13 Scary Movies and Shows to Watch

So with October finally here, I'm going to post all my favorite horror films and TV shows. Except to me Halloween is not just a single night, but year-around nights of spooky awesome! :-) 

Most of you who know me, know I'm a true horror fan. I have loved scary movies and TV series since forever. I don't read much horror fiction anymore, but I do read its subgenres like urban fantasy and paranormal romance. 

But a good scary movie or TV show? Oh, yeah. I'm so there.



 
1) Let's start with the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," a new supernatural series developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for Netflix based on his horror comic series. I read all the comics and enjoyed them, although they are a bit darker than the Netflix series. If you’re looking to fill a horror binge-watching void, then I recommend this show.

I watched the 1990’s humorous sitcom “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," but this revamped story is much more sinister and pure creeptastic horror.

Plot Summary: Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is preparing for her 16th birthday, with a Dark Baptism where she'll declare her devotion to Satan and gain immortality and power. But as a half-breed, Sabrina finds herself torn between two different worlds of good and evil. Sabrina must decide to pledge herself to the black arts or live as a mortal girl.

Wow. Decisions, decisions.



 
But hey, don’t let the devil worshipping keep you from enjoying this haunting and disturbing tale of humor, witchcraft, and romance.





One of the best things about "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" (#CAoS) is the sets and decor. The settings in this series are incredible—very gothic and atmospheric. And I love how all the clothes, exterior buildings, and the interior sets have a 1960's look yet are also modern-day. The autumn earth tones of dark brown, vivid green, and bright crimson, along with the creeping fog throughout each scene really make the series have a dark ambiance.

And I'm loving the Spellman Mortuary and Sabrina’s house in this series. The mansion somewhat reminds me of the Bates home, and it even has a spooky graveyard on the property. I want to live there! LOL It is all so inspiring to my own writing muse. :-)





2) For my very first spooktacular suggestion, I am going to highly recommend this Netflix original series, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, a modern-day adaptation of Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel. 

I read the book years ago and I’ve seen the other two movies (meh), but nothing even comes close to this one. I think the writing (storytelling) is brilliant and the acting is exceptional. And some of the scenes are downright terrifying. This totally revamped storyline has some great plot twists, too.

Plot summary: This new storyline blends the terrors of a gothic haunted house with an intricate, multi-generational family drama that is set in flashbacks between the character’s childhood at Hill House and the aftermath as dysfunctional adults. The family, a couple with five children, move into the house in order to renovate and flip it. Instead of making a profit, they flee in the middle of the night, and the terrors that happened in that house haunts each child through adulthood.



I admit I have always had a morbid fascination with haunted house stories, and not so much with the ghosts, but the houses themselves. My favorite stories are the ones that take place in an old Gothic mansion on a forlorn estate with an eerie fog. Maybe that’s why I have so many scary houses in my own books. Anyway, this story delivers all my favorite scare tropes and then some!

If you enjoy a creepy, slow-burn ghost story, then you'll love this series. And if you don't have Netflix, I urge you to get a subscription because I have come to really love a lot of their original content. 

This October won’t be complete without watching this series. But hey, don’t blame me if you have to sleep with a nightlight. :-)




3) INSIDIOUS is a 2010 supernatural haunted house film directed by James Wan, written by Leigh Whannell, and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Barbara Hershey. 

I love this movie, and all the slow-burn creepy, the malevolent entities haunting the family, and the unexpected plot twist. It is a very intense and spooky haunted house thrill ride. Yup, these storylines are my favorite to watch.💀

Plot summary: The frightening story of a family who, shortly after moving, discovers that dark spirits have possessed their home and that their son has inexplicably fallen into a coma. Trying to escape the haunting and save their son, they move again only to realize that it was not their house that was haunted...

If you're craving a good horror flick to watch, then I recommend this one!


 


4)  I really love watching science-fiction horror. Two of my favs is the 1979 ALIEN and the 1992 sequel ALIENS, starring Sigourney Weaver, who is one of the best 'final girls' on screen.
 

Plot summary: the nail-biting terror begins when these space crews discover a deadly alien life-form. To survive, they must outsmart and escape the scaryass aliens.

I recommend watching both movies in the dark with a friend. Great special effects, phenomenal acting, and chilling suspense. 




5) I didn't start watching the CW's SUPERNATURAL until season 5. One summer, I binge-watched the first 4 seasons on Netflix and I have been a fan ever since. It is the two main characters and the actor's chemistry that really drives this show. The series has plenty of creepy paranormal storylines blended with humor and drama, which makes the show so awesome. Plus, let's face it, the two stars, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are hunkalicious.

Plot summary: This haunting series follows the thrilling yet terrifying journeys of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who travel throughout the country hunting supernatural creatures in their 1967 Chevy Impala.

While I love this show and the characters, I am getting really, really, really bored and sick of the angel story ARCs that feel as though they have been the focus of the last 4 or 5 seasons. I hope going forward that the writers come up with a fresh and unique evil villain for the brothers to fight. Please, no more angels. If you need ideas, feel free to contact me. :-)

Anyhoo, if you love supernatural-themed TV shows with great characters, I recommend giving this series a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you're already a fan, please tell me in the comments what you love best about this series.





