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The 44 Best 90s Horror Movies and Where to Watch Them

Gen Z is beyond obsessed with Y2K, but for many ’90s nostalgia reigns supreme. The decade that brought us cheesy classics like Titanic and Forrest Gump wasn’t only about sentimentalism — we also had plenty of scares. 

Although 90’s horror is often remembered as mindless dreck, the 90’s actually birthed some of the most critically acclaimed horror films ever made. It’s true that plenty of movies followed the most obvious formulas, but others were deconstructing the genre itself: smartly playing with the cliches of horror to make something starkly new. Meanwhile, while J-Horror was only of interest to the United States in the early ’00s, Japan was laying the blueprint for what would come in the genre long before Western cinephiles would take note in the new millennium. 

In celebration of long-forgotten classics, critical triumphs, schlocky remakes, and under-appreciated gems, we’re counting down our favorite 1990’s horror films in this unranked list: ranging from Oscar-winning thrillers to low-budget legends.

44. Arachnophobia

As per the title, Arachnophobia is a spider-filled horror comedy starring early 90’s icons like John Goodman, Jeff Daniels, and Frances Bay. Although it’s mostly played for laughs, the movie racked up wins at the esteemed Saturn Awards. Even the notoriously anti-horror film critic Roger Ebert loved it!

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Arachnophobia-Jeff-Daniels/dp/B003SI7QEO
43. Frankenhooker

Despite its immature sense of humor, Frankenhooker is a crudely glamorous movie about a man who reanimates his wife using body parts he harvested from — you guessed it — a prostitute. Rife for drag parody, the movie’s quirky aesthetic has made it a camp classic.

Watch Now On Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Frankenhooker-James-Lorinz/dp/B00W4E7GYS
42. Gremlins 2

Bearing almost no resemblance to the original film, Gremlins 2 is a parody of 1980’s hypercapitalism told through cartoonish histrionics and postmodern humor. The special effects are both laughably absurd and oddly endearing. In over-the-topness, this sequel far outshines the original.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Gremlins-2-Batch-Howie-Mandel/dp/B00KQ9VCP2
41. It

The epitome of coulrophobia, this two-part, made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King’s most notorious novel has some truly cringeworthy moments — but Tim Curry will live forever as the most legendary evil clown in cinema history.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/stephen-kings-it-a9d14a4c-99ea-4034-8f45-b704f85feaf6
40. Misery

In yet another Stephen King adaptation, Kathy Bates is stunningly terrifying playing a horror writer’s biggest fan. When she discovers her idol is injured following an unfortunate accident, she takes it upon herself to care for the fallen scribe — but she refuses to ever let him go! Bates snagged an Oscar for her part in this oddly violent, minimalist film — despite the academy’s hatred of horror.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/misery-3958474e-70e3-494f-bea8-bd2a54f48643
39. Night of the Living Dead

Tom Savini, perhaps the greatest horror special effects designer in history, re-made the original zombie movie in 1990. With an assist from the original film’s director, George Romero, this reinvention of the classic mythos doesn’t quite hold up to the first movie — but has garnered cult esteem nonetheless.

Watch now on Vudu
https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/details/Night-of-the-Living-Dead/14626
38. Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are perfect foils playing cannibal psychologist Hannibal Lector and Special Agent Clarice Starling — locked in a respectful intellectual rivalry, Starling tries to penetrate Hannibal’s impervious mind in the hopes of catching a serial killer, before it’s too late! Silence remains one of the greatest horror movies ever made and is often cited as a cinematic achievement, despite certain aspects of the movie not aging so well. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Silence-Lambs-Jodie-Foster/dp/B002CMORTE
37. Alien 3

David Fincher’s Alien 3 is usually thought of as one of the weaker entries in this ongoing franchise, but it’s still pretty good. Lieutenant Ellen Ripley crash lands on a prison planet and hopes to warn the incarcerated population about the xenomorph she just encountered, but her efforts are too little, too late. She once again must watch those around her be torn down by a vicious bio-weapon with mysterious origins. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Alien-3-Sigourney-Weaver/dp/B000QDYQQ0
36. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman, and Keanu Reeves appear in this lushly gothic thriller but the real star is the late costume designer Eiko Ishioka, whose gorgeous vampiric couture elevates this from a droll adaptation into high art. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Bram-Stokers-Dracula-Gary-Oldman/dp/B000SP3DE2
35. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Kristy Swanson stars as the eponymous teenage heroine of this camp classic. Although the TV series on which this movie is based is often better remembered than the original film, the movie’s got just as many deadpan laughs and quick witted quips as the widely beloved show. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Buffy-Vampire-Slayer-Kristy-Swanson/dp/B077JCN6HY
34. Candyman

Candyman got a revival this past year with Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta’s sequel, but the original is a slyly avant-garde masterpiece masquerading as a horror film. Phillip Glass’s moving and menacing score creates a deeply unsettling atmosphere for this introspective film about race and class.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Candyman-Virginia-Madsen/dp/B001AQEIB0
33. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

David Lynch’s surrealist soap opera Twin Peaks concluded with a cliffhanger — and his decision to revisit the haunted town several years after the show’s final episode didn’t help clarify anything at all. Without having seen the series, this movie won’t make any sense — and it still might not even if you’ve studied every aspect of the show. That being said, Fire Walk With Me is an aesthetically beautiful and absolutely frightening exploration of sexual trauma.

Watch now on HBO Max
https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:GXmlSkQ9BmCLCHAEAAB_R:type:feature
32. The Crow

Although it became a cultural touchstone for anyone who identifies as goth, The Crow feels oddly goofy in retrospect. That being said, those big black trench coats and that ridiculous makeup are somehow both absurdly outdated and oddly fashionable these days! The tragic death of star Brandon Lee tends to overshadow this film, but he is unforgettable as the spooky protagonist of this accidentally campy classic.

31. In The Mouth of Madness

Based on the enduringly unnerving literature of American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness explores the cosmic terror of a vast and uncaring universe as otherworldly forces begin awakening in small-town America. Reality begins to unwind when an insurance agent investigates a missing novelist — but what apocalypse is brewing underneath this seemingly banal mystery?

Watch now on Shudder
https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/in-the-mouth-of-madness/d1fa535febe85dfc
30. Interview with a Vampire

Anne Rice’s sexy vampire fiction is brought to life in this zany yet insidiously romantic horror movie starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as a homoerotic duo of undead lovers. While the gay storyline is hardly subtext, the movie plays it safe with actual depictions of vampiric sodomy. Meanwhile, a young Kirstin Dunst camps it up as a demonic child with a sadistic streak.

Watch now on HBO Max
https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:GXwOi2ghajZpiwwEAAANv:type:feature
29. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

By 1994, the Nightmare on Elm Street series had already jumped the shark — but one last attempt at reviving Freddy was made in this smartly self-referential horror film in which Wes Craven and the film’s cast members play themselves — fighting an entity that the iconic horror series has accidentally brought to life through the collective unconscious.

Watch now on HBO Max
https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:GXmZs6AuHuZ4_wwEAACqW:type:feature
28. Species

Scientists clamor to stop an alien-human hybrid from propagating her species — but her impossibly seductive powers could bring ruin to all of humankind! In this erotic sci-fi story, Natasha Henstridge plays an outer-space siren that could spell disaster for planet Earth.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/species-b4593897-fe86-4b88-b270-9a021f3f8007
27. The Craft

An entire generation of social outcasts grew up repeating catchphrases from this story about teenage witches using the dark arts to get revenge on their hateful classmates. Fairuza Balk is beyond iconic as the fashionable goth Nancy Downs, who is driven mad by her sudden mastery of black magic. (Do NOT bother watching the reboot from 2020.)

