The 31 Days of Halloween | 2022 Watchlist

No other holiday serves up the perfect excuse to binge movies all month long like Halloween. Some poor screenagers may partake in the 25 Days of Xmas (a marathon of Christmas-themed made-for-TV trash) and lonely hearts will always use February as an excuse to watch their favorite rom-coms but for everyone else who doesn’t fall into either of those categories and is too old for trick ‘r treating, the Halloween season is built for binge-watching movies, horror specifically. Many channels will be playing the classics all month long but unlike Xmas and lovey-dovey rom-coms, there are only so many Halloween-themed horror movies, which means their lineup is probably stale.

Luckily, the SAW crew has made a list of new classics you should watch this month. Some are psychological thrillers, others are splatter flicks and there’s even a kid-friendly movie or two thrown in. The only criteria was that it had to be horror or Halloween adjacent, so much like the trick ‘r treating of days past, every day will be a new surprise. If you’re looking for an alternative to the same old Halloween classics or want ideas for your own marathon, check out the recommendations below.


Day 1—Scream (1996)

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game. I mean, what can you say about a classic? With a clever, witty and self-aware script, not to mention incredible directing by the late, great Wes Craven, Scream breathed new life into a dying genre and inspired hundreds of slasher films to come. I don’t think anyone in this movie gives a bad performance and there aren’t many opening movie sequences as iconic and well known as Casey Becker’s doomed phone call. Personally, I don’t think there’s one bad movie in the entire franchise, but it’s always going to be the original that gets all the praise from me.

–Romona Comet


Day 2—Suspiria (1977)

I’d been aware of Dario Argento’s Suspiria for quite a while before I finally saw it for the first time. I knew it had a reputation for being a very disturbing film, and yet knowing this in no way prepared me for experiencing the film. The story follows Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), an American ballet student who joins a prestigious dance academy in Germany, only to quickly realize that there is something strange and disturbing going on.

One thing that struck me almost immediately while watching Suspiria is how colorful this film is. Especially once Suzy enters the dance academy, the eye is almost assaulted with incredibly rich colors, especially red and blue. The vibrant colors combined with the unsettling music only intensify the feeling of horror that permeates the film from the beginning, even before anything happens. I couldn’t help but notice that Argento has the camera focus on seemingly weird items, like watching water swirl down a drain or rain pour into a sewer grate. Perhaps that was also meant to add to the unsettled feeling the viewer is supposed to feel.

As for the story itself, I found I couldn’t look away for a single minute. Even before the full story is unraveled, there is so much going on that it’s impossible to not watch because you might miss something important. Argento created a film that literally seared itself into my brain and I have to imagine that anyone who sees this film won’t forget it anytime soon.

–Becky O’Brien


Day 3—Raw (2016)

Before bursting onto the scene in 2021 with Titane, Julia Ducournau made her directorial debut with an arguably more controversial film. Raw tells the story of a young veterinarian student who discovers some unsavory information about herself and her family while away at school. Raw will disturb you more than it will flat out scare you, but the disturbances are not simply for cheap effect. They all serve a purpose of unraveling a wild ride of a film that is as tightly directed as any I’ve seen in recent memory.

Unchanged: While I do highly recommend this movie, I would strongly advise against watching it while scarfing down a meal. There are many scenes that are not for the squeamish. However, outside of the disturbing sequences lies a fascinating examination of coming into adulthood, femininity, and sexuality. Ducournau’s film appears deranged on the surface, but it is not without deeper meaning. With only two films under her belt, Ducournau is proving to be one of the most exciting filmmakers in the contemporary.

–Raf Stitt


Day 4—Dawn of the Dead (2004)

An homage to the creator of modern Zombiedom. Doing credit to its original maker, George A. Romero, Dawn of the Dead did not disappoint. Unlike the original 1978 version, the zombies were modernized to the now more common fast moving aggressive zombies. While some might see this as a bastardization of George’s uniquely special creation, others see it as a masterful redesign to take the development of the gift of horror he made to a new level for a new age of fear. While other movies have provided the faster and more aggressive zombie, 28 Days Later comes to mind, Dawn of the Dead takes a more natural approach to human behavior.

