by Brittney Reed-Saltz
I don’t know how many times when, around Halloween, a patron has come to me at the library asking for a good scary movie, and although I have plenty of suggestions, I discover that they are all either checked out or have been lost. I always send them home with something, but I always wish that I could have given them their first choice.
Luckily, you don’t have to be that patron this year, thanks to Hoopla! If you haven’t tried out this service, now is the perfect time. Your library card lets you instantly check out up to 8 items each month, with no wait lists. So even if you realize on Halloween morning that you need movies for a marathon that night, you can still find plenty to watch.
The only hard part of using Hoopla is figuring out which movies to check out first… There are over 700 to choose from in the horror category, alone! Here my recommendations.
Bruce Campbell wages battle against ancient demons in Sam Raimi’s campy cult classic.
A stylish Gothic from Dario Argento featuring a splendid soundtrack from Goblin, Suspiria follows a young woman as she enrolls at a ballet academy with a dark past. Watch the original before catching the remake in theaters this month.
Another case of a box that grants wishes you’ll really wish you had not made, but this movie is far from teen fare. Based on Clive Barker’s novella The Hell-Bound Heart, it features the Cenobites, who are among my favorite horror movie villains.
Burying the Ex
The late Anton Yelchin stars as Max, who struggles to move on when his girlfriend dies in an accident. Unfortunately, she has other ideas, and returns from beyond the grave to pick up where they left off. Silly comedy steeped in horror tropes, perfect for when you’d rather laugh than scream.
This anthology of short films directed by women offers a little something for everyone, including a disturbing adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s short story “The Box.” The creepy stop-motion animated interludes between each film would be worth watching even on their own.
An abandoned tire named Robert–yes, really–comes to life and begins rolling through the desert, crushing anything in his path. You know you want to watch this, if only to see how weird it is.
The “harried band of survivors trapped in a building” trope meets Lovecraftian terror when hooded cultists lay siege to a hospital. If you like ominous creatures from beyond our dimension with a hefty dash of gross, Cronenburg-esque body horror, The Void is for you.
A young house-sitter on duty alone descends into increasingly disturbing visions that culminate in an act of violence. This movie is hip and unsettling, with a sensibility that straddles the line between classic and modern.
Night of the Living Dead
This movie is iconic for a reason: It redefined zombies in film and it’s timelessly creepy. If the bleak ending doesn’t get under your skin, I don’t know what will.