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/404067
26. Scream

Scream broke all the rules of slasher cinema by saying them out loud: this postmodern deconstruction of horror movies’ biggest cliches essentially re-wrote all the tropes and defied expectations through subtle subversion of the most obvious formulas. Audiences were scandalized at the time by the shocking, early death of Drew Barrymore but remained transfixed by Neve Campbell’s harrowing battle against a relentless masked murderer.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Kings-Thinner-Robert-Burke/dp/B0036IHAK6
25. Thinner

The premise is simple: after an ill-fated encounter with a mysterious old man, Billy Halleck (played by Robert John Burke) simply can’t stop losing weight, no matter what he eats. His body functions begin to fail as he wastes away from an obese businessman into a hollow shell of a human. The ghastly special effects are satisfyingly gruesome, even if the concept is a bit, well, thin.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Kings-Thinner-Robert-Burke/dp/B0036IHAK6
24. Alien: Resurrection

Joss Whedon and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s unlikely team up is at times disastrous and at other times oddly brilliant. Although Jeunet is better known for his twee romance film Amelie, he’s always been a sci-fi director — and his skill at highlighting the endearingly grotesque is on full display in this under-appreciated continuation of the Alien franchise. Meanwhile, Winona Ryder and Sigourney Weaver are an iconic on-screen duo. 

Watch now on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3vvrqudSkc
23. Anaconda

Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Jon Voight, and Ice Cube make up the cast for this delightfully stupid horror-comedy. Although reviewers hated this movie deeply, it wound up scoring big at the box office and spawned an almost endless amount of sequels. We’ll spare you some jokes about Sir Mix-A-Lot wanting none.

Watch now on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkX5t5ZJLEk
22. Cube

A hyper-violent, Kafkaesque metaphor about the meaninglessness of life, Cube begins when several strangers wake up inexplicably trapped inside some kind of complicated torture device. As they attempt to escape the bizarre machine, they consider how they got trapped there — and why someone would subject them to such malice. 

Watch now on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esjc0rPj3K4&t=19s
21. I Know What You Did Last Summer

Often unfairly compared to Scream due to its similarities as star-studded teen slashers, Last Summer is a much more straightforward murder mystery (no postmodern shenanigans here). Sarah Michelle Gellar continues her reign as the Supreme Scream Queen of the 1990s while simultaneously revitalizing slasher cinema in this beloved, 80’s-influenced whodunnit. 

Watch now on YouTube
https://youtu.be/yiAlcLlJpQE
20. Mimic

Guillermo Del Toro directs this sci-fi story about science experiments gone wrong: bioengineers, in an attempt to control an out-of-control cockroach population, accidentally create a monster with a thirst for human blood! Del Toro’s unmatched sense of whimsy and unique object styling is easy to spot, even this early work by the auteur.

Watch now on Shudder
https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/mimic/532955b0278fc83b
19. Scream 2

Scream 2 is perfectly self-aware in its realization that the only thing more cliche than a slasher is a sequel. While it seemed impossible to match the iconoclastic wit of the first Scream film, the second came close with equally-as-clever subversions of horror truisms, while simultaneously developing an ongoing mythos around its cast of oddball characters.

Watch now on Shudder
https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/scream-2/4a852b03473028aa
18. Spawn

The world wasn’t exactly crazy about superheroes in 1997, and Todd McFarlane’s visually stunning and deeply nasty story about an undead caped crusader didn’t help endear the American public to comic book adaptations. Nonetheless, the movie’s out-of-control visual aesthetic is far from forgettable, even if reviewers hated it at the time.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Spawn-John-Leguizamo/dp/B001RJJ82O
17. Blade

The visual styling of Blade predicted the rise of afro-goth fashion long before certain disparate subcultures had properly converged. Wesley Snipes is impossibly cool as a leather-clad vampire hunter — and his fetish-y looks made him a style icon. Blade is considerably darker and much more stylish than the endless superhero tripe we get these days; nonetheless, the film is often credited with helping establish the rise of superhero cinema.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Blade-Wesley-Snipes/dp/B001RJTFP4
16. Bride of Chucky

Chucky had been terrorizing America in several films before he met his match in Tiffany, a serial killer fangirl turned into a murderous doll. Child’s Play films before this were much less comedic, but Jennifer Tilly introduced a playful campiness and undeniable sartorial smarts into the franchise, cementing her status as a legendary scream queen.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Bride-Chucky-Ronny-Yu/dp/B002RPLXWK
15. The Faculty

Filled with 90’s teen heartthrobs like Josh Hartnett, Clea Duvall, Elijah Wood, and Piper Laurie, The Faculty took a sci-fi spin on high school horror. John Stewart makes a memorable cameo as a possessed teacher in this movie about extraterrestrials invading an unsuspecting suburb. 

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/the-faculty-9d551397-e7e8-4c23-8ab2-06e24a0bdb0e
14. Halloween H20

The chronology of several Halloween sequels was totally erased with this continuation of the Michael Myers story, which picks up with PTSD-suffering Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) attempting to eradicate her attempted-killer once again. H20 rebooted the Halloween story and is remembered as one of the franchise’s better films — even though this movie’s events were also retconned when the franchise was rebooted a second (and third!) time in the interceding years.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-H20-Jamie-Lee-Curtis/dp/B009AGRE5O
13. Psycho

Gus Van Sant’s remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s most notorious movie couldn’t hold a candle to the original but is a sometimes unintentionally hilarious attempt nonetheless. Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, Vigo Mortensen, William H. Macy, and Vince Vaughn star in this almost shot-for-shot re-envisioning of the Norman Bates story that is — stunningly, somehow — much better than it’s often given credit for!

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Vince-Vaughn/dp/B003603URQ
12. Ringu

Based on the novel by Koji Suzuki (often considered the Stephen King of Japan), Ringu was later remade into the beloved American horror film, The Ring. Although Gore Verbinski’s adaptation is much easier to swallow, Ringu was starkly original when it was released in 1998 — and the cursed videotape depicted within it remains a surrealistic and nightmarish triumph of meta-filmmaking. Sadako differs significantly from the American haunted girl Samara, and it’s interesting to see the character’s original context — even if the movie sometimes doesn’t make much sense.

Watch now on Tubi
https://tubitv.com/movies/571822/ringu
11. Audition

Often unfairly dismissed as “torture porn,” Takashi Miike’s Audition is a brutal critique of Japan’s harsh cultural standards around femininity. Beware: although smart and often poetically beautiful, the movie is relentlessly violent and features extremely long and unbearably realistic scenes of sadistic torment.

Watch now on Shudder
https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/audition/61b3438c9f4099cc
10. The Blair Witch Project

Blair Witch is often considered one of the most profitable horror movies ever made — thanks in part to its gimmicky marketing campaign, which asserted the movie was real found footage and that its stars had actually gone missing. Accidentally avant-garde, the movie utilizes frightening minimalism to depict its protagonists’ journey into the woods of Maryland, where they encounter a series of dark occurrences. 

Watch now on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Blair-Witch-Project-Heather-Donahue/dp/B000KDZSA4
9. Deep Blue Sea

When a team of biologists genetically engineer a pack of hyper-intelligent sharks, things inevitably veer towards disaster. Samuel L. Jackson is particularly absurd in his role as a deep-sea scientist, and the movie is both purposefully and accidentally hilarious.

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/22013422
8. The Haunting

Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luke Wilson, and Lily Taylor have a truly weird synergy in this baroque haunted house thriller in which participants of a sleep study come up against supernatural forces. The set design is oddly astounding considering how bad the script is, but there’s something undeniably loveable about the film’s absolute commitment to excess.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/the-haunting-a8267609-e6ee-4286-949e-5f018a1083f0
7. Lake Placid

Jaws, but then make it a crocodile: that’s the concept. While the premise is simple, the movie is actually far more action-packed — and Bill Pullman is effortlessly cool, as always. Nothing too sophisticated here, just a goofy, good-time monster movie with a few moments of ultra-violence.