Starting with little to no explanation of the virus, the movie does not need or want exposition. And more importantly, presents it is such a way that the viewer does not feel the need to question the origins. Set in Milwaukee and some time in the 2000’s, the story follows a select few survivors and their efforts to continue to survive in a post apocalyptic zombie world. Cut off from all outside communication, social constructs being to breakdown as the instinct to survive begins to overpower the better reasoning of some, while others and drawn toward self sacrifice for the good of others.

What makes this film special is not the effects or the horror, both of which are wonderfully executed, but the character’s humanity and consistency of intent and action shows the true talent of the writers and director to create a fictitious world that can allow the viewer to willfully suspend their disbelief and see themselves in the moment. To contemplate how they would react. As well as seeing parts of themselves in the characters portrayed.

The actors selected are nearly all perfect for their roles. They are not overly attractive actors like most films seem to cast to attract viewers. They all seem like regular people. Regular people instead of the beautiful elite of Hollywood. There are no magic heroes with special abilities that could not be found from any regular person. Just ordinary people trying to find hope that there is somewhere safe from the virus and their desperation to live long enough to see it.

–McKayla


Day 5—The Wicker Man (1973)

The 1973 film The Wicker Man has been considered an icon in the horror genre for decades and for good reason. This film set the bar for what a folk horror film should be, and even decades later current films are measured up to it (remember the comparisons to The Wicker Man when Midsommar came out?) 

What helps to make The Wicker Man so memorable is that the true horror element of the story isn’t revealed until almost the very end of the film. For most of the story, we follow along with policeman Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) as he investigates Summerisle, a remote Scottish island, for a missing girl. The devout Howie is almost instantly at odds with the islanders, who all practice a strange blend of neo-paganism. After stubbornly continuing to investigate, Howie comes to the conclusion that the missing girl is due to be sacrificed during the May Day celebrations because the island’s crops failed the previous autumn. Well…he was partially right about there being a sacrifice.

Aside from Woodward’s performance as the uptight Howie, the most iconic performance in this film probably belongs to Christopher Lee, who plays the charismatic Lord Summerisle. Lee oozes charm every time he appears on the screen, even during the shocking climax when the truth comes out about who is being sacrificed. It’s slightly terrifying how calm Lee is about the whole situation, and it goes a long way towards showing just how horrifying something can be when you encounter a group of people obsessively devoted to their beliefs.

–Becky O’Brien


Day 6—C.H.U.D. (1984)

C.H.U.D is not one of those movies that you hear people often refer to as a favorite. Although it’s developed a cult following in the years since its release in 1984, it remains, at least for me, one of the unsung pieces of 1980s horror schlock.

It’s not that the movie is secretly great, but it does combine a few elements that I enjoy. First among those is the setting. New York City in the 80s was on the tail end of a near two decade run of rising crime rates and urban decay. It wasn’t the Disneyland for adults we’ve grown used to. That backdrop is interesting in and of itself. But you throw in a half-baked social commentary about homelessness and nuclear waste and John Heard and Daniel Stearn, and you got yourself a movie worth watching in my opinion. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets remade in a couple of years.

Add it to your list this Halloween. It’s at least worth a laugh or two.

–Billy Dhalgren


Day 7—The Empty Man (2020)

I think for each of us there’s a film or two (or more) that we love that simply never got the exposure that we think it deserves. The Empty Man is one of those for me. Based (VERY loosely) on a comic book series by Cullen Bunn and Vanessa R. Del Rey, this first feature film from David Prior (AM1200) is a master class in slow-burn creepiness and vaguely Lovecraftian menace. The release got shafted by studio re-shuffling, and so it never really got the exposure I think it deserves. Yes, I used that line twice in the same paragraph.

The first 20 minutes form an almost complete mini-movie, as a group of friends on a remote mountain find themselves in deep trouble when one of them falls into a coma and horrific events begin to pile up. It’s an enjoyably eerie sequence, but I also think it’s extraneous and unnecessary for enjoying the rest of the film.

The rest of the movie follows ex-cop James Lasombra (James Badge Dale) as he investigates the disappearance of a family friend. His only clue is a phrase written on a bathroom mirror – “The Empty Man made me do it.”  As his investigation progresses and the bodies pile up Lasombra finds himself the target of a cult posing as a self-help program and the center of an increasingly weird series of events.

