6 November 2018
The October winds are starting to change to November gusts. But it isn’t the end of the month yet. There is still just enough time to cuddle up and watch some Netflix before Halloween.
Netflix is stocked full of Halloween classics, from the TV specials to monster movies. Here are some highlights from this year’s Halloween Netflix lineup.
The obvious place to start would be “The Office.” The creators of this show made sure to slip in a Halloween-themed episode in seasons two, five, six, seven, eight and nine.
With all nine seasons available on Netflix, you are sure to get plenty of Scranton nostalgia before the season is done, but nothing beats that first Halloween episode. The episode is fall of memorable moments and ridiculous jokes. At the very least, understated Jim Halpert costumes will always make you chuckle. The later episodes may not meet your standards of humor, but they are still perfect for a spooky mini-marathon.
Take note: the season six Halloween episode, “Koi Pond,” removed its Halloween cold open after it first aired due to being too graphic for some viewers. You can only find it as a video clip on the Internet, not on Netflix. Even if you don’t include this as a Halloween episode, keep it in your list of great episodes of “The Office.”
The classic “It’s Always sunny in Philadelphia” episode “Who got Dee Pregnant?” is side-splitting and remains a must-include on any Halloween list. The episode takes a page out of film noir and tells a story using several unreliable narrators, giving us everything the gang has to offer in one 30 minute package. There are several Halloween episodes through this show’s run, but this one takes the cake with its hilarious, spooky side characters and bizarre twists and turns.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” might be the most referenced Halloween movie of all time, much like “A Christmas Story” dominates the Christmas season. Find a friend who has never seen this classic tale, because nothing beats watching this movie with someone who has never seen it before.
If you have younger siblings or children, it would be doing them a disservice to allow them to miss this one. The Peanuts bring a lighthearted Charisma to the otherwise potentially one-dimensional season. This movie also has its own lexicon of Halloween traditions that your friends and family can celebrate for years to come.
“The Shining” is based on the Stephen King book of the same name, but the movie deviates from this book completely. The result is a completely different story that Stanley Kubrick tells in a way that is uniquely his. The slow, creeping horror of this movie is punctuated with moments of outright terror, especially with Jack Nicholson’s iconic, bone-chilling performance that will define your holiday experience.
Because “The Shining” was partially filmed in the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, look for a dark, chilly Colorado night to host a viewing party. All the better if it is snowing. It should be pretty easy during this ever-so-slightly cold month.
A suggestion if Kubrick and King’s masterpiece is too disturbing for your senses: try out “The Simpsons” seasonal Halloween-themed episode “Treehouse of Horror V” (in season 6). The episode’s short tale, “The Shining” parodies Kubrick’s film to the tee, all while integrating the show’s classic humor. Find this on streaming through FX or Simpsons World.
“The Babadook” came out in 2014 but is still often discussed in popular culture. The film implies abuse and mental illness, but then surprises you with something completely different. But even still, the movie says more (in subtle terms) about these topics than heavy-handed shows like “13 Reasons Why” ever did.
But beware: this movie is pretty split amongst audiences. Chances are, you’ll either find this movie reaching your innermost fears of the monster in your closet, or it’ll give you on-end laughs for its cheesiness. Whichever way you watch it, laughing or jumping, rest assured it’ll make your Halloween fun.
Enjoy this film alone or with one close friend to get the full impact of the story’s both scary and tender moments. “The Babadook” has a visual style that can shock audiences in a way that is distinctly reminiscent of childhood boogie men and lands it among the classics of the season.
The last one on this list is a transition movie. Watch “Krampus” in November first to see out Halloween and awaken the winter holiday cheer. It’s dark themes and spooky monster – the traditional Germanic character sent to punish bad children – will capstone a perfect Halloween and get your November started in the correct foot.
“Krampus” follows a trend in horror filmmaking by managing to merge horror and comedy. Laugh out loud between jump scares with a hot beverage in hand.