Watch now on Sling
https://watch.sling.com/1/program/410adc7c13eb4d86b5270ad8f163b156/watch?trackingid=google-feed
6. The Rage: Carrie 2

A perfectly delicious artifact of late 90’s shlock, The Rage copies the original Carrie’s concept in a beat-for-beat sequel filled with absurd style flourishes and an oddly emotional story underneath. Emily Bergl has awkwardly inspired the protective instincts of audiences for decades, and it’s hard not to feel something for the psychokinetic protagonist in this kitschy follow-up that no one really asked for.

Watch now on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7AO7MscMnc
5. Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow hits all the predictable Tim Burton cliches (swirls, stripes, Halloween-adjacent tricks and treats) but remains a stylish sendup of the eponymous American myth by Washington Irving. Johnny Depp plays a deranged Ichabod Crane (re-imagined by Burton as a sort of steampunk forensic scientist) opposite Christina Ricci — both decked out in lavish costumes by Colleen Atwood. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.hulu.com/series/sleepy-hollow-17f1fa22-2305-4df9-9ebc-bd8f40eb69c3
4. Wild Zero

Incomparable to horror movies from the West, Wild Zero is a queer punk musical about zombies, rock and roll, gay love, and motorcycle gangs. The music by Japanese punk band Guitar Wolf is lo-fi rock heaven, and the movie’s wacky undead antics are both putrid and oddly heartwarming.

Watch now on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdTSjB0-5ko
3. From Dusk Til Dawn

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up for this bonkers story about vampires invading a biker bar. Salma Hayek’s role as a crazed vampire queen is unforgettable, as are the movie’s cartoonish depictions of violence. 

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Dusk-Till-Dawn-Quentin-Tarantino/dp/B009653J0S
2. Army of Darkness

Speaking of cartoonish violence, Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness stars the devilishly handsome Bruce Campbell in a continuation of the Evil Dead series. Protagonist Ash Williams is transported to the Middle Ages where he fights an endless array of miscreants from Hell in a veritable gauntlet match filled with truly silly amounts of bloodshed.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/army-of-darkness-0b8ae645-7c1d-4c8a-bb1e-0272e52c9894
1. Jacob’s Ladder

An oddly cerebral and experimental horror movie, Jacob’s Ladder is a contemplation on post-war trauma and schizophrenia. “Hope is hell’s final torment,” said director Bruce Joel Rubin, summarizing the theme of this nightmarish venture into the depths of psychosis.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Jacobs-Ladder-Tim-Robbins/dp/B07FPQ8RJV
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

AppleTV+’s ‘Invasion’ Knows How to Build Tension and Not Much Else

The “alien invasion” genre of TV shows and movies is one that has a seemingly endless amount of entries in it. Whether it be more small-scale products like Signs or big-budget blockbusters like Independence Day, many have asked the same question: What would happen if an extraterrestrial race showed up at our front door? What if they weren’t friendly?

Invasion, a new show premiering today on AppleTV+, is the latest show to ponder that question.

“An alien invasion is seen through the different perspectives of various people on different continents across the world” reads Apple’s official description of the show. Spreading the characters out across the world is a tactic that mostly works to the show’s benefit but can also serve as a massive anchor to potential character development.

Created by Simon Kinberg and David Weil, Invasion features an ensemble cast including Sam Neill, Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Firas Nassar, Shiori Kutsuna, Tara Moayedi, and Daisuke Tsuji.

The first three episodes made available to the press spend much of their runtime in exposition mode, establishing the characters and delving into their backstories and motivations, outside of mere survival, that is.

Despite the large cast, much of the focus in the early episodes is on Farahani’s character Aneesha Malik, a housewife on Long Island who decided to forego a career as a doctor to raise her family; Anderson’s character Trevante Ward, a soldier in Afghanistan; and Kutsana’s space engineer character Mitsuki.

The cast’s performances are mostly solid, but Shiori Kutsuna really shines in these early episodes. Perhaps suffering the most personal loss due to the early stages of the invasion, she conveys her trauma expertly, remaining stoic but unafraid to show the emotion as she processes her grief.

AppleTV

The show also follows Sam Neill’s character Sheriff John Bell Tyson, who is, naturally, working on his last day before retirement just as things worldwide begin to fall apart. He hasn’t gotten much screen time so far but watching Neill attempt to pull off an Oklahoman accent and fighting off his natural New Zealand one leaves a lot to be desired.

He hasn’t been given a ton of screentime, so his character feels a bit like a cliche, but the door is open for a ton of development.

This issue certainly holds true for most of the characters, including the last group we’ve been introduced to, a field trip full of students in Great Britain. When debris from space begins falling to Earth, their bus crashes into a sinkhole, and they are forced to figure out how to escape and survive. The situation quickly devolves into a Lord of the Flies type of scenario, with a bully attempting to take charge of the group.

AppleTV

Where Invasion is at its best is the way it creates tension and the overwhelming feeling of dread as things continue to spiral downward. Outside of one or two scenes, the invaders are not seen; they lurk in the shadows. We don’t even see anything resembling an alien until the end of the first and second episodes, a narrative decision that is a smart one.

This uneasiness is further compounded by a scene where nearly all the children, and just the children, of the school that Aneesha’s kids attend break out into nosebleeds all at the same time. Watching scores of kids simultaneously go into a panic is enough to give anyone pause, and the show succeeds in causing the viewer to freak out right alongside the students.

Unfortunately, the show’s success at building tension has yet to pay off in any significant way. It’s almost hard to remember at times that you’re watching an alien invasion show and not something from a completely different genre. By the end of the third episode, you’ll probably be asking the same question I was: “Where the hell are the aliens?”

Invasion will undoubtedly give those looking for a new science fiction show a reason to tune in, but whether it is enough to keep people interested for a whole season remains to be seen.

The first three episodes of Invasion are available on AppleTV+ right now, and a new episode will premiere weekly through December 10th.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 10 Best Halloween Episodes of TV to Watch When You Need a Dose of Nostalgia

While I realize that the target audience for these TV shows is somewhere around the age of 10, the kids’ shows and cartoons of the late ’90s and 2000s are unmatched. It was a golden period of time within Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network—Hey Arnold!, Drake & Josh, and Courage the Cowardly Dog are just a few that defined it. Listed below are 10 of the greatest Halloween episodes of that era, and between the classics and the ones you may have forgotten about, there’s bound to be a few that are perfect for you to stream this Halloween.

1. SpongeBob SquarePants: “Scaredy Pants”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0707307/mediaviewer/rm1392624384/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0707307/mediaviewer/rm1392624384/

In this season 1 classic, SpongeBob decides that he wants to become a different type of sponge on Halloween: one who’s doing the scaring instead of being the one frightened by everything related to Halloween.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/SpongeBob-SquarePants-Season-1/dp/B000HJ4WLC
2. Drake and Josh: “Alien Invasion”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0566011/mediaviewer/rm929548032/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0566011/mediaviewer/rm929548032/

Although this isn’t an outright Halloween episode, it may as well be given the basis of the episode. After Megan gets a new telescope and hooks it up to her laptop, Drake and Josh decide to go all in on a prank to get back at her for getting them in trouble with Walter. Once they photoshop pictures of UFOs onto Megan’s laptop, she becomes convinced that there’s an incoming alien invasion.