The film is a puzzle and it has enough layers that it rewards multiple viewings. If you like slow burn eeriness, twisty psychological horror or Lovecraftian atmosphere The Empty Man has all of that in spades. Add in some excellent performances, sharp editing, lovely cinematography and a fantastic soundtrack and you get something special.

–Bob Cram


Day 8—The Final Girls (2015)

While I like watching horror movies, I’ll admit that I’m usually not rushing to watch the genre outside of the Halloween season. However, I’m a sucker for meta-cinema, especially when it’s in the form of a horror film (I’m looking at you, Scream). There’s something about characters calling out horror tropes while getting slashed that is just appealing to me. The Final Girls isn’t technically a meta film in the same vein as Scream, but it still calls attention to the fact that they are in a horror film… because they literally are. The Final Girls is about a group of high school students who are transported into a 1986 slasher film called Camp Bloodbath. So yeah, it’s pretty much a parody of the first few Friday the 13th films. The film, boasting an impressive cast of “Hey, that actor!,” is more comedy than horror, but it will still have you screaming in fright as much as it does have you howling with laughter. Don’t sleep on this underrated gem.

–Marmaduke Karlston


Day 9The Village (2004)

Every October I found myself vehemently defending M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village as a misunderstood marvel. In my eyes, it remains the best work that he’s done. Every rewatch makes it more enjoyable than the last. With the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver, Adrien Brody, and Bryce Dallas Howard rounding out the cast, the performances in The Village are among some of the strongest Shyamalan has directed. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. Although, it’s a bit of a cheat code when you have Deakins shoot your film. Together, he and Shyamalan build a rich world of cold tension and bitter confusion.

What I love most about The Village is the simplicity of its thematic elements. Shyamalan is unapologetic about what he wants the movie to be about and every moment in the film is a reflection of that. As a story of parental sacrifice, judicious righteousness, and the lengths we will go in service of that, The Village is an absolute home run. The twist might not be up to the level of something like The Sixth Sense, but it delivers on the thrills, it delivers on the frights, and it delivers on the heart.

–Raf Stitt


Day 10—The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

The Curse of Frankenstein is a notable horror film for several reasons. It was the first Hammer horror film released in color and it featured Peter Cushing playing the iconic role of Baron Frankenstein for the first time. The success of this film led to Hammer remaking other iconic monster films, including Dracula and The Mummy. 

This film takes place almost entirely in flashback, told by Frankenstein to a priest as he awaits the guillotine after being convicted of murder. The film is largely faithful to the story of Frankenstein creating his monster, but there are some notable differences. Cushing’s Frankenstein is far more ruthless and obsessive than Colin Clive’s Frankenstein ever was. Case in point? Cushing’s Frankenstein obtains a brain for his monster by murdering a respected professor in cold blood while Clive’s Frankenstein sends an assistant to retrieve a brain from a body that was already dead. That’s just one example, but it goes a long way toward showing this is a new Frankenstein. 

But what really captures my imagination about The Curse of Frankenstein is what’s implied at the very end of the film. As I said before, most of the story is told in flashback with Frankenstein himself serving as the narrator. As Frankenstein finishes, his alleged assistant visits him and shows no sign that he actually participated in the experiments. While this could be interpreted as Frankenstein being left to his fate, it alternatively implies that Frankenstein is insane and he made up the entire story of creating a monster to try and cover up the murder he committed. That’s one of the brilliant things about this film, the final interpretation is left up to you and it guarantees you won’t forget the story anytime soon.

–Becky O’Brien


Day 11—The Exorcist (1973)

Despite being released in 1973, The Exorcist still ranks among many people as the scariest horror film of all time. Based on a “true” story, the film terrified audiences when it was released and continues to do so today. Atmospheric and disturbing, The Exorcist seamlessly weaving together a tale of horror and grief, effectively shocking its audience with its desecration of religious imagery and terrifying visuals. Most people will reference the pea soup vomit or the head turning, but for me, it’s always been Regan’s spider walk. It’s the one thing in the movie that sticks out in my mind over so many others and yes, I still shiver when I think about it. Given how hard so many horror films go today, it may be easy for some to dismiss The Exorcist as being outdated, but no one can deny the impact the film had on movie lovers and horror itself.

