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Start spooky season with these fall favorites

“IT (2017)” is based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel which centers around an evil clown who terrorizes the children of Derry, Maine. “IT” can be streamed on Netflix. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

With Halloween right around the corner, many folks have already started the seasonal preparations by setting out decorations, looking for costumes or bundling up to fight the incoming autumn chill.  

While these are all great ways to get ready for the spooky season, the October experience can be improved with a simple watchlist for the month. Here are just a few movie recommendations that can set the spirits to help get into the fall festivities. 


“Coraline” is the perfect movie to kick off the Halloween spirit due to its mix of claymation magic, adventure and eldritch horror. Not unlike most others on the list, this story is based on a novella written prior to the film. However, what makes it special is the sentiment behind its creation. 

Neil Gaiman started writing the book for his daughter, Holly, and later finished it for his other daughter Maddy.  

“Holly liked scary stories, with witches and brave little girls in them,” wrote Gaiman in the foreword of his novella. “Those were the kinds of stories she told me. So Holly’s story was going to be scary.” 

The movie portrays themes that are important in any walk of life. Though the general plot reads as a cautionary tale in being careful what you wish for, there are also lessons that encourage people to fight despite the odds and to do it fiercely. 

 A bonus in the storytelling is not only the depiction of a courageous little girl but also having a black cat, which are notoriously seen as bad omens, as her helpful sidekick. Though the film was released in February 2009, it stands with the fall season because of the eerie monsters and dark animation that are shown throughout the film. 


While the whole “Twilight” lineup can be argued as a great binge watch for the autumn months, the first in the series presents as a classic of the times and the most iconic of the franchise. In a world that was originally written by author Stephanie Meyers, the movie follows the lives of different mythological beings in the very real town of Forks, Washington.  

The story revolves around the Cullen Family, a peaceful vampire clan, and the Quileute tribe, ancestors to a small group of wolves. The two groups must manage a vampire murder spree as well as the nosy new girl in town. Bella Swan, a human, eventually plays a more romantic role in the story but is initially drawn in by all the dark energy that follows Edward Cullen. 

More than anything, this film is fitting for the season given the blue tones and rainy atmosphere that surrounds every scene. People get to watch what seems to be an ordinary drama unravel into a romance fantasy with a twist of horror when Swan begins to piece together the truth behind the small town she just moved back to. 

It (2017) 

For the later parts of the spooky season, closer to Halloween, the movie “It” (2017) is an appropriate watch since it leans more heavily into horror than any other recommendation on this list.  This film is also part one of a two-part series but is the more satisfying of the pair when it comes to endings. 

“It” is based on the novel written by Stephen King. While the movie strays from certain portions of the book, they are still very similar. The plot revolves around a close group of outcasts searching for answers to the missing children cases happening within the fictional town of Derry, Maine.  

When they come face to face with Pennywise, the evil being at the source of the terrors plaguing their town, they must fight to end the curse he has on Derry. Though this would traditionally be categorized as a horror flick, the real charm of the movie lies within the coming-of-age aspect of the story.  

This is another instance where you originally come for the scares but ultimately stay for the tight-knit group of brave kids triumphing against the odds while also learning how to grow up. 

Even though there are dozens of films and shows that are fit for the spooky season, these are just a few movies that help capture that spirit just in time for Halloween. Each recommendation on this list is available for rent or purchase on most popular streaming services.  

Meagan Garcia is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Meagan Elizabeth García
Meagan Elizabeth García, Arts & Culture Editor
Meagan Elizabeth García is the arts and culture for The Prospector. She is a senior, majoring in mechanical engineering at UTEP. She is also the vice-president for the Creative Writing Society with hopes of continuing a writing career while also working for NASA as an engineer.
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Start spooky season with these fall favorites