Watch on Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/drake-josh/video/qdnASXJK26gIWfAnTPWESYQzN7AVkZoC/drake-josh-alien-invasion/
3. Courage the Cowardly Dog: “The Demon in the Mattress”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770489/mediaviewer/rm3560489472/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770489/mediaviewer/rm3560489472/

To be fair, every episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog is Halloween-themed, and looking back, it’s sort of insane that we were even watching this as kids. In “The Demon in the Mattress,” Muriel orders a mattress, but when it’s delivered by two creepy rats, Courage starts to get suspicious. Nevertheless, after Muriel sleeps on the mattress for the first time, she quickly becomes possessed and insane things begin to occur around the house.

Watch on HBO Max
https://www.hbomax.com/series/urn:hbo:series:GX8auJwgvI5c0wwEAAAAk
4. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: “Nightmare in Retroville”
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius/video/GoRmlMxUJDlN8HEANUx4YwBMVIvw_cIz/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius-nightmare-in-retroville/
Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius/video/GoRmlMxUJDlN8HEANUx4YwBMVIvw_cIz/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius-nightmare-in-retroville/

On Halloween, Jimmy decides to try out his new monster-making machine to turn Carl and Sheen into monsters instead of wearing regular costumes to go trick-or-treating. However, when Carl and Sheen start to exhibit signs that their costumes have taken over their DNA, Jimmy has to figure out a way to turn them back into their original selves.

Watch on Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius/video/GoRmlMxUJDlN8HEANUx4YwBMVIvw_cIz/the-adventures-of-jimmy-neutron-boy-genius-nightmare-in-retroville/
5. Hey Arnold!: “Arnold’s Halloween”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0789463/mediaviewer/rm1347928576/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0789463/mediaviewer/rm1347928576/

With Grandpa’s Halloween Party coming up, Arnold and Gerald come up with the idea to stage an alien invasion to prank the partygoers by using the radio and a nearby tower to control the effects. At the same time, Helga has convinced everyone in the fourth grade to dress up as aliens for Halloween, and they eventually head over to the party in a horde. With both of these plots converging, it ends up being broadcast on television, adding even further to the (at first) harmless prank.

Watch on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/series/hey-arnold-a4a06e0c-c4d8-4b34-a55e-a28c57ecc429
6. iCarly: “iScream on Halloween”
https://m.facebook.com/iCarly/photos/a.76376866754.92068.53523601754/10153047260786755/?type=3&p=10&_ft_=top_level_post_id.10153047260786755%3Atl_objid.10153047260786755%3Athid.53523601754
iCarly / Facebook
https://m.facebook.com/iCarly/photos/a.76376866754.92068.53523601754/10153047260786755/?type=3&p=10&_ft_=top_level_post_id.10153047260786755%3Atl_objid.10153047260786755%3Athid.53523601754

When Carly accidentally receives mail from a different apartment that turns out to be abandoned, she decides to make it a segment on her web show. Carly, Sam, and Freddie livestream their way through apartment 13B, but when the lights go out, they quickly begin to feel like they aren’t the only ones in the apartment.

Watch on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/70136153
7. Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends: “Bloooo”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419326/mediaviewer/rm929066240/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419326/mediaviewer/rm929066240/

With Bloo resting in bed with a bad cold and the rest of the crew settling in to watch a horror movie, it seems like it’ll be a quiet night at Foster’s. But when the group starts believing that the movie is real, they barricade all of the entrances to the house. When Frankie has a frightening encounter on her way home and as Bloo’s condition worsens, things around the house get chaotic quickly.

Watch on HBO Max
https://www.hbomax.com/series/urn:hbo:series:GXnJ9_wWT34CgwwEAAADK
8. Fairly OddParents: “Scary Godparents”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0575698/mediaviewer/rm3099272448/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0575698/mediaviewer/rm3099272448/

As Timmy goes trick-or-treating with Vicky in his toilet-paper mummy costume, he ponders his sad state of affairs and decides to make a wish for everyone to have real and scary Halloween costumes. However, he didn’t fully think through his wish: everyone fully becomes their costume, which means that there are some pretty hefty consequences coming Timmy’s way.

Watch on Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/the-fairly-oddparents/video/sCzmkIbWRcCx6ZiqOOvL4YYWmxcWF5Yb/the-fairly-oddparents-scary-godparents/
9. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: “Billy & Mandy’s Jacked-Up Halloween”
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0592979/mediaviewer/rm1035008769/
IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0592979/mediaviewer/rm1035008769/

In this two-part special episode, Grim’s scythe is stolen by a villain, Jack O’ Lantern, who plans to use it to destroy the town and make every day Halloween as an act of revenge. Given the power of Grim’s scythe, Billy and Mandy have to figure out a way to retrieve it and put an end to Jack’s plans.

Watch on HBO Max
https://www.hbomax.com/series/urn:hbo:series:GX-Tu4ge5qAexgwEAAABd
10. Zoey101: “Haunted House”
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/zoey-101/video/d_u7DMbadjg5Jl2eOyosv4yL_Er7MKE_/zoey-101-haunted-house/
Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/zoey-101/video/d_u7DMbadjg5Jl2eOyosv4yL_Er7MKE_/zoey-101-haunted-house/

Each Halloween at PCA, someone is in charge of setting up a haunted house, and this year, Logan gets the job. When he makes the haunted house a little too scary, Zoey’s brother, Dustin, gets lost in it and Logan has to go inside to find him.

Watch on Paramount Plus
https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/zoey-101/video/d_u7DMbadjg5Jl2eOyosv4yL_Er7MKE_/zoey-101-haunted-house/
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

These are the MCU’s Prospective Young Avengers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a lot of moving parts when it comes to setting up potential galaxy-wide threats and multiple teams that could beat back that threat. 

With what fans have seen of Phase 4 thus far, it’s looking like Galactus and the Thunderbolts are just a sample of the new elements that the MCU will introduce in the near future. Another interesting team formation that’s looking more and more possible is the Young Avengers. Now that we’re getting introduced to a hall of heroes in the MCU that are of the much younger generation, our gut is telling us that the powers that be at Marvel and Disney are prepping everyone for a show or movie based on the fan-favorite ensemble.

Now with all that being said, let’s take a look at all the prospective members of the potential lineup for the MCU’s Young Avengers.

1. Cassie Lang (Stature) – Played by Kathryn Newton
Marvel Studios

One of the most heartwarming parental relationships the MCU has given us is the one between Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie Lang. The first film featured her as an eight-year-old girl played by Abby Ryder Fortson, while Avengers: Endgame introduced moviegoers to a teenage version played by Emma Fuhrmann. And now that we know Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is on the way, Cassie is being recast once again as Kathryn Newton. 

Don’t be surprised if Cassie ends up embracing her father’s technological powers in order to shrink/enlarge herself at will in the next Ant-Man film. In the comics, Cassie takes on the moniker of Stature and also steps into the role of Stinger to take command & communicate with every type of insect imaginable. It’d be pretty cool to see her combine the powers tied to both of her comic book aliases and become one of the founding members of the Young Avengers.

2 & 3. Billy and Tommy Maximoff (Wiccan & Speed) – Played by Baylen Bielitz and Gavin Borders
Marvel Studios

WandaVision introduced us to the wonderful and always cheerful offspring of Wanda Maximoff and Vision, Billy and Tommy Maximoff. When Wanda was forced to destroy the very reality she created in order to live a better life, her two twins went along with it. But the final post-credits scene we saw during the final episode of WandaVision gave everyone a bit of hope concerning the futures of both Billy and Tommy. As Wanda utilized her abilities as the Scarlet Witch to do some magical research, the voices of her children could be heard crying out for help. 

It’s evident that they both still exist in some form, which is why we’re hoping Wanda locates them and saves them from whatever part of the multiverse they reside in. That scenario sounds like a real possibility that could play out in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Should they be saved and brought over to the mainline universe of the MCU, older (as in, aged up) renditions of Billy and Tommy could also become prominent members of the Young Avengers. Billy’s psionic abilities and Tommy’s super-speed are a lethal combination that can be used to combat evil with ease.