–Romona Comet


Day 12—Hell Fest (2018)

For Halloween fanatics, there is a good chance that haunted houses and theme park “Fright Nights” top the list of things to do during the best holiday season of the year. It’s a fun and safe way to experience what it feels like to have your life threatened by a possessed being or a psychotic killer without actually being in any real danger. But what happens when the threat becomes real? Hell Fest answers that question easily. This exciting slasher follows a group of friends on Halloween night as they wander through a traveling horror theme park, excited at the prospect of going to “Hell,” a very interactive and hands-on area where anything goes. As they venture through the park, the group is stalked by a masked being, called The Other, believing he is an annoying actor taking his job too far. Annoyance quickly turns into fear as The Other picks off the members of the group one by one in some brutally clever ways. With a fun cameo from the spectacular Tony Todd, Hell Fest is an entertaining watch that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

–Ricky Ratt


Day 13—The Descent (2005)

Thematic, trauma-laced horror is all the rage these days. You got your good ones in Hereditary andWell, I guess that’s about it. Still, the bandwagon is here and barreling on. But what if I told you, you could find your beloved modernity in a nearly 20-year-old movie?

Enter The Descent, a heavy, claustrophobic horror lent even more weight by rich characters with complicated history and who, in the course of the tight runtime, commit even more complicated acts to survive both their stifling environment and the creatures within. It’s hard to catch a breath. Every nook and cranny of the cavernous environment our heroines is meticulously explored, and with both harrowing and deadly results. Every traumatic issue is similarly handled and tightly navigated, woven into a story with perfectly realized troglodytes lurking in the shadows or creeping into the frame of a character’s NV mode on a handheld. There are staples of horror and The Descent is definitely one. But more people need to throw the title up there when others mention Halloween, Alien, The Thing, etc.

A word of advice: Do not watch the American theatrical version; watch the unrated/original UK one instead. And skip the sequel.

–Nokoo


Day 14—November (2017)

November is a monochromatic Estonian horror folktale. I shouldn’t need to say anything more than that, but I will. The visuals are stunning. Sometimes black and white can be used as a gimmick that doesn’t really add anything to the overall production. That’s not the case here and it’s actually hard to imagine what the film would look like in full color. It’s a strange story that features lots of bizarre moments. As well as a few scary and humorous ones. I won’t spoil anything in terms of the plot, mainly because I don’t fully understand most of what happens myself. But it’s a pretty wild ride that everyone should try.

–Lee McCutcheon


Day 15—Creep (2014)

Found footage is a staple of horror, and although it has its hits and misses, Creep is arguably among the best of the bunch. It’s a two-hander with Patrick Brice both directing and playing the part of Aaron, a filmographer who responds to a Craigslist ad to film a man named Josef (Mark Duplass) for a day. Aaron spends most of his time behind the lens, making it effectively a POV for the audience as Duplass unleashes an absolutely unhinged performance that makes the audience uncomfortable from the start. It’s never quite clear throughout the movie exactly what Aaron has stumbled into here. Josef is at times wildly animated, at others melancholy and depressed. It’s unclear whether Josef is potentially dangerous or just an eccentric and unsettling man. It really nails the ending, which I won’t spoil here. And for bonus points, if it ends up being up your alley, there’s a sequel that is improbably as good as the original.

–Jacob Holmes


Day 16Crimson Peak (2015)

Is there anything better than isolated horror? What about isolated horror in a remote gothic mansion? What about isolated horror in a remote haunted gothic mansion? One of Guillermo del Toro’s more underrated films, Crimson Peak is a gorgeous gothic horror film with an incredibly demented love triangle, spine-chilling scares and… well, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. But it’s Jessica Chastain who steals the show as the cold, murderous Lady Lucille Sharp. What secrets are buried beneath the red clay slowly devouring Cumberland mansion? I won’t spoil you here, but I would absolutely recommend adding Crimson Peak to your October watchlist.

–Romona Comet


Day 17The Lighthouse (2019)

Beyond being insanely quotable and endlessly memeable, Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse is a really damn good movie. Few movies in recent memory caused me to leave the theater as giddy as this one. It’s got everything – mermaid humping, farts, existential dread, lobster, folklore tales, axes, and the most sinister seagull you’ve ever seen.

