31 Days, 31 Scares

I’m so ready for fall. Since September 1 I’ve been baking pumpkin-spiced things and wearing cozy socks around my house as though it’s not literally 100 degrees outside here in Los Angeles.

I honestly think I might’ve summoned the 70-something degree weather we had as a September blip through sheer force of will…or maybe it was smoke from the nearby wildfires blocking out the sun.

I’m gonna go with the summoning thing.

“Double Double Woolen Socks! Fireplace Channel and Soup Pots! Pumpkin Spice! Creepy Dolls! Turn LA Summer into FALL!”
Pictured: Me and the girls on September 1 (c) THE CRAFT 1996

Now that we are, TODAY, entering the spookiest month, I feel like all my preparation was justified! I had enough time to actually plan a horror movie marathon.

This October I’ll be watching 31 horror films.

It’s gonna be epic.
(C) THE SHINING 1980, while excellent, is not on my list for October. I’m saving it for Christmas!

When I set out to create the perfect list of Spooktober scares, I was particularly interested in being truly terrified. Lately I’ve been in the mood for terror, and I’ve been disappointed by a couple movies that I really hoped would scare the crap out of me, and did not. So, as any reasonable person would, I turned to the internet and begged for recommendations from my friends, which they generously gave! (Hi, friends! Thanks friends!)

When coming up with a list of 31 films, I wanted to make sure I included a little bit of everything I like: a good balance of classic and newer scares, a chance to rewatch a few old faves, a solid handful of movies that are supposed to be all-time scary, and plenty of witches.

As a special addition to my usual Carie-Burns Test rating system, I’m also going to implement a rating system in which I let you know:

Did it give me nightmares?
Nancy sure hopes so… (c) NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 1984

I’m going to watch in roughly this order, and report back regularly with reviews and observations about this epic scare round up. As usual I’ll also document in in my instagram stories.

31 Brutal ‘N Scary Films for October

  1. AUDITION (1999) dir. Takashi Miike
  2. HEREDITARY (2018) dir. Ari Aster*++
  3. MIDSOMMAR (2019) dir. Ari Aster*++
  4. MALIGNANT (2021) dir. James Wan
  5. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) dir. Don Siegel
  6. ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968) dir. Roman Polanski
  7. THE WOLF HOUSE (2018) dir. Joaquin Cociña, Cristóbal León
  8. POSSUM (2018) dir. Matthew Holness
  9. CHILD’S PLAY (1988) dir. Tom Holland++
  10. CELIA (1989) dir. Ann Turner++
  11. MOTHER! (2017) dir. Darren Aronofsky
  12. SINISTER (2012) dir. Scott Derrickson
  13. 0.0 MHZ (2019) dir. Sun-Dong Yoo
  14. RAW (2016) Julia Ducournau
  15. TITANE (2021) dir. Julia DucournauMT
  16. KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS (1977) dir. John “Bud” Cardos
  17. BLOOD QUANTUM (2019) dir. Jeff Barnaby
  18. THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN (2014) dir. Adam Robitel
  19. FEAR STREET PART ONE: 1994 (2021) dir. Leigh Janiak+++
  20. FEAR STREET PART TWO: 1978 (2021) dir. Leigh Janiak+++
  21. FEAR STREET PART THREE: 1666 (2021) dir. Leigh Janiak+++
    • As the first of FIVE movies on this list about witches, FEAR STREET PART THREE is also going to kick off Witch Week! Stay tuned for a deep dive on Which Witch Wins the Week (and my Heart).
  22. THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA (1976) dir. Matt Cimber
  23. CARRIE (2013) dir. Kimberly Peirce
  24. SUSPIRIA (2018) dir. Luca Guadagnino++
  25. THE LOVE WITCH (2016) dir. Anna Biller++
  26. THE HAUNTING (1963) dir. Robert Wise
  27. HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986) dir. John McNaughton
  28. REVENGE (2017) dir. Coralie Fargeat
  29. GET OUT (2017) dir. Jordan Peele*
  30. KILL LIST (2011) dir. Ben Wheatley
  31. LAMB (2021) dir. Valdimar JóhannssonMT
I have high expectations for you, Noomi. (Noomi Rapace stars in LAMB 2021.)

* indicates a rewatch

MTindicates movies I’m going to watch in a Real Movie Theatre

++indicates a double- or triple-feature with the films directly before or after

Have you seen some of these flicks? Any faves? Any duds? Let me know what to include in my NEXT 31 scares…and which of these movies I should be dreading.

Published by Brandy N. Carie

Playwright. Director. Producer. Dramaturg. I like coffee and Whisky and dogs and talking in person.

2 thoughts on “31 Days, 31 Scares

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