Thea’s Culture Watch: The “I Heart Halloween” Movie List

So now that you’ve gotten to know SMAC’s very own Thea Mann little better, you get that she has her finger on the pulse of pretty much anything you need to know about entertainment and culture, from the best music to the must-read books to what to watch on the big and small screens. Today, she talks about her favorite holiday, Halloween—M.S.

Halloween is, without question, my favorite holiday. I love everything about it: It signifies fall sliding into winter. It allows for cozy, lazy days on the couch and sweaters that slop over your wrists. Pumpkin muffins are everywhere (the freakin’ best muffin of all) and costumes. Anyone in a costume is cute—I challenge you to prove me wrong.  I. LOVE. HALLOWEEN.

I know this is also a time for those who love slasher, axe-murderer, crypt-keeper, night-stalker, bloody-entrails, and chainsaw-massacre movies. I am not one of those people. Nope, no thank you, not for me. That said, I do like psychological fear: that feeling of not knowing what the shite is happening and/or why it is happening or when it is really going to go down. It’s the pins-and-needles-prickling-your-spine kind of fear, and I am all about that. So, in light of that, here are some movies that really tingle the spine:

The Shining (1980): A Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall … I can’t, it’s so beyond brilliant. If you haven’t seen this movie, I am so unbelievably jealous that you get to experience it for the first time. If you haven’t seen it in a while, revisit it—it’s like a fine wine, and only gets better with age. If you break it out every Halloween then I say “Yay, you!” It’s a classic, it’s timeless, and it’s scary as hell. Redrum to you.

The Others (2001): Starring Nicole Kidman, this is an oldie (relatively speaking) but a goodie. I saw this with a bunch of friends at the movie theater. There was a minor earthquake midway through the movie and no one moved—everyone was too fixated on WTF was going on with Nicole Kidman, her kids, and those weird servants. It’s that good!

No Country For Old Men (2007): This may feel a little out of place with the rest of this list for an All Hallows Eve viewing, but Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh is bone-chilling; the worst, dead behind the eyes, the kind of stuff nightmares are made from. And I mean that in the best possible Halloween kind of way. So have at it.

Get Out (2017): Jordan Peele wrote, directed, and scared the crap out of me with this flick. In addition to all that, the movie is a good mix of social satire, wicked commentary, and downright terror. For sure, there are moments when you literally want to tell the main dude (Daniel Kaluuya) to “Get out!”—I mean, it’s a perfect title for this movie. Also, Oscar nod from me, to Catherine Keener, for being supes creepy, too. Enjoy!

So, pop some corn—like on the stove, the real way with oil, and everything—and have yourself a fantastic Halloween. Boo!