Dafoe and Pattinson are absolutely dynamite playing opposite each other in this wild fever dream of a psychological thriller. This spatial and temporal disorientation is reminiscent of The Shining. The internal terror of Pattinson’s character perpetuates a sense of claustrophobic dread. The sexual repression and tinge of homoeroticism add a layer of confused humor. Eggers has a way of directing with immense authenticity for the periods in which his movies take place, while also being able to integrate elements of various literary influences. This unique set of skills is perhaps most evident in The Lighthouse. And for that, it remains one of my favorite movies to rewatch every October.

–Raf Stitt


Day 18—The Blob (1988)

CG effects have ruined movies. It’s a theory that cannot properly be tested without two distinct timelines, but it’s one worth vocalizing. Chuck Russell’s remake of the ’50s The Blob, like Carpenter’s own remake of The Thing, would be a good line in the sand for this theory. Already the practical effects work in this film are expertly done, and carefully constructed to maximally sell the titular alien and possibly sentient lifeform. Watching it now, one has to wonder what the filmic landscape might now look like if CG hadn’t taken hold like it did a decade later and become a clear crutch now almost thirty years after the fact.

The story itself is a simple throwback to sci-fi (naturally, given it’s a remake), complete with a small town setting with small town drama. You have your greaser outcast in Kevin Dillon, a respectable sheriff in Jeffrey DeMunn, the high school debutante in the fair and overlooked scream queen Shawnee Smith. It’s all standard affair, and even has the evil government showing up to lay claim to the alien for obviously nefarious purposes.

But the real treat of this movie is and likely always will be the craft with which it was made. In The Blob we see the gelatinous creature crash, hard, to a quiet town, shuffle out its meteorite-like transport and quickly latch onto the local vagrant.  Simple enough effect: throw together some Gak and slop it on. But the effect has effect. We can easily feel what we see in this instance. Later, when the Blob has fed and grown larger, Russell sells us on this creature’s ability to destroy life, having obliterated the vagrant’s arm, and his guts from the inside out. And when it’s bigger, we can watch in awe as it demolishes the inside of a crowded theater, crumpling chairs and dissolving horny teenagers.

Not enough can be said of the craft that seems lost now, of practical filmmaking. And I personally can’t help but wonder, again, if movie magic had taken that 30 years to evolve where we might be now with that magic, not unlike the Blob itself.

–Nokoo


Day 19—Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

The first time I heard about Brotherhood of the Wolf I was standing in a Suncoast (remember those?) talking with the store clerk. I can’t remember how it came up, but the clerk recommended the movie to me. In those days, anything out of the mainstream was kind of a gem. The only way you were likely to find out about a movie like Brotherhood was word of mouth or if you had a cool video store that stocked offbeat titles. Fortunately, mine did.

I loved Brotherhood of the Wolf from the start. It’s got a creepy vibe, martial arts, Monica Belucci, an engaging mystery at the heart of the movie, and a great movie monster to top it all off. It’s great fodder for Halloween watching.

–Billy Dhalgren


Day 20—The Devil Rides Out (1968)

It just doesn’t feel like October to me if I don’t watch at least one Hammer horror film. Much as I love the classics of Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy, my go-to has always been Quatermass and the Pit. The Devil Rides out is a damned close second, though, pun very much intended.

Based on a novel by Dennis Wheatley, The Devil Rides Out features Christopher Lee as Duc de Richleau, a modern-day van Helsing of sorts, who finds himself trying to save his young friend Simon Aron (Patrick Mower) from the clutches of a Satanic cult. De Richleau and his companions are pitted against the machinations of the cult leader, Mocata – a thinly disquised Aleister Crowley stand-in played with fantastic menace by Charles Gray. There are satanic rituals, an appearance by the Devil and the Angel of Death, and human sacrifice, but nothing is quite as creepy as a scene with Mocata quietly and calmly trying to bend a character to his will.

The special effects range from convincing to… well, less so. Luckily the film is strong enough to carry us past those few weak moments. I’m not a big fan of satanic horror, but I love The Devil Rides Out. It’s tightly constructed, exciting and occasionally outright creepy. The perfect entertainment on an October night!