4. Eli Bradley (Patriot) – Played by Elijah Richardson
Marvel Studios

One of the most maddening revelations viewers became privy to during The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was just how horrible the U.S. treated one of its patriots during the earliest stages of Super Soldier experimentation. Isaiah Bradley was revealed as the Korean War veteran that was experimented on and shoved to the side by the very country he chose to fight for. Eventually, Sam Wilson rectified his nation’s wrongs by enacting a form of acknowledgment for Isaiah’s historical triumphs within a museum. 

Isaiah’s grandson is Eli Bradley, who viewers also became familiar with during the entirety of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Comic book buffs know that name all too well since it’s connected to a costumed hero that’s similar to Captain America. That hero is referred to as Patriot, who could possibly debut on the big screen once the fourth Captain America movie hits theaters. And once we finally become familiar with Eli’s physical prowess and sense of duty, we should be comfortable enough seeing him step up as one of the founding members of the Young Avengers.

5. Kid Loki – Played by Jack Veal
Marvel Studios

The Loki Disney+ series was packed with a bunch of Variants based on the “God of Mischief” himself. We ran into Lady Loki, Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, President Loki, and even Alligator Loki! One of the more intriguing versions of Loki that popped up onscreen was Kid Loki, who aided the mainline Loki by helping him escape the wrath of the all-consuming monster known as Alioth.

At some point, we hope that Kid Loki finds a way to escape the Void and reunites with the very same Loki he helped find his freedom. Another hope that we have is Kid Loki realizing his potential as a do-gooder and aligning himself with the Young Avengers troupe. Sure, the possibility of Kid Loki doing something nefarious is high. But we can totally envision a future within the MCU that sees Kid Loki doing a whole bunch of good deeds alongside his equally youthful counterparts.

6. Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) – Played by Hailee Steinfeld
Marvel Studios

On November 21, 2021, the MCU is going to take viewers on a wild ride through the most wonderful time of the year. That ride will come courtesy of the Hawkeye Disney+ series, which will bring back Jeremy Renner’s rendition of the crossbow-wielder. The biggest aspect of that new series is its introduction of Kate Bishop, the Hawkeye mega-fan that comes into the picture with some expert bow & arrow skills of her own. Once we reach the close of this upcoming series, we’re pretty sure that Kate will step up to the plate and become a more integral part of the MCU. And with that, she’ll play the part of Hawkeye for the Young Avengers contingent. Her badassery with a bow & arrow and sword will do wonders for her fellow teenage heroes if they’re ever confronted by overwhelming threats.

7. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) – Played by Iman Vellani
Marvel Studios

It may have taken forever and a day for Marvel Studios to bring a live-action rendition of Ms. Marvel’s coming of age story to the small screen, but it’s finally happening. The great Kamala Khan, who got shoved back into the superhero spotlight thanks to her starring role in the Marvel’s Avengers game, is getting her own Disney+ series. For those now in the know, Kamala is a Pakistani teenager who’s a diehard fan of the many Marvel heroes that inhabit her world. 

After developing superpowers of her own due to being exposed to Terrigen Mist, Kamala adopts the moniker of Ms. Marvel as a dedication to her favorite heroine Captain Marvel. Once the show establishes Ms. Marvel’s toolset and ambitions, she’ll move on to even bigger things once The Marvels film groups her up with her idol and Monica Rambeau. Here’s hoping that her on-the-job training in her standalone series and that aforementioned film develops her into the sort of savior that can handle her lofty responsibilities. And one of those responsibilities has to be tending to her duties as a trustworthy member of the Young Avengers.

8. America Chavez (Miss America) – Played by Xochitl Gomez
Marvel Comics

The multiverse has already been explored through the Loki series and will be expanded even further due to the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. And once we make our way to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’s likely that we’ll come into contact with even more alternate universes and different versions of the heroes that inhabit them. One of the newest MCU heroes that’s been confirmed to appear in the second Doctor Strange movie is Miss America. 

And when it comes to the whole multiverse thing, she has the power to open portals and explore other realities thanks to the simple act of kicking a massive hole into the fabric of reality. Package that mind-blowing ability with her superhuman strength & ability to take flight and you have someone that could turn into one of the MCU’s most formidable forces of good. Miss America was a prominent member of the Young Avengers in the comics, so it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll do the same once the live-action version of the team comes to be.

9. Riri Williams (Ironheart) – Played by Dominique Thorne
Marvel Studios

One of the more shocking Disney+ MCU series announcements was the confirmation of a show based on Riri Williams aka “Ironheart.” The young genius whose tech mastery is on par with Tony Stark is not only getting her own show, but she’ll make a second appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The homie Tony made the ultimate sacrifice at the end of Avengers: Endgame, which made everyone think that his daughter would eventually be the one to rise up and take on the iron hero mantle.

But now that we know Riri is becoming a part of the MCU, it’s clear that she’ll be the one flying around in her own sick suit of armor and possibly aiding Don Cheadle (War Machine) from time to time. Ironheart would fit right in as the perfect tech maestro for the Young Avengers and create the sort of gear that would really benefit the rest of the team. And it’d be pretty cool to witness Riri & Shuri combine their intellect to create even more beneficial tools for their allies and all of Wakanda. Every superhero team needs a tech wizard – Riri definitely fulfills that essential role for the Young Avengers.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

Get to Know the Nosy Neighbors of The Arconia in ‘Only Murders in the Building’

Can you make a career out of being a nosy neighbor? I would certainly hope so, given that I watched a man trying to light a dead rat on fire outside of my window the other day. But in a way, that’s one of the main starting points in Only Murders in the Building—that everyone is a nosy neighbor.

Even before starting the series, it’s clear that the main cast is an unlikely pairing of people. Steve Martin—who’s also a co-creator of the show—plays Charles Haden-Savage, a minor celebrity, and former detective series actor. Oliver Putnam, portrayed by Martin Short, is a Broadway director who’s a bit down on his luck. Selena Gomez is Mabel Mora, who’s in her mid-twenties and is revamping her older aunt’s apartment. The one thing that connects them is an apartment building: The Arconia, which exists in real life as The Belnord on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

The three of them first meet in the building’s elevator, where Oliver goes overboard in trying to make conversation with both Mabel and Charles, who aren’t really feeling his overly enthusiastic and slightly unhinged vibe. Tim Kono, another resident, also hops onto the elevator briefly.

Later that night, when a popular true-crime podcast is airing, Charles, Oliver, and Mabel are all tuning in separately in their own apartments, listening intently as they’re obsessed with the show. Charles even has a detailed, written-out map of the story that he adds to with each new discovery. When the fire alarms start going off, the entire building—well, most of it—files down the stairs to exit. But on his way down, Charles notices someone in a tie-dye hoodie walking quickly back up the stairs.

Instead of waiting around in the courtyard of the building, Charles heads over to a local restaurant with his map to continue listening to the podcast, where he first runs into Oliver and then Mabel. Even though there’s some leftover awkwardness from the elevator ride before, it quickly fades away once they realize they’re all into the same podcast.

Back at The Arconia, the doorman tells the group that no one’s allowed back into the building because of an apparent suicide on the 9th floor. Despite this, Charles suggests that they use the freight elevator to take a look at what’s going on. When they see who has been killed, they immediately begin to question whether or not it was a suicide. As their list of possible suspects grows, so do Oliver’s ambitions—he tries to convince Charles and Mabel to start a true-crime podcast with him about the murder in their apartment building.

Even though Only Murders in the Building falls under the crime genre, it incorporates so many different themes that it almost seems too easy to be classified as just that. It combines crime with drama, comedy, and mystery, creating a well-balanced narrative with room to explore from one genre to the next.

