31 October 2018

A Halloween 'To Watch' List

Happy Halloween! Welcome to the final day of Halloweek here in hiyaitsashley. For today's post I thought I would keep it simple, and share with you a good all list of viewing recommendations - Halloween edition!

Halloween is a great time of year for getting creative with your outfits and spending all night at a fantastic costume party with great food and spooky themed drinks. But for a lot of us, a night at home with a pile of sweets and a few good spooky movies or tv shows is the way to go! I've split this post into two categories, Horror/Scary and Family Friendly, so there's (hopefully) something for everyone in the lost! I also did a version of this post last year that focused on a mix of Books, TV, Movies and video games!


Scream (Movies & the TV Series)

If you know me then you know that the Scream series is one of my all time favourite horror series, if I had to choose then I'd say that  films definitely take top place but the show is a worthy second.

Scream falls into one of the horror genre's classic tropes - slasher serial killer on the loose hunting a bunch of teens thanks to one specific 'final girl'. I love the casting for this movie as well, starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Riverdale's Skeet Ulrich. It's a fantastic cast!

I love all of the Scream movies so I was super where they brought our a Scream tv series I would love that as well, and I wasn't wrong! I highly recommend the tv show if you're a fan of films like this, because it's for the same premise and the return of an even creepier looking Ghostface!

The TV series was amazing, I binged watched the entire first season in just over one evening! Series 2 was also a big plus, and into season 3 is when it began to lull for me, but was still good. The premise was the same, Ghostface was still after the final girl and her friends, but the costume was much scarier and there was a lot of good plot twists and some really well done, gorey deaths!

Movie Rating: 15/10
- Highly recommned
- Sidney is a badass, so is Gale
- Skeet Ulrich, that's all.

TV Rating: 9/10
- A really good watch
- Super interesting plot lines
- Some very gorey death
- Gives you more of an uneasy 'ick' feeling than the movies

Scare Rating: 7/10
- Not scary but pretty bloody
- A couple of well-timed jumpscares
- The TV show was very gorey in places
- Show was quite creepy at times

Truth Or Dare

This is a film that I was eager to see released earlier this year which stars Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey, and is themed around, you guessed it, the dame truth or dare. The concept is fairly simple. a group of friends are on holiday in Mexico and get caught up in a game of truth or dare which ends up being deadly, the rules are simple: Tell the truth,or you die. Do the dare,or you die. Refuse, you die.

This is a suprenatural horror movie and while I generally prefer ones with a good old murderer, I think the supernatural element really work here. Part of what makes the movie so creepy, is the idea that there's no masked psycho running around after you, no real life boogie man who you can eventually trap, stab or shoot. Just a plain old demonic curse.

I think this movie is well worth a watch, and with the ending I originally had mixed feelings but I've actually come to think it's a pretty smart one after all.

Movie Rating: 7/10
- Plot is very smart
- Very creepy manifestation of the curse when someone dies
- Ending gets points for  creativity

Scare Rating: 6/10
- Some pretty gruesome dare scenes
- Few good jumpscares
- Makes you quite uneasy rather than frightened
- Very creepy manifestation

Halloween (1&2, 4-8, 2018)

The Halloween franchise definitely ties with Scream for my favourite horror series. I really love the whole concept of of the Halloween universe and the story of Michael Myers and his pursuit of Laurie Strode. If you've been following Haloweek here on hiyaitsashley then you'll know that on day 2 I did a review of the new Halloween movie, which has fast become a favourite of mine in th series along with the original and the first sequel. The acting from Jamie Lee Curtis in all 3 is just fantastic!

I think these movies are such a classic for anyone who likes a good old serial killer or slasher movie. For a start, the music is perfect. It's a slow build on the piano, and has the chilling kind of vibe that gives you goosebumps. The actual aesthetic completely hits the mark as well and it adds a lot of effect to the movie as well, especially if you watch it in 2018, 40 years after it was made! Everything is old and broken down, kind of tinted in colour, and Michael's costuming is so simple yet pretty eerie. It's also perfect because there isn't really any jumpscaring involved, ot's uch more eerie becasue you always know where he is and he gives you that tilt of his head and his slow walk forward. I think that gives much more of an ick factor than anything.

The plots ca be a but jumpy and hard to follow from film to film later in the series but for me that all adds to the 'Halloween' experience. It makes things a bit more disjointed and disorientating and for a horror series that's a good thing!

