IN THE REALM: 13 Film Suggestions for Halloween

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I’m not into horror. Not into lots of blood and gore. I do enjoy a well-written thriller. In the 80s there were lots of scary films out there and I think that many GenXers can’t those out of our heads: Amityville Horror; Poltergeist; Friday the 13th; Children of the Corn. Here’s a mix of films that are excellent, flip-you-out thrillers or are about vampires or ghosts.

drag me to hell

1. Drag Me to Hell (2009)— yes this is horror and I loved it. Directed by Sam Raimi, Alison Lohman plays a loan officer who kicks an old woman out of her house and gets cursed. it’s brilliant
rating: A

byzantium

2. Byzantium (2012)— another gorgeous film directed by Neil Jordan. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are sisters and vampires in a quiet seaside town.
rating: B+

Only Lovers Left Alive

3. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)— as you’d expect vampires to be. all sex and drugs and rock and roll. Directed by the arty Jim Jarmusch and starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston.
rating: A-

Dead-Again

4. Dead Again (1991)— Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in a jumpy, classic make-you-scream thriller.
rating: A

let the right one in

5. Let the Right One In (2008)— girl vampire and it’s GOOD. completely unique.
rating: A

rosemarys baby

6. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)— Mia Farrow in this classic about a mysterious pregnancy and its aftermath. Directed by Roman Polanski.
rating: B+

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7. The Blair Witch Project (1999)— the original found footage horror/scary film. I saw it in the theater and was freaked out for days.
rating: A

skin i live in

8. The Skin I Live In (2011)— Antonio Banderas stars in this Pedro Almodovar (love him) film about a plastic surgeon who creates an indestructible synthetic skin.
rating: A-

secret in their eyes

9. The Secret in their Eyes (2009)– retired attorney writing a novel about one of his unsolved homicide cases.
rating: A

ghostwriter

10. The Ghostwriter (2010)— Ewan McGregor plays a writer hired to write the memoir of the former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). As he completes research and writes he uncovers some secrets the PM would like kept hidden.
rating: A

Swimming_Pool_01

11. Swimming Pool (2003)— a British mystery writer (the venerable Charlotte Rampling) visits her publisher’s South of France vacation home. Her interaction with his unusual daughter sets off a series of unsettling events.
rating: B+

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12. Contagion (2011)— appropriate. all-star cast portraying healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people who find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic.
rating: B+

the others

13. The Others (2011)— Nicole Kidman plays a woman convinced her old, darkened house is haunted.
rating: B+

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