–Bob Cram


Day 21—The Birds (1963)

Hitchcock promoted his adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds with a trailer talking about birds in general, directly to the camera for a few minutes, before being interrupted by a panicked Tippi Hedren. It’s a fun trailer that plays on the chilling form the movie takes —  the mundane and familiar being vaguely threatening and ultimately perverted.

The classic creature feature sees a town plagued by increasingly severe bird attacks, the cause of which remains a mystery. From a single seagull to an improbable flock of multiple species, a minor head wound to eyeballs pecked out of their sockets, there’s no shortage of terror on hand. One of the most brilliant aspects of the film’s execution is its absence of a traditional score. Frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann was brought on to consult on the project but doesn’t bring his orchestra along with him. The result is a naturalistic soundscape that trades strings for uncomfortable silences and harmonious horns for simple squarks, chirps, flaps, and trills. It’s packed with haunting imagery too, who can forget the sight of birds slowly gathering on a schoolyard climbing frame? If you’re looking for a Halloween watch that doesn’t involve ghosts, witches, zombies, vampires, or werewolves — look no further.

–D. N. Williams


Day 22—Prevenge (2016)

A time-honored tradition of the horror genre is tapping into our fear of the seemingly innocent. To induce scares through the use of demonic children, their spirits, or even their toy dolls. Prevenge doesn’t have an evil child. Or a toy. The possession starts much earlier. Alice Lowe’s directorial debut is an extremely dark comedy that centers around the pregnant Ruth (Lowe) and the maniacal thoughts of her unborn fetus. Ruth embarks on a killing spree and as the story unfolds we learn it’s all an act of revenge due to the death of her husband. It might sound a bit crazy. And it is. Prevenge features multiple gory murders and some highly entertaining peripheral characters. But underneath it all is a story of heartache that is genuinely emotional in parts. The fact that Alice Lowe was actually pregnant during the filming process really adds an extra edge to it. Her performance is excellent and she balances directing and playing the lead role without any issues. Prevenge is very British, very dark, and very good.

–Lee McCutcheon


Day 23—The Guest (2014)

This might be the Die Hard of Halloween movies. Although it is set at Halloween time, this isn’t a horror movie but an action thriller. Dan Stevens plays a mysterious soldier named David, who shows up at the home of a family, the Petersons, who recently lost their own son in the war. David is an intense character, always perfectly polite but with something brewing underneath the surface. There are some really fun scenes in here, and it earns its spot on this list, particularly for its climax, which has nothing to do with Halloween on its face but takes place in a high school gym that has been transformed into a haunted house for the holiday. That means plenty of Halloween visuals to give this thriller some holiday style.

–Jacob Holmes


Day 24Censor (2021)

A horror movie based around the video nasties of the ’80s sounds like a great idea. And it is. Niamh Algar plays the main character Enid. She works as a film censor for the British Board of Film classification during the height of the video nasty craze. Her life seems relatively normal, even if she does see some gruesome sights every day. As the movie progresses we learn about her past and the family tragedies that have occurred. This all leads to Enid losing her grip on reality and in turn, we as the viewer struggle to ascertain what is real and what is going on inside her head. The lines between video nasty and reality are blurred, all building up to a superb finale.

–Lee McCutcheon


Day 25—Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

The Scooby gang was my first introduction to the wonderful world of supernatural crime solvers, a genre I love just as much now as I did watching these meddling kids thwart a new bad guy every week in the ’80s. Fast forward to 1998 when Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island hit the direct-to-video market, my 16-year-old self was delighted to join my 4-year-old nephew in watching our intrepid detectives once again chasing mysteries and finally finding real zombies (and cat creatures!) to boot. And more than 20 years later, I have just as much fun watching it with my three daughters — hilariously bad Cajun accents and all.

–R. J. Mathews


Day 26—Warm Bodies (2013)

In a movie like Warm Bodies, the theme of love reigniting the dead is not at all subtle, but it’s so freaking charming that you can’t help but buy all the hope and tenderness it’s selling. People need each other, and they need human connection. Otherwise, they become walking, lifeless corpses. All it takes is one spark of love and… well, you get it. Even better than the heartfelt optimism? It’s genuinely funny, both in physical comedy and R’s internal monologue. The humor is subtle enough that it never feels overdone, and honestly, it’s so well placed within the story that it seems to soften the gruesomeness a bit, which, depending on who you are, may or may not be a good thing. How many zombie movies are there that take us through a zombie apocalypse from the zombie’s point of view? How many times do we get to see zombies rediscover love and life and save themselves? Hell, how many times do we get to see zombies saved at all? It’s a must watch for this time of year, especially for anyone who likes a little – or a lot of – romance with their horror.

