Spooky Suggestions 2020

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
By Leighah Beausoleil, Editorial Staff

Growing tiresome of the same old routine year after year, Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” longs for something new in Halloween Town. 

Stumbling upon a door to Christmas Town, Jack becomes obsessed with the holiday’s twinkling lights and happy carols. He believes there must be some deeper meaning to the holiday he just can’t seem to grasp. 

In a town meeting with his fellow Halloween Town citizens, Jack declares the holiday for themselves.

The once joyous holiday now takes a sinister turn. 

As Jack assigns roles to everyone in the town, each element of Christmas slowly turns dark with toys becoming monsters, a sleigh now pulled by skeletons, and ultimately the kidnapping of Santa Claus. 

Danny Elfman, the movie’s composer and Jack’s singing voice, masterfully composed each piece to encapsulate each character’s persona. Notably the longing in “Jack’s Lament,” the sorrow of “Sally’s Song,” and the wickedness of “Oogie Boogie’s Song.”

And I simply cannot leave out the fan-favorite song, “This is Halloween,” that will surely get you into the Halloween spirit. 

The stop-motion film is beautifully crafted with each character uniquely sculpted. Elements of Burton’s beloved art style are all present. 

The movie celebrates its 27th anniversary Oct. 29, and still year after year, it never lets down long-time fans and continues to draw in new viewers. 

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, get out there and watch it. With its catchy songs and loveable characters, it’s surely one you won’t regret. 


“Amnesia: The Dark Descent”
By Brennan Atkins, Arts & Features Editor 

“Amnesia: The Dark Descent” is a 2010 survival horror game made by Frictional Games, and places the player into the mind of Daniel, a man who can’t remember much, and is slowly starting to grow insane.

The game challenges the player in a series of puzzles through an 1830’s Prussian castle, all while being chased down by a humanoid abomination. Daniel has no way of fighting the monsters, and all you can do is run and hide. 

This creates a triangle of gameplay resulting in searching, running, and hiding. While this may seem redundant, the game does everything in its power to make new areas interesting through lighting choices, the intensity of the music, and even a new monster at one point.

The story is unlike anything else in horror games to date – even its own sequel, “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs,” failed to live up to its stunning reveals and twists. One thing I personally love about the game is that the story gets better with how much effort one puts in – you don’t really have to read every note, but doing so will piece together a narrative that made this game one of the most popular horror games to date.


Supernatural
By Cara McCarthy, Associate Editor

In 2005, no one thought a show called “Supernatural” would end up being one of the most popular TV shows of all time.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles star as the dynamic, monster-hunter duo Sam and Dean Winchester, respectively. Two brothers who were raised by their father, John, after the “mysterious” demon related death of their mother, Mary.

While the show originally was about the brothers hunting and killing vampires, werewolves, and crossroads demons, after 15 seasons, the show has evolved from killing monsters, to saving Sam and Dean from a fate of being possessed by Lucifer and Michael – yes, the archangels – to teaming up with angels and demons alike to kill God. 

But, we still don’t know how the whole “killing God” thing is going to work out.

The show, which is currently airing their 15th and final season, has captivated peoples screens for over 15 years, and for good reason.

The show was initially scheduled to end after season five, but thanks to the “Supernatural” fandom, it survived an additional 10 seasons.

For a show as old as “Supernatural,” their ability to keep fans invested for this long with captivating story lines makes it worthy of its spot as a spooky suggestion.


“Halloweentown”
By Cara McCarthy, Associate Editor 

Growing up, as spooky season approached, my favorite movie to watch during Disney Channel’s Monstober was “Halloweentown.”

The movie focuses on 13-year-old Marnie Piper, played by Kimberly J. Brown, and her family as she learns she is a witch and her mother, Gwen, played by Judith Hoag, hid her and her siblings from their powers and refused to let them go out on Halloween.

It isn’t until their grandmother Aggie – played by Debbie Reynolds – shows up that they realize who they really are.

Early in the film, it is revealed that if Marnie does not use her powers soon, she will lose them for good. This results in an argument between Aggie and Gwen, which Marnie overhears and decides to follow her grandmother back to Halloweentown.

While the film initially is about Marnie learning about her powers, the antagonist – Kalibar – is revealed and Marnie must join forces with her grandmother and her mother to defeat him and save the town.

The idea of there being an alternate dimension where it is Halloween every day of the year captivated me as a kid – as it was my favorite holiday growing up – and to this day remains one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time.


