Halloween Special Movies & Shows: 6 Spook-tacular Projects From 'The Lodge' To 'The Night House' You Must See...
Halloween Special Movies & Shows: 6 Spook-tacular Projects From ‘The Lodge’ To ‘The Night House’ You Must See…(Photo Credit –Imdb)

Halloween – the time when we all reminisce about our childhood days of trick-or-treating and braving those spooky haunted houses with jump scares galore. But guess what? We’ve graduated from being the treat seekers to the treat givers. Talk about irony, right?

To keep our minds off the doom of aging, I’uve got a spook-tacular plan. I’ll recommend a bunch of movies and TV series that’ll put you right in the Halloween mood. And who knows, you might even get some inspiration to scare those unruly kids into perfect Halloween behavior. Time to turn the tables!

1. The Offering

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Prime Video

Oliver Park’s directorial debut delves into the Jewish folktale of Abyzou, a female demon. Surprisingly, this dark legend finds an eerie home in a Hasidic funeral home in Brooklyn. “The Offering” may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s far from a flop. This film does exactly what it intends – it entertains.

This movie takes us on a nostalgic journey, reminiscent of horror films from the late 2000s and early 2010s. It leaves me eager to see what this filmmaker has in store for the future. While the plot follows a familiar path, its exploration of religious faith and rituals adds depth to the chills and jump-scares. What truly sets this horror flick apart is its cultural specificity. It’s a chilling tale that stands out in a crowded genre.

2. A Series Of Unfortunate Events

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Netflix

With three seasons based on Lemony Snicket’s children’s book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” plunges us into the lives of three young siblings whose world shatters when their parents meet an untimely end in a mysterious fire. The Baudelaire children are swiftly thrust into the care of a peculiar and villainous figure known as Count Olaf, who harbors sinister intentions to snatch their inheritance.

This series might not dabble in the supernatural, yet its somber atmosphere and enigmatic aura perfectly align with the fall season’s vibes. While it has its share of dark moments, it never ventures into the realm of pure terror, considering its target audience is children. Nevertheless, the storyline’s intrigue holds the attention of adults, making it an ideal family watch. You can catch “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix.

What makes this show stand out is its depiction of a world plagued by bumbling bureaucracies, dishonest media, indifferent grown-ups, and a relentlessly narcissistic villain who absurdly keeps coming out on top. It’s strangely reassuring – staying true to the books’ unique blend of campy gloom.

At its core, this series tells a tragic tale of loss, grief, and the escalating unfairness of life as each year unfolds. Yet, it transforms these poignant truths into captivating entertainment through the passion and skill of its storytellers.

In its final season, the story delves deeper into the motives and moments of empathy for some of the antagonists, but the children never lose sight of the fact that the bad guys are bad for a reason. This series weaves a tale that is both heartrending and heartening, leaving an indelible mark with its rich narrative.

3. The Night House

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Disney+

In an eerie lakeside mansion in upstate New York, a grieving widow, portrayed by the incomparable Rebecca Hall, experiences a spine-tingling encounter with her deceased husband. What follows is a nightmarish reflection of her marriage, unraveling her reality in ways she could never have imagined.

This film, helmed by the rising horror auteur David Bruckner, is a rollercoaster of jump scares that will leave you breathless. With breathtaking cinematography and genuinely chilling moments throughout, it lures you in, only to deliver a spine-tingling twist at the very end. Although Rebecca Hall’s performance shines, it may not fully compensate for the film’s lackluster scare factor.

When horror films strive to be overly intellectual, they often suffer from a conflict between building up the horror and delivering a supposedly clever plot. The first half-hour of the film is a thrilling ride, offering a fresh take on the horror genre that’s often plagued by cliches. In a genre where many films come off as nonsensical, this one stands out as a genuinely impressive scare-fest.

But what sets it apart is the way it manages to combine clever storytelling with spine-chilling moments. The conclusion might not be for everyone, but it adds a layer of depth to the film that keeps you thinking long after the credits roll. As an avid viewer of scary movies, I found this one to be a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t just the run-of-the-mill horror flick; it brought something new to the table.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I convinced my girlfriend, who’s a self-proclaimed scary movie fan, to watch it with me after my initial solo viewing. To my surprise, she loved it just as much as I did. It’s the little subtleties and details that you may have missed on your first watch that make this film even more intriguing. This movie redefines what a great horror film can be and is a must-watch for anyone seeking a fresh and truly terrifying cinematic experience.

