We have Halloween on the brain this week. As such, we put together another roundup of scary movies, music and books we're into right now, to follow up on last week's Halloween-themed Team Windows Central media recommendations. If it's scary entertainment you seek, you've come to the right site.
And if horrors movies and generally spooky stuff isn't your thing, you can hit our full list of weekly recommendations below for some more suggestions.
More media recommendations from Windows Central
Movies Halloween (1978) Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news writer
I caught the latest Halloween sequel this weekend (it's terrific, by the way), so I found myself with a hankering to revisit the original 1978 opus from director John Carpenter.Halloween is a legendary slasher flick at this point and it introduced a lot of elements that would be generously coopted by the horror genre as a whole in the years following its release. While the original film can feel a bit quaint by today's standards, Michael Myers still manages to instill a sense of dread and terror.The opening of the film, portrayed through the eyes of Myers as he commits his first murder as a child, still remains one of the most iconic scenes in cinema – up there, in my opinion, with the shower scene in Psycho. And the silent evil that Myers emits when he escapes from captivity years later to embark on a killing spree in his hometown, is chilling.If you're planning to go see the latest sequel, do yourself a favor and revisit the original. If anything, it'll help you pick out the slew of references throughout the latest film's nearly two-hour runtime and forget some of the lackluster sequels that hit theaters in the 40 years since 1978.
Rosemary's Baby Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Rosemary's Baby is a pretty famous movie, but I didn't watch it until a couple of years ago. I remember it blew me away with how well it sustained the suspense we all crave from horror movies, and I'm looking forward to rewatching it now that most of the subplots and twists have been forgotten.For being released in 1968, it holds up quite well. Mia Farrow's performance is outstanding, and I still want to live in an on old New York apartment like that someday despite the building being full of Satan worshippers.
See at Microsoft (opens in new tab) See at Amazon (opens in new tab) See at iTunes (opens in new tab) The Shining Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I don't know of many people who haven't at this point seen Stanley Kubrick's adaption of The Shining, but if that sounds like you, I recommend giving it a watch. Author of the original book, Stephen King, hated the movie so much that he made his own version, which is best left forgotten. I'm sorry I brought it up.Anyway, this slow burn has Jack Nicholson trying to get his novel finished while his family keeps interrupting him in the most annoying ways. He meets another guest in Room 237 as well as a bartender with whom he commiserates. Pretty soon he's back on the liquor to help spark some novel inspiration, and from there it's pretty much a happy story. Or something like that.
Lost Highway Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
While Lost Highway isn't technically a horror or spooky film, David Lynch created something spectacular, allowing you to lose yourself inside the mind of a killer. You've simply got to watch it numerous times to really grasp what has occurred only to draw your own conclusion from the excellent performances by Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette.
Session 9 Recommended by Jez Corden, Xbox editor
Session 9 is a cult psychological horror well worth your time if you're looking for something new. Set in an abandoned mental hospital, a team of laborers move in to clear the area of asbestos for a client. The movie explores the different psychological pressures experienced by the men, as the desperate bid to complete the contract within a fixed deadline becomes difficult. The decrepit hospital is also the site of some terrible histories, waiting to be rediscovered ...
See at Amazon (opens in new tab) The Conjuring Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
The Conjuring remains as one of my all-time favorite horror movies, sporting some killer performances from Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, an enticing story and some awesome scares that don't simply rely on making you jump. It's genuinely creepy and the sequels are just as good once you're done scaring yourself to sleep.
Hellraiser Recommended by Jez Corden, gaming editor
Hellraiser is a riot of blood and guts, created by Clive Barker. Hellraiser, as its title suggests, revolves around an unfortunate chappy who invokes the forces of hell via a strange puzzle box, attempting to strike some sort of bargain. Hellraiser is a little bit silly, but the meaty practical effects and awesome costume design make it a fun flick for spooky viewings.
See at Microsoft (opens in new tab) See at Amazon (opens in new tab) See at iTunes (opens in new tab) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Chrismas Recommended by Richard Device, reviews editor
Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween film or a Christmas film? I'd argue it's both and since it's Halloween any excuse to crack it on and have a watch. One of the finest things Tim Burton has ever created, the tale of Jack, Sally and what happens when Halloween wants to be Christmas is fun for the whole family. And for a bonus, the 'Halloween Revisited' album of soundtrack covers from the likes of Marilyn Manson and Rise Against always goes down well.
