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31 spooky movies for 31 spooky days

Ellynn Mayo | @ellynnspeaks

Excited for October? Hunting for the perfect movie to watch on a cold evening? Well, have I got a list for you! Each film, carefully curated, includes a recommended song related to the film. At the bottom, you can find a link to a Spotify playlist that includes all 31 songs. 

Disclaimer: I include far too much Tim Burton in this list for anyone’s own good. However (and I stand by this statement), Burton may well be the king of spooksville. Enjoy.

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas — A family-friendly favorite, this Tim Burton film has always been my favorite way to begin October. It’s a little spooky, a little sweet and a whole lot of fun. My song pairing is “Skeletons” by Of Monsters and Men.
  2. Frankenweenie — There’s always the debate; 1984, or 2012?  As both films are Tim Burton masterpieces, it’s up to you. Pick your spooky poison, or watch both! My song pairing is “Me & My Dog” from the Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus collective, Boygenius.
  3. The Mask — Not everyone loves Jim Carrey, but this movie makes up a part of my childhood. My song pairing is “The Mask” by Matt Maeson (Explicit warning).
  4. James and the Giant Peach — What’s not to like about sailing away to a mysterious city in a gargantuan fruit? More Tim Burton, but I’m not sorry. My song pairing is “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America.
  5. Monster House — I felt bad for the pizza guy. I had the GameCube game. That’s all you really need to do. Oh, and GET OFF MY LAWN! My song pairing is “Haunted House” by Florence + The Machine.
  6. Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire — Most movies made in 2000 ended up rating terribly and scoring low in the box office. Although it was a Disney Channel original, this film was no exception. That being said, some films are obligatory because they’re bad. My song pairing is “I Wish I Had Fangs and a Tail” by The Magnetic Fields (Yes, I know vampires don’t have tails).
  7. Corpse Bride — Everyone’s favorite (okay, I’m biased) spooky trio is in on the fun: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and… oh no, Tim Burton? My song pairing is “Death With Dignity” by Sufjan Stevens.
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean — Not everyone will agree with these films being October-worthy. I believe that midnight seafaring against Davy Jones and Blackbeard’s skeleton boys is pretty darn spookalicious. My song pairing is “Rye Whiskey” by The Pirates Charles.
  9. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie — Remember when they didn’t have magic? Man, remember when Selena Gomez was on Disney Channel? My song pairing is “Magic” by Pilot.
  10. Children of the Corn — Ah, yes. Real horror. This is for all of you who don’t fancy sleeping well at night. My song pairing is “Candy Corn” by Jon Hyde.
  11. Cabin in the Woods — Think about the Scooby gang, but Scooby isn’t there, and they all go on a trip to the mountains. And then the Apocalypse. My song pairing is “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.
  12. Donnie Darko — Remember what I said about 2000s movies? Well, 2001 somehow got it right. If you like big bunny rabbits, this is your film. My song pairing is “Red Rabbits” by The Shins. 
  13. Alice in Wonderland — Look, there are so many versions of this story, and I love them all. (Yes, especially the Tim Burton one.) You can watch any of them and be satisfied with this slightly off-kilter fantasy world. My song pairing is “All The Girls Love Alice” by Elton John.
  14. Hocus Pocus — This one is such a classic now,  I don’t think I have to explain. My song pairing is “Haunt You” by Nancy Nightmare and the Wizard.
  15. Before I Wake — For those of you who like an emotional movie, this one always gets me. A couple adopts a little boy whose dreams become reality. My song pairing is “It’s Ok” by Tom Rosenthal.
  16. Coco — Another family movie that makes everyone feel good, “Coco” is a great way to spend an evening so grab your popcorn and a guitar. My song pairing is “Hello My Old Hear” by The Oh Hellos.
  17. Don’t Look Under the Bed — This one surprised me, and some call it the scariest Disney Channel original ever released. I wouldn’t advise watching this with young children. My song pairing is “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett (This had to make the list at some point.)
  18. V for Vendetta — Why is this on the list? Because not everyone likes Halloween. So here you go, one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen. My song pairing is “bellyache” by Billie Eilish.
  19. Dismissed — Remember Dylan Sprouse? Well, he is the star in this unsettling psychological thriller. Just don’t follow in his footsteps. Threatening your teachers for A’s is ill-advised. My song pairing is “Way Down We Go” by KALEO.
  20. The Ninth Gate — It might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Turn it on, laugh at how bad it is, and sleep soundly. My song pairing is “Great American Novel” by Max Jury.
  21. Texas Chainsaw — Not for the weak-stomached, this slasher film makes even Quentin Tarantino hide in disgust. Don’t eat while watching. My song pairing is “Automatic Flowers” by Our Lady Peace.
  22. Goosebumps — I still can’t get over how genius Jack Black is as R.L. Stine. This comedic take on some of my favorite childhood books never fails to make me smile. My song pairing is “Love and Hunger” by Graveyard Lovers.
  23. Pet Sematary — Do not resurrect the dead. I repeat, do not resurrect the dead! It’s not a good idea. My song pairing is “Lavender Moon” by Haroula Rose.
  24. The Hug — Don’t have time but still want spooks? This Five Nights At Freddy’s-esque short film will convince you to never visit another Chuck E. Cheese again. My song pairing is Go Away!by Super Simple Songs. (Hahaha.)
  25. It — Everybody’s favorite clown! Whether you prefer the original or the reinterpretation, “It” remains as a staple on my Spooktober shelf. My song pairing is Clownin Aroundby Deer Tick.
  26. A Quiet Place — Did you know this movie was edited on mute for a month? I was lucky to see it in theatres, and boy, silence truly is golden in the magic of filmmaking. My song pairing is The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed.
  27. Casper — This sweet ‘90s flick is one that I watch with my siblings every year. It’s fun, it’s cute and… is that Wednesday Addams? My song pairing is “Ghost” by Run River North.
  28. 1984 — It’s too genius not to watch. “1984”, filmed in 1984, is frightening because it’s almost future telling. George Orwell knew. He knew! My song pairing is “1984-2016” by David Bowie, may he rest in peace.
  29. Sleepy Hollow — If anyone asks, “Sleepy Hollow” is my favorite spooky film. Between the Gothic visions of autumn and Johnny Depp’s puppy-dog act, I don’t think there’s a better Tim Burton film out there. Christopher Walken even makes an appearance. My song pairing is “Graveyard” by Feist.
  30. The Addams Family — Duh duh duh duh! Snap snap. Duh duh duh duh! Snap snap. Duh duh duh duh! Duh duh duh duh! Duh duh duh duh! Snap snap. My song pairing is “Pale Shelter” by Tears for Fears.
  31. Halloweentown — And, for the night we’ve all been waiting for! I can’t picture Halloween without a movie that has “Halloween” in the title. My song pairing is “Halloween” by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify! 

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