When the first chill of the year hits the air, the daylight hours get shorter, and for sure when October 1st hits, we officially enter the spooky season with a gusto. Halloween has gotten huge on social media as creatives post amazing costumes, baked treats, and home decor around the theme of black and orange and a little scary.
I’ve never been big on the “a little scary” part. (I also kind of hate orange on myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was little, I accidentally watched slasher film classic Scream because someone had put the wrong tape in the box for Men in Black. (I was really suspicious when we hadn’t seen a single alien… or Will Smith…) I haven’t really come around to horror or gore since.
BUT I still love the festive feeling around Halloween. I have a long history of loving to dress up but then forgetting that many people go scary in lieu of sexy. (Once, I attended a Halloween event at the National Zoo and had the absolute bejeebus scared out of me by an admittedly impressive duo costume where one man was a menacing puppetmaster and the other was a terrifying zombie puppet attached to him by long rods. I screamed but the craftmanship was 👌)
So here is an updated list of some of my favorite movies to watch to get into the spoopy season, and where it’s available to stream if you are interested in that. (If anyone wants to do a watch party, please let me know!) Since I have such a low tolerance for being scared, this list is a lot of children’s movies, since most children have a higher tolerance for being scared than I do… (Hence why I started my old list 6 years ago with several vintage Disney shorts.)
Note: If you would like to stream these, you can check Justwatch.com to see what platforms have it available. Not an ad, just a handy site I check when I get the hankering to watch something!
We’ve established that maybe I watch a bit too much YouTube, right? But hey, at least I’m actually getting a decent amount of education value out of my viewing! Not only am I learning recipes and cooking techniques (an excuse I love for watching Shokugeki no Soma!) but I also really love watching video essays about film.
Sometime at the beginning of high school, I started to watch movies differently. I think this was triggered by 2 things:
My parents bought a box set of all the Best Picture Oscar winners and we had begun watching them for our weekly family movie nights. I suppose I began trying to see what set these movies apart from the rest.
I watched a bootleg copy of Joe Wright’s 2005 Pride & Prejudice, which remains one of my favorite movies because of what was interesting about this copy of it. When I turned on subtitles because the audio was a little bit off, I actually ended up with the director’s commentary captioning the movie instead of the audio. The result was that having the curtain pulled back on the director’s choices and intent helped me start looking for these things in other movies.
It’s very easy to critique movies without knowing the language of film; all art is able to be consumed at different levels and therefore to be critiqued at those different levels. I have a parent who works with film so it’s a medium that is near and dear to me, and I have begun to learn how to evaluate films in a different critical way.Read More »
After going off about the soon-to-be-released Mulan live-action adaptation, (and seeing that they are remaking the animated Robin Hood,) I do need to give credit where it’s due on that film because it does not have the issue that I most take with Disney’s live-action remake:
The live-action movies should be human stories. Any non-human characters are unsettling and live in the Uncanny Valley.
The example I get most heated about is the 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake. (I’ll talk about 2019’s Lion King in a minute.) When the movie was first announced, I’ll admit even I was excited, even about the casting of Emma Watson! (Who among us did not fall for that Tumblr rumor that she was cast years and years ago with Guillermo Del Toro to direct?) But then I saw the trailer… with the creepy live-action Mrs. Potts and Lumiere and Cogsworth…
I can never unsee them. I actually stopped wanting to see the movie and only watched it on a streaming service much later because my husband is a big Emma Watson fan. (I can’t get into the music in this post…) It is just really unnerving to have so much time spent on non-human characters.Read More »
The Mulan live-action adaptation release date has been pushed back to July 24, after being delayed indefinitely and after the red carpet premiere took place earlier last month, before Hollywood was shut down.
Will I watch it? Absolutely.
Am I excited to watch it? No. I’m really really skeptical of how much I will like this movie, even though I do really want to like it. Watching the first trailer planted many doubts in my mind that I’ve ranted about enough to friends that I figured it was worth it to write it all down to save everyone some time the next time I need to get this off my chest.
Another year, another list of movies! This year marks the first full year I had AMC A-List, which I didn’t take full advantage of but did make it easier for us to watch more movies more spontaneously. I had thought that moving to New York would mean we would watch fewer movies but having A-List has meant that we spent more weeknights at the movies than at home.
(For every movie I saw, including movies released before 2019, and other media I consumed, please check out my Media Log.)