TV American Gods
We're barreling towards Halloween, which means it's the perfect season to dive into some spooky stuff. Personally, I've recently been enjoying the first season of American Gods, STARZ's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name.American Gods follows the ridiculously named Shadow Moon as he's swept up in the middle of a battle between the Old Gods and New Gods. After his early release from prison, Moon finds himself lost in anguish amidst the death of his wife and his struggle to transition back into the world. That's where Mr. Wednesday, an Old God, comes in, taking Moon under his wing and introducing him to a world of gods and magic.American Gods isn't scary in the traditional sense of the word. However, the show is particularly unsettling as it grapples with human suffering, the rapid advancement of society into the digital age, and, of course, oodles of ridiculous violence. Just get ready for plenty of gory absurdity.
Music John Carpenter's 'Halloween' theme song — Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
John Carpenter's seminal film Halloween is one of, if not the, best slasher flicks ever made. It's nearly perfect. And one of the best things about the movie is its haunting theme song. It's the kind of tune that immediately demands mental conjuring of the film's antagonist, the memorable Michael Myers.Last year, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor released his take on the classic horror tune. It's similar enough as not to mess with something that's already a masterpiece but it also puts his own sinister-sounding stamp on the song. It's perfect for a Halloween party or just for getting into the fall holiday spirit.
The Uncanny Valley — Perturbator Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
Perturbator's Uncanny Valley packs a strong collection of synth and darkwave tracks. While listening to the beats, you'll be lost in space in a reality where the 80s never came to an end and there's a looming threat just around the corner. If you need a highlight. my favorite track from this album is Death Squad.
Midian — Cradle of Filth Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
In my teenage years, I listened to a lot of very heavy music, and Midian by Cradle of Filth was one of my favorites. Despite being utterly dark and incredibly loud, it's actually got a lot of tune to it, and it's a perfect album to listen to around the Halloween period because, well, it can easily scare people who've never heard it before.
Alice — Tom Waits Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
You could say all of Tom Waits's music is somewhat spooky, though some of it certainly fits that description better than others. In particular, Alice leaves you feeling uneasy and maybe on edge, even though every song on the album is also beautiful. It's an album I go to when I'm in a certain kind of mood, and it works quite well as Halloween music, because every song is haunting and memorable.My favorite tracks are 'We're All Mad Here,' 'Reeperbahn,' and 'Everything You Can Think," all of which are pleasantly creepy. It's not my favorite Waits album but it's probably the one that best fits as 'Halloween appropriate.'
Books Baby Teeth — Zoje Stage Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Baby Teeth is a downright creepy novel about a seven-year-old girl who may or may not be possessed, or who may have some serious form of schizophrenia, but who definitely wants to murder her own mother in horrible yet creative ways. Oh, and she loves her father just as much as she detests her mother, and she hides it from daddy, so he's not sure if it's his daughter or his wife who has serious mental illness issues.It's mostly a psychological thriller, so there's not a whole lot of action. But Stage packs the book with so much suspense you can practically feel it dripping off the pages (or your ereader). It's a perfect read for Halloween, with a satisfying ending I appreciate. And let's face it, evil kids are genuinely frightening. (Even normal kids can be pretty scary at times … )
Disappearance at Devil's Rock — Paul Tremblay Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
When a teenage boy goes missing after a night exploring the local woods with friends, his community bands together to search, and the police begin an investigation to attempt to figure out what happened and hopefully find the boy, alive. But the more people dig into the disappearance, which seems to have occurred at a creepy spot in the woods, dubbed 'Devil's Rock,' which is the subject of more than a little local folklore, the more sinister things appear. And the more likely it seems that a supernatural force may be involved.It's a cool story, with a great ending. But what I love most about this book is how the author juggles the possibility of supernatural events while also skillfully providing possible logical explanations for each development in the story, so you're never really sure if evil forces are to blame for the disappearance — or just evil people. It's a perfect read for getting into the Halloween state of mind.
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