Hulu

In the same way that the show exemplifies how everyone can be involved in solving a case, the cast does the same in terms of the show itself. While Martin Short and Steve Martin tend to bring in a slightly older group of viewers, casting Selena Gomez in the show taps into the younger audience who have been watching her since her days on Wizards of Waverly Place. Both groups are bringing in a different type of viewer, and in doing so, they’re being introduced to a new actor along the way, on top of a new group of people to discuss the show with.

The zany assortment of side characters and guest stars (including Jackie Hoffman, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, and Nathan Lane) allow the apartment to come to life, especially with the building’s stern main board member, Bunny, setting the tone. On top of that, Short, Gomez, and Martin have insane chemistry—one that both complements each other while also allowing for the other to stand out. While Martin and Gomez’s characters are constants in terms of their personalities, Short acts as the show’s heartbeat, whether that be convincing the crew to follow a specific lead or simply screaming while running down the stairs.

I almost wish I had come upon this show after the finale; with the half-hour episodes, it’s a show that I know I would’ve torn through all at once rather than watch methodically over the course of two months. The episodes are fairly fast-paced and would frequently end on cliffhangers, which made waiting each week basically torture (or maybe we’ve just become too accustomed to streaming—we have).

But with the finale having just aired on October 19 and season two in the works, you can take full advantage of the opportunity to watch the series in full on Hulu right now—I’m already jealous.

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Culture Movies/TV

Meet The Eternals, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Newest Team

With Eternals releasing on November 5 in theaters only, we are only one month away from when the MCU’s newest team is introduced. 

The biggest question surrounding these immortal gods is why haven’t they helped with any other conflicts, such as the fight against Thanos?

Well, this was answered by the director herself, Chloé Zhao. Zhao said, “We like to call them Earth’s original superheroes. So, they were instructed to stand on the sideline once the Deviants were gone to allow humans to develop and progress in the way that we were meant to…and that ultimately led us to someone like Tony [Stark]. So, they’ve always existed in the shadows…you just never know where they might show up again.” 

We know from the second trailer that the Celestials instructed them not to interfere with humanity’s conflicts, and with Zhao’s answer, this all makes more sense.

Thousands of years ago, when they were sent to Earth to protect humanity from the Deviants, they completed their job but were then told to blend in and not interfere with other human issues. After being a team for a few centuries, they parted ways. If the Eternals never disbanded, they would’ve impacted humanity in unpredictable ways, but with the new threat of the Emergence, they have to re-assemble. 

So, who exactly are The Eternals? Here’s a breakdown of the team’s roster.

Ikaris
Marvel Studios

Ikaris (Richard Madden) is good, but not the best, at every ability. In the trailer, we have seen him shoot laser beams out of his eyes, possess super-strength, fly; and in the comics, he also has telepathic powers and can rearrange the molecules of substances.

Sersi
Getty Images

Out of anyone on the Eternals, Sersi (Gemma Chan) is the best at manipulating matter and can also cause the greatest amount of destruction as she can reshape anything into whatever she wants. In the movies, she can only transmute non-living matter, but this is still super useful and makes her one of the most powerful members of the team.

Kingo
Getty Images

Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) is not in many Marvel Comics, and the limitations of his power as an Eternal are unknown.

From what we have seen from the trailer footage, we don’t know if he will be a swordsman in the comics, but we do see him shooting cosmic energy from projectile blasts. We know that Nanjiani took martial arts and dance lessons to fully understand how Kingo would use his body motions while shooting laser blasts.

Gilgamesh
Getty Images

Gilgamesh (Don Lee) is the only Eternal on Earth who is stronger than Ikaris. Combined with his primary Eternal powers, this puts him on the same level as Hercules and Thor.

Lee revealed that he trained in boxing for this role, and he does have a signature one-punch knockout move which is rumored to be in this film. With all of this said, I think we can all agree that he will be a lot of fun to watch on screen.

Phastos
Getty Images

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) has a talent for creating technology and weapons, which he can make from his mind and energy powers. According to the Eternals synopsis, he is an “inventor.” In the second trailer, we see his summoning the team’s ship. We don’t know how he contributes in battle, but he can help the team a lot.

Sprite
Getty Images

Sprite (Lia McHugh) is immortal and has been alive for thousands of years but still has the physical appearance of a child.

Similar to Loki, her powers involve illusions and trickery. In the first trailer, we see her create fireworks to impress a group of humans. One rumor is that her capabilities include creating clones, and her ability to make illusions opens up many different possibilities for the character in the film.

Thena
Getty Images

Thena (Angelina Jolie) is described as a “fierce warrior.”

She is the distant cousin of Thanos (yes, that Thanos) and is the daughter of Zuras. She has spent centuries training her powers and is an expert at creating and using a variety of weapons. We have seen many glimpses of her using her powers in training and against villains in the trailers.

Mikkari
Getty Images

The “speedster” of the Eternals, Mikkari (Lauren Ridloff), and her super-speed creates golden energy within her body. As a creative choice, Zhao decided to make Makkari run in real-time in the movie. This means that we will be able to see Makkari run at the speed she does next to the rest of the team, really showcasing her abilities.

Druig
Getty Images

Played by Barry Keoghan, Druig is comparable to the other Eternals, but he is more of an anti-hero in the comics. He possesses great control over telepathy, can read and manipulate people’s minds, meaning that he is potentially incredibly dangerous. Whether he is evil or not, his character is fascinating, and I think he is more important than anyone thinks.

Ajak
Getty Images

Ajak (Salma Hayek) has all of the average Eternal’s powers, but she has one of the most critical roles. She is the only one that can communicate directly with their creators, the Celestials, an ability that places the burden of leadership upon her.

Dane Whitman (Black Knight)
Getty Images

Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) isn’t part of the Eternals, but he is still a vital ally of the team, partly because of his relationship with Sersi. Though Dane is 100% human, he possesses a genius-level intellect, especially in physics and genetics.

In the comics, he gets the “Ebony Blade” and inherits the mantle of Black Knight. While he may not become the Black Knight in this movie, this will likely be teased near the movie’s end or the post-credits scene, and we will undoubtedly see him again in a future MCU project. 

The Eternals will introduce a higher scale of power in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and elevate it to the next level.

Don’t miss Eternals when it drops in theaters on November 5th!

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 30 Best Slasher Movies to Watch on Halloween and Beyond

Depending on who you’re talking to, Halloween isn’t quite complete without a certain thing. For some, it’s that first pumpkin spice latte of the season, whereas with others, it’s the fact that they get to hate on that same pumpkin spice latte for a good month. But for the hardcore fans, there’s a good chance that it’s simply the movie, Halloween, or one of the other many classic slashers from the past 50 years.

1. Halloween (1978)

In her film debut, Jamie Lee Curtis quickly established herself on the horror scene with her role as Laurie Strode in one of the most well-known slasher movies of all time—Halloween. The film follows the now-iconic villain, Michael Myers, as he searches for babysitters to kill on Halloween.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-John-Carpenter/dp/B018A5RPYU
2. Psycho (1960)

Even if you’ve never seen Psycho, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen its iconic shower scene in some sort of iteration in the years since the movie was first released. Hitchcock’s film—based on the novel of the same name—centers around Norman Bates, the owner of the Bates Motel, and Marion Crane, who stops by one night.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Anthony-Perkins/dp/B000I9YLWG
3. Child’s Play (1988)

Before there was Chuckie on Rugrats, there was Chucky the insane, serial-killer doll from Child’s Play. When pre-doll, human Chucky is killed by a police officer, he performs voodoo to reincarnate as a popular doll to take revenge on his enemies. Given that Chucky was also a serial killer before he was killed, this ends up including more than just his enemies.

