself” in season 4 comes in a close second while the Buffster is in college and we learn Anya is terrified of bunnies. The season 6 Halloween episode “All the Way” is mainly focused on Dawn, Buffy’s obnoxious younger sister so it is one of my least favorites of the series.
For a bonus Buffyverse Halloween goody, swing over to the agonizingly frustrating season 5 of Angel for a super fun Halloween episode there as well. Happy Spooktober 2020!
Spooktober Day #20
The “Office” Halloween Episodes
The Office parties were always something I looked forward to and Halloween was usually the apex of ridiculous fun on the show. Still funny, but also totally full of Halloween spirit. This is what Spooktober 2020 is all about.
Spooktober Day #21
“We are the weirdos.”
I love the 90’s and this 1996 flick couldn’t possibly be any more 90’s angsty weirdo magnificence. I had fell in love with Fairuza Balk in Return to Oz and watched anything that she was in after. She is on fire in this. Is it a great movie? Nah, but it’s a ton of bloody fun.
Spooktober Day #22
28 Days Later
The first time I saw this I was pregnant with Brosnan and had nightmares every night about a baby screaming and alerting all the infected that run really, really fast in this flick. The first 2/3rds are super effective and while the end loses some of it’s momentum it’s still one of my favorite scary movies and it lingers well after watching.
This is my favorite horror movie of all time. I watch it every Halloween season and it is just as effective every single viewing. It was one of the few movies that scared me as a kid and still gives me the creeps as an adult.
Spooktober Day #24
I wouldn’t circulate this as a Halloween season flick and don’t even necessarily identify it as a horror film, but most people do. This is a movie that’s gotten even better with time. It’s in my top ten movies of all time and each viewing there is always some little idiosyncrasy that I missed. It’s absolutely perfect and psychologically terrifying.
Still one of the only movies that ever made me physically ill and not from gore or anything I could see, but from what I knew. Absolutely brilliant execution with incredible performances by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Fincher is a master.
Spooktober Day #25
The most polite murderers you may ever run into. I still can’t decide whether or not I love this movie and loathe how much it hates it’s audience. It’s been a long time since I watched it and either way I’m glued to the screen from start to finish and just miserable with tension and anxiety. Hateful? Perhaps, but it is 100% effective. Bonus is Naomi Watts and Tim Roth.
Spooktober Day #26
Tiiiiiiiiiiiime is on my side. Yes, it is.
I haven’t watched this in many moons and it’s so, so creepy. Denzel is one of my favorite actors on the planet and he’s perfectly matched with John Goodman. This movie is outstanding and deserves some more love, especially for it’s very clever ending.
Spooktober Day #27
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
This was an absolute favorite of mine when I was a kid and there just aren’t many people that have ever been funnier than Don Knotts. The Incredible Mr. Limpet is wonderful, but I think The Reluctant Astronaut may be my favorite, with Mr. Chicken right there.
This is a delightful and wonderful family film that no one ever mentions anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it and I think I laughed even harder than ever before. Do yourself a favor and watch it.
Spooktober Day #28
The Worst Witch
I have somehow never seen or heard of this movie, even after years of serving time in multiple video store chains AND adoring Fairuza Balk and Tim Curry. Add Diana Rigg and Charlotte Rae (who is so wonderful) and it was a hoot. Full of 80’s nostalgia and I know how much I would have adored this as a little girl. This was a happy Spooktober 2020 surprise.
Spooktober Day #29
This was another product of the late 90’s horror scene and it had just about everybody in the cast. Rebecca Gayheart, Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid and even Robert Englund. It was NOT good and doesn’t get mentioned often behind the I know what you screamed last summer mrs. tingle with idle hands to the final destination of fear of the craft movies.
Still it was fun to revisit even if it was a bad one. Part of the horror experience is sitting through the cheesy, less than great flicks. Consider this an experience.
Spooktober Day #30
This movie will forever be footnoted in my memory. First off, it was the first “R” rated movie I saw without my parents. I went with my friend and we were 16. Then there was the infamous ROLLERCOASTER scene….which in fairness was pretty hot. The cast was fantastic, but the movie was ridiculous and I’ll never forgive Mark Wahlberg for what he did to that dog.
So gross. Watching nearly two decades later it hasn’t aged particularly well, and as someone who has suffered crazy exes or stalkers it was just unnerving. An different kind of scary for this Spooktober 2020.
Spooktober Day #31
Each Halloween we have the tradition of watching Hocus Pocus after trick or treating and this year was (or will be) not different. It is the most “Halloweeny” of all Halloween themed films. The music is delightful and Bette, Sarah, and Kathy are just magnanimous. It is a WONDERFUL and fun family movie to watch. We love it. It is easily the best way to end “Spooktober” 2020.
Happy Spooktober 2020! I hope this Spooktober 2020 was a highlight of a bland and all together dark year. Spooktober 2020 was intended to be an escape from all of the darkness around us and instead find something far darker to be entertained by. Please feel free to share your own Spooktober 2020 submissions or post on Facebook and add your own experiences this fun season. Happy Halloween and Happy Spooktober 2020!