In these strange times, Halloween won’t follow the usual set up. However, even if celebrations are on hold, there are plenty of other means to get into that spooky feeling. Between thrilling and atmospheric books, harrowing TV shows and entertaining movies, there are plenty of materials available to get you in that mood. Here are my Halloween recommendations.
1. Jade City by Fonda Lee: Anyone that wants to feel the adrenaline you get from the most thrilling rollercoaster needs to read this book. It will have you hooked from the first page and keep you on the edge of your seats to the very end. Janloon is a city that’s on the brink of war, and the consequences are devastating. Jade City has some of the best action sequences and magic system that I’ve ever read, but the heart of this story lies in the Kaul siblings, each fighting the burden of expectation and longing for peace. Halloween is the perfect time to read this thrilling novel.
2. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis: If you’re looking for something that dives deeper into horror, then look no further than Harrow Lake. This book is full of mysteries as our lead character, Lola finds herself in a town with plenty of character, haunting tales, and occupants haunted by their past. It’s a book that will keep you up at night.
3. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: The beauty of fairy tales is in losing ourself in their magical atmosphere. This collection of tale’s set in Bardugo’s Grishaverse is both haunting and imaginative with unpredictable twists that have a constant sense of dread to them. Accompanying the tale’s are a series of stunning illustrations that immerse readers in this captivating world.
1. The Haunting of Hill House & Bly Manor: Depending on your tolerance of horror, Hill House and Bly Manor are both brilliant stories that are, at times, terrifying but have rich character. Bly Manor lies on the softer side of horror and is a lot more romantic that Hill House, but equally as compelling. Hill House, on the other hand, focuses on sibling dynamics and how their experiences as kids in the terrifying Hill House shaped them as adults, forcing them to confront their greatest fear. Both shows will have you cowering behind pillows, but the cast performance and the storytelling is brilliant for this spooky season.
2. Grimm: You can’t go wrong with a show influenced by the tales of old. Grimm is a show that brings creatures from all around the world to modern-day Portland. With a strong cast and an intricate plot threaded between the case of the week episodes, Grimm is a brilliant supernatural drama you can enjoy this autumn.
3. Castlevania: Halloween is a fitting opportunity to watch one of the most compelling narratives surrounding the notorious vampire, Dracula. In three seasons, Castlevania takes us through a whirlwind of action and darkness. In a world full of monsters, it’s perhaps unsettling to find that the greatest threat comes from humans themselves. This show does not hold back on the violence and drama, plunging us to a world of darkness and despair.
1. A Quiet Place: If you want to watch a film that will have you at the edge of your seats, A Quiet Place is the one for you. It’s a movie that utilises the impact of sound, or lack of, as a means of building tension. It’s a film that proves that you don’t need dialogue-heavy scripts to create a compelling story and will give you quite the scare at times.
2. Parasite: This movie is a masterpiece in storytelling. However, it’s also an incredibly haunting movie, one that takes a surprisingly sinister turn that is both deceitful and claustrophobic. Yes, the movie is humorous and visually striking, but beyond that, Parasite is a film that perfectly dissects the intricate conflict of the social hierarchy.
3. Knives Out: For those of you looking for a fun take on the classic who-dun-it trope, I highly recommend Knives Out. It’s literally like a game of Cluedo come to life, just a little bit quirkier and a whole lot of fun. The cast is the real stars of this film, but the intricacy of the plot is equally as gripping. It’s a brilliant film for those cold autumnal nights.