Watch on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/childs-play-22bbbacb-3afc-4194-bf61-c5ef83d58348
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Written and directed by Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street is more of a supernatural slasher, as the villain, Freddy Krueger, claims his victims in their dreams. Johnny Depp also makes his film debut, playing the role of Glen Lantz.

Watch on HBO Max
https://www.hbomax.com/feature/urn:hbo:feature:GXrnLcQzKrR8GwgEAAAAW
5. Scream (1996)

Set at a high school, Scream is similar to Halloween in that the main antagonist is after teenagers, which makes sense given that the screenplay was greatly influenced by both the horror movies that came before it, as well as the real-life story of the Gainesville Ripper. It’s masked antagonist, Ghostface, has become a well-known villain over the years, with its mask never going out of style on Halloween.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Scream-David-Arquette/dp/B004U8VUQG
6. Friday the 13th (1980)

In the first of what would become 12 movies, Friday the 13th follows the hockey-masked Jason Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp, where he goes after a group of camp counselors. In the years prior to this, many people have been stalked, killed, and drowned; despite this, teenagers keep coming back—and so does Jason.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Friday-13th-Betsy-Palmer/dp/B003COE90S
7. Happy Death Day (2017)

Happy Death Day is what happens when the concept of Groundhog Day meets a classic slasher film. Even though this movie looked slightly corny judging by its commercials, it was received fairly well with its time loop concept. In the film, Tree, a student at college, is killed on her birthday, but when she wakes up, she realizes it’s the previous day. Given this knowledge, she uses each looped day to figure out who her murderer is.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Death-Day-Jessica-Rothe/dp/B076BZVSQ2
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Though it was filmed on a very limited budget, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was at the forefront of the slasher genre with its plot and infamous villain, Leatherface. The story involves a group of teenagers who drive to a farmhouse and end up encountering a family of cannibals, including one who wears a mask out of human skin—Leatherface. The film has seen tons of iterations in the years following and many have credited it with defining the slasher movie genre as a whole.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Texas-Chain-Saw-Massacre/dp/B017SZNK56
9. Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas is another classic slasher that has been remade a few times, one in 2006 and another in 2019. In this first film, threatening and mysterious calls are made to a sorority house’s Christmas party, but only one of the girls is concerned. However, when the calls don’t stop and victims start surfacing, it becomes clear that the threats are serious and that the killer is closer than they realize.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Christmas-Olivia-Hussey/dp/B01MSXEEFG
10. Candyman (1992)

This slasher film borders on a supernatural theme as the plot is based on an urban legend about the power of saying the name, “Candyman.” The legend goes that if you say “Candyman” five times while facing a mirror, it will summon him to kill whoever said his name. The main character, Helen, expresses her disbelief in the myth, and because of that, the Candyman takes it as an opportunity to prove her wrong.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Candyman-Virginia-Madsen/dp/B001AQEIB0
11. Strait-Jacket (1964)

Around the time Strait-Jacket was released, Joan Crawford was in a bit of a slump in the years following What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which had been a huge hit. As a way to get herself on the map again, Crawford took this film, and while the movie didn’t do well critically, she was praised for her performance in the main role of Lucy Harbin. The film is set 20 years after Harbin killed her husband and his mistress, following her subsequent stint in a psychiatric facility.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Strait-Jacket-Joan-Crawford/dp/B001NKGYMY
12. Saw (2004)

Jigsaw, the antagonist of the film, has become a quick classic in the years since Saw was first released in 2004; in less than 20 years, the franchise has had seven sequels, each in some way revolving around Jigsaw and his tests. After surviving a suicide attempt, he decides to dedicate his life to getting others to have the same newfound, positive feeling about life.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Saw-Cary-Elwes/dp/B000XSEPYQ
13. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

The Cabin in the Woods is definitely a freaky take on the modern slasher movie. Whereas previous horror movies had one main antagonist acting alone, this film features an engineered situation, with everything at the house controlled remotely. The lab engineers who are overseeing the house use different methods to control the group of college students who are staying at the cabin, including drugging them to cloud judgement, as well as sending in antagonists.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Cabin-Woods-Kristen-Connolly/dp/B008WB33LW
14. Deep Red (1975)

An Italian horror movie, Deep Red combines a few themes of film into one, including mysteries, thrillers, crime, and slashers. It fits into the classic genre of Italian giallo horror films, turning out to be one of the most successful films of the genre in the years since its release. The movie centers around a person only seen in silhouette who carries out several murders, and Marcus—one of the main characters—who attempts to solve the case.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Red-David-Hemmings/dp/B076QLK48S
15. Ma (2019)

Octavia Spencer does much of the heavy lifting in this light slasher, and because it has received a bit of the meme treatment since its release, Ma has quickly become a horror favorite. When a group of teenagers asks Spencer’s character, “Ma,” to buy them liquor, she starts to develop an odd relationship with the group. She eventually invites them over to party in her basement, but when Ma starts to become too much of a part of their lives, things go awry.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Ma-Octavia-Spencer/dp/B07SMBD3M4
16. Halloween (2018)

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode in this installment of Halloween, and even though there have been 10 iterations prior, this is the technical sequel to the original film. Taking place 40 years after the first movie, Michael Myers escapes from the institution he had been locked in and makes his way back to town. In this time, Strode has remained worried about Myers and has become a slight agoraphobe as a result of her fear.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Jamie-Lee-Curtis/dp/B07JDXGJ9Z
17. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

In staying with one of the classic slasher themes of having the plot coincide with a holiday, My Bloody Valentine takes place at an impromptu Valentine’s Day party after the town’s planned dance is canceled because of a murder. Because this is a slasher movie, the murders don’t just stop because the dance is canceled.

Watch on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/movie/my-bloody-valentine-b246e2d8-2d1f-4760-a121-630398c7700c
18. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Following the original film’s success, this sequel utilizes the same time loop as Happy Death Day as well as a good portion of the original cast. In this iteration, the film focuses on Carter’s roommate, Ryan, who finds himself in the same time loop as Tree did in the first movie. A third installment is even on the way, titled Happy Death Day To Us.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Death-Day-Jessica-Rothe/dp/B07NJ5K4FC
19. The Prowler (1981)

The Prowler‘s cult following over the years has established the film’s standing on the slasher movie scene, even though it wasn’t received that well on a critical level. The antagonist of this movie is a World War II veteran—an unlikely murderer—who decides to stalk college students on the anniversary of his wife’s death.

Watch on Apple TV
https://tv.apple.com/us/movie/the-prowler/umc.cmc.5903rl9hu7iw68amlgz9jyjyy
20. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

In her film debut, Brooke Shields plays the role of Karen Spages, who—on the day of her First Communion—is murdered at church by someone wearing a mask. Prior to her murder, Karen’s older sister, Alice, had been shown with a similar mask to that of the one used in the killing of her sister.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Sweet-Brooke-Shields/dp/B01MSWPXSJ
21. The House on Sorority Row (1983)

The House on Sorority Row follows a more classical slasher theme with a house of sorority sisters being tormented immediately following their graduation from college. After a prank on their house mother ends poorly, things around the house start to go downhill.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/House-Sorority-Row-Kate-McNeil/dp/B00QDYLMIG
22. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

I Know What You Did Last Summer has a stacked starring cast, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Philippe. The film centers around a group of friends who accidentally killed someone in a car accident the summer before the film is set. A year following this, they’re hunted down by a murderer with a hook as an arm, influenced by the urban legend of “The Hook.”