4. Ghosts

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Prime Video

CBS’s “Ghosts” draws inspiration from the beloved BBC show of the same name, introducing a young couple who unwittingly become residents of a haunted house teeming with spirits from different eras. Following a near-death experience, Sam gains the ability to see these ethereal inhabitants, and they must navigate the challenges of coexisting in spectral harmony.

For those seeking a more lighthearted dose of spookiness, “Ghosts” is the perfect watch. This show firmly leans into comedy over horror, as the ghosts gradually welcome Sam and Jay into their quirky found family. Devoted fans may also want to explore the original BBC version, which is gearing up for its fifth and final season.

Currently, “Ghosts” is available for streaming on Paramount+, offering an entertaining American twist on the beloved British concept. The CBS series brings its own charm to the table, even if it occasionally stumbles into some of the pitfalls of American sitcom formatting. Nevertheless, when it hits its comedic stride, it really shines.

The show proves to be amusing and easily digestible, with Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar carrying much of the comedic load. While it might not be without its flaws, none are significant enough to break the deal. However, it’s worth noting that “Ghosts” may not sustain interest based solely on its “good bones” indefinitely.

In contrast, the original UK version thrives on the witty exchanges among the spirits, lightning-fast visual and verbal humor, qualities that aren’t as prominent in this American adaptation. It attempts to capture the spirit of the original, but some of its essence gets lost in translation.

Yet, “Ghosts” manages to keep the premise fresh, breathing new life into the age-old concept. As long as the writing maintains its strengths, it has the potential to endure and entertain for seasons to come, avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump that plagues many shows.

5. The Lodge

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Netflix

“The Lodge” is an eerie, snowbound chamber piece that unfurls a winter holiday tale within a cabin, where two children find themselves in the company of their father’s enigmatic new girlfriend, Grace, portrayed by Riley Keough. Directed by the Austrian duo of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, this film is a genre exercise that tightens the screws gradually, building tension like a relentless vice grip.

Riley Keough’s performance in “The Lodge” is nothing short of remarkable. It’s so potent, so convincing, that as viewers, we are willing to follow her character through any twists and turns the story may take. As the plot unfolds and the ultimate fate of Grace is unveiled, her captivating portrayal keeps us engaged, making us invest in every possible outcome.

The film is perfectly paced, immersing the audience in a purgatorial experience alongside the protagonists. “The Lodge” doesn’t feel compelled to provide answers to all the questions it poses, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Its strength lies in its capacity to evoke strong emotions, and the lingering feelings it leaves are far more enduring than mere explanations. This is a cinematic journey that you won’t easily forget.

Franz and Fiala, with their direction, successfully channel the eerie sensibilities often associated with Kubrick, albeit on a smaller scale. The result is a film that stands on its own, delivering a kind of skin-crawling satisfaction that is uniquely its own.

What makes “The Lodge” truly stand out are its exceptional technical aspects. Thimios Bakatakis’ cinematography adds an element of peculiarity to the visuals, enhancing the film’s unsettling atmosphere. The claustrophobic production design adds to the sense of entrapment and heightens the tension throughout the story.

At its core, “The Lodge” is anchored by Riley Keough’s impressive lead performance, which elevates the film into the ranks of atmospheric horror that captivates and unsettles in equal measure.

6. The Haunting Of Hill House

(Photo Credit: IMDb)

Where To Watch: Netflix

In a modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s iconic novel, we delve into the lives of siblings who spent their formative years in the very house that would later become the most infamous haunted residence in the country. Now, as adults, a family tragedy reunites them, forcing a long-overdue confrontation with the lingering specters of their past. These apparitions aren’t confined to the recesses of memory; some may still haunt the dark corridors of Hill House.

The ensemble cast, boasting talents like Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino, and Henry Thomas, breathes life into this chilling narrative. The series was crafted by Mike Flanagan, a maestro of the horror genre who expertly weaves terror and emotion.

“The Haunting of Hill House” delivers a deeply unsettling experience that unexpectedly tugs at your heartstrings, particularly in its exquisitely paced middle portion. It raises the bar for episodic horror, not merely living up to previous adaptations but proving that a series can be both emotionally intricate and relentlessly terrifying. The meticulous character development, the intricate web of relationships, and the stakes at play are nothing short of phenomenal.

Yet, in the process, the adaptation seems to shed the raw feminine perversity that defined Jackson’s original work, a quality that left an indelible mark on her storytelling.

And to cap off this list, we arrive at the ominous number associated with the devil. It’s a perfect way to round out our Halloween recommendations. What more could you ask for?

Must Read: Halloween 2023 Ft. Goosebumps: From Spine-Tingling Novels To Friday The 13th Screams – Here’s What The New Series Has To Offer This Spooky Season

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