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It's Scary Movie Season, For Everyone Looking For Halloween Recommendations

Because 31 days of spooky movies are the antidote to this horrifying year.

I’m not a big horror movie buff, but there’s something about the never-ending terror that is 2020 that has me craving this particular genre.

Maybe it’s because anxious people find the fictional fright onscreen psychologically comforting ― or the fact that monsters and villains are at least more comprehensible than the pandemic and its bewildering rogues’ gallery that’s plagued us for the last eight months. I’ll take my chances facing Ghostface over J.K. Rowling any day, thank you.

Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to scratch my spooktacular itch with a month-long Halloween movie marathon. It’s an online challenge to watch a scary movie every day in October, a normally Herculean challenge that’s made easier by the fact that we’re all bored out of our minds at home, and by the recommendations of helpful curators of the ghoulish on Twitter.

And no, you don’t have to watch a horror movie or anything too scary. Films that are supernaturally themed or borrow horror elements work just as well. Here are a few notable Halloween movies that I and other marathoners will be watching over 31 days:

Beloved classics

Franchises like “Nightmare on Elm St.,” “Scream,” “Chucky,” “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “Dawn of the Dead,” and “The Exorcist” need no introduction, as they’ve long been on essential viewing lists. Their contributions to horror aesthetics and tropes are endless.

Standalones like “The Shining,” “The Omen,” “The Candy Man,” and “Jaws” will definitely be enjoyed through trembling fingers this month too.

In recent years, “Hereditary,” “It,” “Train to Busan,” and director Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” have quickly earned their places among the greats.

Campy comedies

If you’d rather laugh than scream, “Scary Movie,” “Jennifer’s Body,” “The Cabin In The Woods,” and “Shaun of the Dead” are guaranteed to keep your spirits up. For modern hits, Netflix’s “The Babysitter” movies and “Happy Death Day” are rollicking good times.

Check out some of the other picks that have brought joy and obsession to HuffPost Canada’s editors over the last couple of months — we call them our Finer Things. Story continues below.

The Finer Things We're Obsessing Over Lately

Witchy fun

The “Harry Potter” franchise and “Hocus Pocus” are always big contenders, but don’t sleep on other mesmerizing flicks: “The Craft,” “The Witch,” “The Covenant,” and “Suspiria” are just as magical.

Made in Canada

Ginger Snaps” and director David Cronenberg’s films a no-brainer. Other notables include “Cube,” “Les Affamés,” and Mi’kmaw director Jeff Barnaby’s “Rhymes For Young Ghouls.”

An underrated film that’s popped up in several recommendation lists is “What Keeps You Alive,” a thriller about a queer couple that goes on an eye-opening cabin retreat.

Queer horror essentials

Listen, there’s a reason Halloween is nicknamed Gay Christmas. Queerness and the horror genre have a fraught relationship, often conflicted by villain-coding and victimizing. Fans often read between the lines, contextualize or deconstruct in order to take what they can from works like “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” and “Sleepaway Camp.”

Romantic horror film “Let The Right One In” features a wholesome relationship between the two young leads, with one’s gender identity playing a role in the plot.

The Quiet Room” is a short film that’s earned high praise for its portrayal of the mental health care system and queer culture.

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