Sabrina the Teenage Witch (2019)
By Robert Johnson Jr., Arts & Features Editor

When it comes to the Archie Comics universe – or “Archieverse,” as it is often referred – the mythos behind Sabrina Spellman’s character has always been my favorite one to observe. 

Every interpretation of her story is unique, and this brilliant comic is no exception. With a riveting story by Kelly Thompson, art by Veronica and Andy Fish, and lettering by Jack Morelli, this take on “Sabrina” is as enchanting and as gorgeous as per the franchise’s usual.

This time around, Sabrina and her aunts (as well as Salem) move into the close-to-Riverdale-but-not-quite town of Greendale, where the Spellman family have to acclimate to their new surroundings. 

Of course, with them being the Spellmans, this endeavor is not a simple one, for Sabrina quickly comes to grips with the fact that her fellow high school peers are not all they seem to be, for many of them are monsters by nightfall.

This comic run is fun, as it is also hilarious and addictive. I highly implore that you give this a read if you, too, have been missing “Chilling Adventures” something fierce.


“Friday on Elm Street”
By Jared Graf, Asst. Arts & Features Editor

Nothing says Halloween quite like a vulgar, murder-fueled rap album from two of New York’s most elite MC’s. Three years ago, Fabolous and Jadakiss teamed up to deliver the collaborative project “Friday on Elm Street,” a Halloween anthem that went under most people’s radar.

The duo begins by tapping into the classic horror movie series “Friday the 13th” for inspiration on “F vs. J Intro.” With Fabolous rapping from the perspective of Freddy Krueger and Jadakiss as Jason Voorhees, the pair detail a killing spree while getting off some amusing lines over an eerie instrumental.

“Run and then all a sudden you fall like the white chicks,” Jadakiss spits, somehow managing to keep his intimidating demeanor intact.

On “Ground Up,” the chilling production allows Fab and Kiss to shine, as they drop their horror movie personas for a more modern take on murder, rapping about violence that happens every day in their own neighborhoods.

For those not interested in listening to an entire album about death, both rappers find moments to keep the mood light with some witty one-liners. “She so cold, have your nose running,” Fab says while Kiss details his version of a bad day – “red wine on a silk suit.”

If “Friday on Elm Street” isn’t in your Halloween playlist, it should be.


“IT Chapter Two”
By Patrick Brady, Staff Writer

Since Halloween is quickly approaching, it has come to my attention that the sequel to 2017’s “IT” was quite underappreciated – “IT Chapter 2” is still a great horror film.

The scares come more frequently and there are much bigger set pieces. In fact, the film’s epic climax is huge in scale.

Contrary to the previous film, the movie centers around the adults of the “losers’ club,” rather than their kid counterparts.

And while the character motivations and dialogue can be cliché at times, there is always something happening on-screen.

“Chapter 2” has the perfect blend of gore, scares, and humor. But above all else, Bill Hader’s portrayal of the grown-up Richie Tozier steals the show.

Even though it relies too much on jump-scares during the final act, “IT Chapter 2” will appeal to any horror buff and film enthusiast alike.


“Over the Garden Wall”
By Emily Rosenburg, Staff Writer

Cartoon Network may be an old, nostalgic memory, but “Over the Garden Wall” expands far beyond any “Adventure Time,” “Powerpuff Girls,” or “Teen Titans” you’ve seen before. 

It premiered in 2014 as the Network’s first mini-series and won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Individual Animated Achievement.  

“Over the Garden Wall”l follows Wirt and his younger brother, Greg who find themselves mysteriously trapped in “The Unknown,” a supernatural woods run by a terrifying beast who hunts children for their souls. They’re also helped by a stubborn talking blue bird, Beatrice.  

The dynamic brotherhood brings us a series of adventures, including their visit to Pottsfield, home to a skeleton cult, and their day enrolled at an animal school led by a melodramatic human teacher. Of course, this does not go without catchy and adorable songs sung by Greg: “Potatoes and Molasses” and “Adelaide Parade” as well as its beautifully menacing soundtrack. 

By the end, you’ll be on the edge of your seat, clutching your chest when we discover the hilarious, yet tragic story of how the boys came to be in “The Unknown.” 

I consider myself to have a high tolerance for horror, but during the last episode – when the intentions of the beast are uncovered – I couldn’t help but hide.   

Not only is “Over the Garden Wall” the perfect Halloween watch because of its great use of corny jokes and tropes, but it also tells a complex story of family, bravery, and adolescence which will leave you heartbroken for days.