We’re almost a week into October which means we’re meticulously planning not only our costumes, but also our perfect Halloween watchlist. If you want to opt for a night in with scary movies, you’ve come to the right place. And this year, we’re going full-on female bravada when it comes to our picks.
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Horror and fantasy give female characters the perfect platform to be all that we can be: complex, brave, broken, and yes, even sinister. Whether you’re a die-hard horror fan or someone who likes something a little lighter to go with your sugar high, there’s something on here for everyone.
The Final Girl remains the most iconic (and feminist) trope of the slasher film genre, and no one portrays a woman being degraded and then rising up to save herself better than Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. It all begins when a psychotic murderer, Michael Myers, escapes from prison. With killing on his mind, he then stalks Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. It’s perfect timing to watch this late 70s classic; a reboot starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer is currently in the works.
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The Craft (1996)
This 90s classic is Mean Girls with a witchy twist. When Sarah transfers to a new Los Angeles high school, her telekinetic powers draw in three wannabe witches. Once their first spell is cast on a helpless classmate, they develop a taste for power that could lead to dangerous consequences. Remember, “light as a feather, stiff as a board.”
What better way to celebrate bad*ss women this Halloween than with the all-female Ghostbusters? Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones make up the killer comedic cast. They’re laugh-out-loud funny as they band together to handle a ghost invasion in Manhattan.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
In the film that launched Mia Farrow into stardom, Farrow plays Rosemary, a young, pregnant wife who soon believes her unborn child is otherworldly. Roger Ebert gave this classic a 4/4, calling Roman Polanski’s movie “a brooding, macabre film, filled with the sense of unthinkable danger.” Why we love it: Mia Farrow’s unshakable, nuanced and stunning performance proves exactly why we need more female protagonist in films.
This stop-motion animated fantasy thriller is just as heartwarming as it is creepy. At the center of the film is brave Coraline (Dakota Fanning). When Coraline moves into a new house with her preoccupied mother and father, she soon finds a trap door that leads her to an alternate universe that eerily parallels her real world. There’s just one thing: it’s much better. Until it isn’t…
Carrie (1976 and/or 2013 )
Adapted from Stephen King’s novel, Carrie follows the quiet and withdrawn Carrie White who’s mercilessly bullied at her high school. When a cruel prank at prom sends her over the edge, Carrie uses her telekinetic powers on anyone who gets in her way. Watch the classic 1976 version (starring Sissy Spacek), and then follow it up with the 2013 remake with Chloe Moretz.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
While the Sanderson sisters aren’t technically the protagonists of this Halloween favorite, they certainly steal the show with their comedic genius, and no Halloween watchlist would be complete without them. We shed a silent tear when we heard Disney was opting for a remake of the movie as opposed to a follow up with the original cast.
The Babadook (2014)
Quite possibly one of the greatest horror films of the decade, The Babadook follows a widow who lost her husband in a car accident on the way to deliver their son. Her son Samuel, now six, is convinced a monster has entered their home through his storybook. What is marketed as a horror film, is really a terrifying and eerily beautiful tale of grief and healing. We think you’ll agree with Netflix’s 98% rating.
Practical Magic (1998)
Ready for some major 90s style inspo? Then watch Practical Magic asap. Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the film follows two sisters who were born into a magical family. They’ve mainly avoided using their powers, but all that changes when one of their cruel boyfriends dies.
When Blaire and her five friends receive a message from a recently deceased classmate, they learn they can never escape their social media footprint. Shot through only Skype videos, this cinematic tactic comes off as utterly terrifying as opposed to gimmicky. We’ve left the trailer out of this article because of it’s littered with spoilers. Watch it at your own discretion. And warning: you’ll want to sleep with the lights on after watching the whole film.
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