6) One of my all-time favorite scary films is the 2013 “MAMA,” a horror movie from executive producer Guillermo del Toro and director Andres Muschietti. I admit I made fun of the lame title, but when I watched it, I was blown away. The acting is so damn good, the two young actresses, Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse, are astounding and it has great performances by Jessica Chastain and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau. Sure, it has a few plot holes, but those are easily dismissed because of the chilling suspenseful, ghostly fun. I love films with a slow-scare-burn and this one delivers, plus I admit that I teared up watching the heartbreaking ending.

Plot summary: On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by their Uncle Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel. Five years later, the girls are found alive in a decaying cabin, and Lucas and Annabel welcome them into their home. But as Annabel tries to reintroduce the children to a normal life, she finds that someone, or something, has followed them home…

If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend watching this movie if you are a horror fan. And if you have already seen it, please tell me what you thought. Loved it or hated it?





7) I want to chat about "HEREDITARY," a 2018 supernatural horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. I watched it with my son three days ago, and I'm still thinking about it. 

Plot summary: When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

I have to say, it is one of the best horror films that I've seen in years. Usually while watching something, I like to predict or guess what's happening or will happen. I pride myself on being able to figure out the plot. But I couldn't figure out a single one. This movie had so many twisty turns that were totally unpredictable that I was on the edge of my seat. I love when I'm watching something and think, "Holy crap. Did that just happen? I so did NOT see that coming."

I admit, I was bit confused by the ending so I had to look it up online, and when I did, it made sense but I wish it had been made a little clearer in the movie.

And normally, not much creeps me out, but after watching this film, I wanted to sleep with a nightlight and hold rosary beads. LOL

If you watch it, please let me know what you think and if it gave you chills, too. 



8) Another one of my all-time favorite movies is the 1984 cult classic, "NIGHT OF THE COMET," which features 2 Final Girls. (I really wish there was a novelization of this movie to read.) Say what you will, but I think the 80's had some of the best movies ever. This film is a science fiction horror comedy by director and writer Thom Eberhardt, where he wanted to merge strong female protagonists with a post-apocalyptic flair.

Plot Summary: After a rare comet sighting, teenage sisters, Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Samantha (Kelli Maroney), find that they're among the only survivors of a zombie outbreak. The girls partner with another survivor, Hector (Robert Beltran), but as they try to avoid the zombies, they're also being hunted by evil scientists...

If you haven't seen it yet, it is worth a watch if you like campy, lighthearted horror movies. It breaks a lot of 'horror rules" but that is one reason to admire this scary-lite end-of-the-world tale.

Just talking about it makes me want to shut the curtains, turn off the lights, and get comfy on my sofa with a blanket and a cat, then rewatch this movie. :-)




9) Next up, I am going to talk about a movie that my son and I love, which is I AM LEGEND, a 2007 post-apocalyptic science fiction drama, starring Will Smith and directed by Francis Lawrence, and also based on the novel by Richard Matheson.

I really love this film and Smith gives a mesmerizing performance. What I liked most about this story is that it is not your typical end-of-the-world tale and the zombies are not mindless, brain-munchers. (My son teared up when Neville's dog, Sam, was injured, but not so much when Neville faces death. Sorry, Will. 😊)

Plot Summary: In New York City, after a deadly virus originally created to cure cancer has wiped out most of mankind, it leaves a brilliant scientist, Robert Neville (Will Smith), as the last human in the city, other than nocturnal, zombie-like mutants. Neville is immune to the virus, and as he labors to develop a cure, he meets two survivors, while defending himself against the hostile mutants.



If you haven't seen this movie yet, what are you waiting for? It is a film of nail-biting suspense and well-worth watching. Did I mention it stars Will Smith? ’Nuff said.

 

10) Over the years, I have watched the 1968 “ROSEMARY’S BABY” film numerous times and also read the book by Ira Levin. It is definitely one of my favorite horror films directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Ruth Gordon.

The acting is outstanding and the musical score eerily chilling. Even the apartment building Rosemary lives in has a morbid history, which I find interesting. And I love the theme song, a haunting lullaby composed by Krzysztof Komeda and sung by Mia Farrow.

Plot Summary
: The film chronicles the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult of witches wants to take her baby to use in their rituals.

It is truly one of the best supernatural thrillers ever made and I highly recommend watching it. The book and movie have been a big inspiration for my own spooky tales. :-)




11) No rest for the wicked, they say. The 1976 film, THE OMEN, is a supernatural thriller directed by Richard Donner and written by David Seltzer. The film has received high-acclaim from critics and was a commercial success.

This is hands-down, one of my top favorite horror movies. It is very fast-paced, with loads of spooky thrills and chills. (My favorite scene is in the graveyard with the men digging up the graves and the killer dogs. So scary!) I love the dark mood and chilling atmosphere, plus the acting performances are first-rate. Even watching it again gives me the major creeps.

Plot summary: American diplomat Robert (Gregory Peck) and his wife, Katherine (Lee Remick), have a stillborn child. Afterwards, the ambassador is talked into secretly adopting an orphaned infant. When Damien turns five years old, the horror begins with his nanny's dramatic suicide. As the death toll escalates and the mystery unravels, Robert realizes that his son is the actual antichrist.

So my fellow horror fans, I recommend watching this terrifying movie with a friend, and stay out of any old cemeteries after nightfall...




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