–Romona Comet


Day 27—Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

POV: It’s 2022 and you’re watching 1955’s Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy with your 10-year-old daughter. “I have no idea what’s happening,” she says, “but it’s hilarious!” And that pretty much encapsulates the experience. I was introduced to the iconic comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello at roughly the same age and have been a fan ever since. Like other movies made nearly a century ago, there are parts of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy that haven’t aged well. However, at the core of the absurdity is a dynamic that just can’t be beaten. Sure, Costello’s bumbling fool to Abbott’s straight man wasn’t a new routine at the time and has certainly been replicated hundreds, probably thousands, of times since. But for me, there’s no one who has done it better.

–R. J. Mathews


Day 28—Donnie Darko (2001)

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the great actors of our time, and you get a hint of his acting chops in Donnie Darko when he was just 19 years old. Gyllenhaal plays the titular Donnie Darko, a late 80s high school student who begins having visions of a demented rabbit as well as being able to see glimpses of the future. It’s fundamentally a time travel movie, although it veers wildly away from most of the genre cliches. It’s not for everybody— honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of Donnie Darko overall. But it shines most with some excellent sardonic dialogue that criticizes some of the picturesque paintings of the time period. The reason it’s on this list, though, is its October setting, with Halloween specifically drawing nearer as the film reaches its climax. Without spoiling anything, it turns out Halloween has a pretty significant role in some of the visions Donnie has been having.

–Jacob Holmes


Day 29—Tumbbad (2018)

Indian language horror movies wouldn’t be my go-to genre, but if they’re all as good as Tumbbad, that could change. A story that spans generations, the overarching plot looks at a family facing the consequences of building a temple for Hastar – the firstborn of a goddess and someone who must not be worshiped. Underneath that, it’s a fable about human greed and the lengths people will go to, to attain wealth. The first section of the movie is relatively slow. But not in a bad way, as it gives you time to invest in the characters. The slow pacing doesn’t last for long and before you know it you are thrown into an incredibly creepy hellscape. Visually imaginative and full of atmosphere, the balance of family drama and supernatural dread is fantastic.

–Lee McCutcheon


Day 30—House (1977)

If outrageous 1970s Japanese psychedelic cat horror seems like your cup of tea, then look no further for your new favorite movie. This cult classic will leave you grinning from ear to ear. It’s damn near impossible to explain the charm of this movie without giving away what makes it so special. House exists as a truly singular viewing experience in all of the best ways possible.

Please be warned that the eccentricities of this movie will not be enjoyed by all. However, if you are one who enjoys your movies with a healthy dose of weirdness, House will certainly not disappoint. The “horror” all exists in the realm of absurd kitschiness. It is equal parts surreal and hilarious. House is a great addition to any spooky season movie rotation. Its reasonably short length allows for a quick watch and its silliness serves as a great palette cleanser from the more sinister viewings.

–Raf Stitt


Day 31—Halloween (1978)

With arguably the most iconic antagonist and final girl in a horror film, Halloween changed the face of everyone’s favorite spooky holiday when it was released in 1978. This movie managed to instill fear into audiences with a simple storyline, very little gore, and an atmosphere heavy with dread. It influenced many horror films in the years to come and remains one of, if not the most popular horror franchise today. Halloween and its many sequels are a requirement for horror enthusiasts every October, allowing them to enter the town of Haddonfield and sit back to watch as Michael Myers obliterates anyone and everyone unfortunate enough to cross his path. With another entry to the franchise being released this year, it’s the perfect time to go back to the movie that started it all.

–Ricky Ratt


Need more horror suggestions? Check out past editions of ScreenAge Wasteland’s 31 Days of Halloween!

2019 | 2020 | 2021


How many 31 Days of Halloween films will you commit to watching this month?

Author: SAW Community

A group effort by the entire gang.