Movie Rating: 15-10
- Cannot recommend this one enough
- Great plot lines and even better acting
- Gives you that on edge, tingy feeling you want from this type of movie

Scare Rating: 9/10
- Quite scary when you know someone is always lingering in each shot
- Some quite violent scenes
- The characterisation of Michael is done amazingly
- Heavy breathing is always freaky

IT (Original & Remake)

I've got both the original 1990 IT and the 2017 remake version of IT on this list because I think both are incredible films, deserving on any horror recommendations list. I love Stephen King's IT, I think the story is such a good one, a demon/monster/thing that takes the form of whatever you're most afraid of? That is a freaky thought itself, but to have it's primary form that we see it in be a clown, that's a big old bag of nope.

I have to give it to both Tim Curry and Bill SkarsgÄrd though for their versions of Pennywise because both were spot on. The original was super creepy to me, just with how he looked and moved and ew, and then the 2017 version was a bit less scary and just all around more goosebump raising and creepy.

Even if you aren't a fan of clowns I would still say to give either of these a watch, because they are excellent films and truly great horrors. The original isn't as scary but it has a lot of action as a plot as it has both the kids and adults stories in one movie and it is more creepy than outright scary, whereas the newer version only focuses on the children's side of the story but it has more jumpscares to throw at you!

Movie Rating: 10/10
- Both amazing movies with great acting
- The storyline is amazing and fun to follow
- Quite long movies

Scare Rating: 9/10
- Original is fairly creepy/uneasy. Tim Curry plays the part fantastically
- Newer version has quite a few pretty terrifying jumpscares
- Quite a lot of blood
- Clowns

A Nightmare On Elm Street

This film is one that I love but that also spooks me a bit because I love sleeping, and if you know the film then you know that the infamous Freddy Kruger is a dream demon, meaning that you're perfectly safe in the real world, but when you fall asleep you can't escape Freddy unless you wake up before he kills you.

While this film is particular scary in terms of violence and gore, the idea of someone trying to kill me while I'm asleep but there being nothing I can really do about it (because I'm asleep) really weirds me out. Which is a bit icky in itself because I love my sleep.

I love the aesthetic of this film through because I think the special effects are amazing. The overall burned and charred looked of Freddy is so well done, especially for a film made back on 1985!

Movie Rating: 8/10
- Really good film, easy to get invested in
- Young Johnny Depp
- Amazing plot line

Scare Rating: 7/10
- No jumpscares
- Quite blood, a it gorey
Makes you feel uneasy more than scared

American Horror Story (Series 1-3 &5)

This is the second TV series on the list but it one that is definitely worth being there, because the themes and the acting in these series is amazing and since each series has a different theme it's kind of like having several small movies!

There are currently 7 series of AHS and series 7 is on TV at the minute. I've seen up to series 5 at the minute and got up to halfway throgh 6 before I got busy with university work so I have some to catch up on still. But for the list I've recommended my 4 favourite series:

Series 1 - Murder House
Series 2 - Asylum (The best one!)
Series 3 - Coven
Series 5 - Hotel

I've got a whole separate blog post about American Horror Story that you can read here so I won't go into too much detail about the series here but I will say that these are the perfect type of series to be watching at this time of year, as the acting is fantastic and really sells the overall creepy and scary vibe of the show!

Season Ratings: 1 - 10/10
2 - 15/10
3 - 8/10
4 - 10/10

Scare/Creepy Rating - 1- 8/10
2 - 11/10
3 - 6/10
4 - 8/10

Family Friendly Movies

Hocus Pocus

This film is one of my all time favourite 'kids' movies just because it's a really good Halloween movie for kids that has some light spooks but it's still just a bit of fun. Plus, it has Bette Midler in it! And she sings the iconic 'I Put A Spell On You' which is one of the best scenes of the whole movie!

Ghostbusters (The original or the 2016 version)

Ghostbusters is a great option for watchin with kids at Halloween becasue it's got all the 'spooks' of ghosts but it's actually jut a pretty lighthearted movie. The 2016 version is even better, because it's more of a comedy movie than anything!


This is a Disney Channel original movie that came out back when I was kid and I loved! It was about two sisters who followed their gran one one day to where she lives, a place called Halloweentown, and discovered that they came from a family of witches!

Hotel Transylvania (1 & 2)

These films are an animated option and are films that I love because they are about monsters, so they have that Halloween-y vibe, but they are defintely not scary films! They are funny and lighthearted, and feature the voices of some of my favourite celebrities, such as Selena Gomez. Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler! These films are both definitely worth watching!

Those are some of my recommendations for good films an TV shows to binge on this Halloween. I'm a fan of horror films myself so I'll likely find something spooky to watch, but I've popped in some less scary alternatives and some for anyone out there who fancies a bit of more lighthearted viewing!

What are your favourite scary movies? Have you got any Halloween plans? Let me know in the comments below!

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