"This year is a horror movie of sorts, and we are the characters starring in it. As the election consumes us and the pandemic keeps us inside, I think we are all peaking… in fear."
Horror is like hot sauce, something you grow into– words I thought to myself, as I sat in the AMC 3 Sunset Place, Miami, when I was thirteen.
Halloween is a time of challenging how brave or cowardly you are. Are you more courageous than your friends or equal to? These are the determining factors of the plans we take part in or the ones we choose to sit out.
Last year’s Halloween, I peaked by attending my first Halloween Horror Night. The week prior, I spent hours on the web researching the event to prepare myself. This year is a horror movie of sorts, and we are the characters starring in it. As the election consumes us and the pandemic keeps us inside, I think we are all peaking… in fear.
As a film enthusiast I couldn’t avoid the genre of horror. Explaining to people, I wasn’t big on horror films felt strange after a certain age. Am I a follower? Maybe, but as a true crime lover, I realize horror was something I could begin to enjoy. Escapism. The idea of coming to terms with the worst case scenario. This is a big factor in our obsession with true crime, serving us a cautionary tale.
What is your biggest terror? Aliens? (I know. Me too.) No matter what your fear is, there is nothing wrong with getting in on a little halloween fun, especially this year. The perfect year for a movie marathon weekend, also the ideal set up for any slasher film is…. a night in, while haunting brews outside.
Let me guide you into the perfect Halloween-INN Weekend Marathon.
(Candy and Popcorn are highly recommended)
Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, (2017): Jordan Peele’s funny, scary and thought provoking directorial debut is the perfect way to kick off any watch party. The film points a finger at society, examining its horror. Perfect for 2020.
Mandy, directed by Panos Cosmatos, (2018): This film is bonkers. One of those films that must be seen to be believed. With otherworldly visuals, strange visceral scenes, bloody and dirty filled Cage-rage, and a lot of heart. This film is the halloween haunted house you missed this year. It is a visual experience as good as any carnival ride that will leave you just as satisfied at the end.
La LLorona, directed by Jayro Bustamante, (2020): A sophisticated horror film, this movie is composed of everything you want in a scare. It will make you jump while questioning humanity through its deeper tone of oppression and moral discourse. A masterful relevant horror of a dictator who commits ethnocide getting his due in karma.
Goodnight Mommy, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, (2015): One of my favorite horror films of all time, Goodnight Mommy gets under your skin and stays with you past the movie’s end titles. It haunts properly and slowly. Think: The Twilight Zone, and then turn the knob on creepy all the way up.
I Know What You Did Last Summer, Jim Gillespie, (1997): Get campy why don’t you? For all the babies reading this, if you want to dig into the late 90s/early 2000s culture, here is the door. IKWYDLS is classic Halloween slasher fun.
Spanish Dracula, directed by George Melford, (1931): Often regarded as the better “Dracula,” this film was shot for Spanish speaking audiences during late nights after the original crew left the set. The cast and crew would watch the English speaking film’s dailies and adjust their choices. There is a liveliness to this Dracula, filmed literally in the after-hours of night, that is missing in the original, making it the creepier of the original creep.
This watchlist will not stir you wrong.
It is important to remember, most hauntings will be happening at parties and large social gatherings. Stay safe by staying away and by fighting off our real life villains through voting on November 3rd.
Art by mamut_creative
Meet the Family
Mariana Da Silva is a Brazilian Mexican writer/actress who lives in Los Angeles. She is the founder of El Cine, a Latin Film Organization that promotes film education and charitable giving. Mariana has appeared on Telenovelas and TV series, her credits include El Rostro De Analia, Las Dos Caras de Ana and NCIS. Mariana's short films have appeared at festivals world wide.
Mariana is right handed.