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Know-What-You-Last-Summer/dp/B0017I71JC
23. When a Stranger Calls (1979)

It’s no surprise that a film that would later inspire Scream in 1996 would feature the now-classic slasher use of threatening phone calls. When a Stranger Calls begins with a babysitter receiving a mysterious call to check on the child she’s watching.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/When-Stranger-Calls-Carol-Kane/dp/B07ZL3N79P
24. Us (2019)

Jordan Peele—who brought us Get Out back in 2017—both wrote and directed this horror-thriller film starring Lupita Nyong’o. He harnessed that same uncomfortable, creepy vibe from Get Out and turned it up a notch, giving Us an entirely new level of terror.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Us-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/B07PH2LGM2
25. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Starring Jessica Biel, this remake of the 1974 original features Leatherface as the main antagonist once again, this time terrorizing a group of friends who had been on their way to see a concert. It follows roughly the same set-up, and though it was released in 2003, the film is set in 1973.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-Jessica-Biel/dp/B00351LYIS
26. Black Christmas (2019)

A much more modernized remake of 1974’s Black Christmas, this iteration follows roughly the same plot, set at a college sorority house right around the time that students are leaving for winter break. When a murderer decides to take on the campus, the sorority sisters have to figure out how to survive.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Christmas-Imogen-Poots/dp/B082379BG9
27. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Though this film is written and directed by Wes Craven of A Nightmare on Elm Street, it isn’t necessarily a sequel to the franchise—it more so serves as a way of looking at both the original film and the genre of slashers in a new light. Instead of Freddy Krueger just being the villain in this movie, he’s playing a villain of a horror movie in this movie.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Wes-Cravens-Nightmare-Robert-Englund/dp/B001GPR01K
28. The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers, inspired by the Manson family, stars Liv Tyler as Kristen, and Scott Speedman as her husband, James, as they go on vacation at his family’s home in the middle of nowhere. This sounds like a bad situation already, but when the home is broken into, things get profoundly worse.

Watch on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/70060008
29. Candyman (2021)

Although this holds the same title as its 1992 predecessor, Candyman (2021) isn’t a true remake—it’s simply inspired by the original film. This iteration’s main character, Anthony, learns of the urban legend of Candyman and gets wrapped up in the myth, incorporating it into his artwork. The film follows the toll that the legend is almost unconsciously taking on Anthony.

Watch on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Candyman-4K-UHD-Yahya-Abdul-Mateen/dp/B09FYJD86H
30. Halloween Kills (2021)

Just released on October 15, Halloween Kills is yet another sequel to the franchise, with Jamie Lee Curtis returning once again, as well as Kyle Richards, who’s reprising her role as Lindsey Wallace from the original film. The movie picks up where the 2018 sequel left off, allowing for a seamless transfer of action from one film to the next.

Watch on Peacock or in Theaters
https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-movies/halloween-kills
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 35 Best Horror Movies on HBO Max to Stream Right Now

Halloween never ends! Despite America’s penchant for spooky stuff during October, some people aren’t satisfied with reserving their demonic delights for just one month of the year. Netflix was once home to the greatest horror films ever made, but recently their curation has been slacking. Shudder, a newer site populated exclusively with horror content, has picked up the slack by making rare indie and foreign films available — but it’s missing a lot of classics. 

Luckily, HBO Max has filled in the gaps by showcasing some of the greatest scary movies ever made. From sci-fi-inspired stories to barf-inducing torture-porn, we’re counting down the best horror films currently available on this amazing streaming service.

35. ’28 Days Later’

Sometimes credited with helping to reinvent the zombie movie genre and reinvigorate public interest in it, 28 Days Later was an unexpected success. Featuring new tropes such as fast-moving zombies, the film starred Cillian Murphy as a man who awakes from a coma to find that London is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, 28 days after it began.

34. ’28 Weeks Later’

The pulse-pounding sequel to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later isn’t as good as the first film but its introduction is one of the best ever put to film when it comes to zombie horror. Taking place, well, 28 weeks after the events of the original, this film is still full of thrilling horror, as well as an ending that will leave you craving a sequel.

33. ‘The Blob’

Truly terrifying when it was first released and absurdly campy for modern times, The Blob premiered in 1958 and was a hit with audiences, not so much with the critics. If you’re a fan of old movies and love horror, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better B-movie than this one.

32. ‘The Conjuring’

The movie that launched an over $2 billion franchise, The Conjuring, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as married paranormal investigators, immediately captivated audiences and was also a hit with critics. It has since launched a franchise that includes eight films with two of them being direct sequels to The Conjuring.

31. ‘The Evil Dead’

Sam Raimi’s classic and gory masterpiece, The Evil Dead introduced the world to Ash Williams, who has become somewhat of a cultural icon. This movie is, without a doubt, the most straight-up horror movie in the franchise and is truly terrifying even to this day.

30. ‘Final Destination’

The first entry on our list that falls under the “teen horror” subgenre, Final Destination sees a group of teenagers attempt to cheat death after escaping its clutches on a plane. As they slowly are killed one by one in gruesome ways, they begin to wonder if death will simply catch up with them all.

29. ‘Amityville Horror’ (1979)

Loosely based on a true story about a Long Island family driven from their newly purchased home by malicious phantoms, the original Amityville Horror is surprisingly unsettling. There’s been endless debate about the reality of the claims made by the original supernaturally-plagued clan, but the movie’s impactful either way. Despite bad reviews upon its release, Amityville is widely considered a classic these days. (A 2005 remake of Amityville is also available on HBO Max, but it’s absolutely not worth watching.)

28. ‘Alien vs Predator’

For die-hard Alien fans, AvP is an absolute abomination: this non-canonical fantasy totally obliterates the carefully crafted mythos of Ridley Scott. But if you take the xenomorph fables a little less seriously, Alien Vs Predator is a fun, bloody romp with cute easter eggs throughout and lots of silly ultra-violence. (By the way: the film’s tagline — “Whoever wins, we lose” — is absolute genius.)

27. ‘The Brood’

Cronenberg’s bizarre brand of body horror is taken to a logical conclusion with this psychedelic, psychological, and apocalyptic thriller. We won’t spoil the film’s nauseating final scenes but we’ll warn you that they’re unlike anything you’ve ever seen — unless you’ve been perusing the darkest depths of the horror genre for a while.

26. ‘Freaky’

In the mood for a more comedic take on a horror movie? Enter Freaky. Comedy legend Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton star in this slasher film which sees Vaughn portraying a serial killer that accidentally swaps into the body of Kathryn Newton’s character. It’s a hilarious and scary romp that you’re all but guaranteed to enjoy.

25. ‘The Hunt’

A subversive satire that was controversial upon release for perceived political biases, The Hunt sees a group of kidnapped people being hunted for sport. As much a satire as it is a thriller, The Hunt is an intriguing film that is more than worth a watch.

24. ‘I am Legend’

A movie that is loosely based on the book of the same name, I Am Legend stars Will Smith as Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist who is the last survivor of a zombie plague living in New York City, and possibly the last human alive on Earth. He spends his days trying to find a cure in a last-ditch effort to save humanity.

23. ‘Eraserhead’

Arthouse horror fans have likely studied every allegorical frame of David Lynch’s earliest masterpiece, Eraserhead. It’s not a conventional movie by any means, but Lynch’s thorough understanding of the cinematic structure of nightmares is fully realized in this surrealist classic about a father that’s terrified of his deformed child.

22. ‘Wes Craven’s New Nightmare’

New Nightmare is technically the seventh film in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. One might assume there’s no new territory to cover, but Craven inserts himself into the film as a protagonist, turning the series into a metacommentary on horror cinema rather than a conventional slasher.

21. ‘Freddy vs Jason’

Much like Alien vs Predator, if you’re a horror die-hard who cares about canonicity, Freddy vs Jason isn’t for you. Campy pleasures abound in this unapologetically stupid crossover. Kelly Rowland (yes, from Destiny’s Child) serves a series of classic early 2000’s looks while watching her friends get butchered by these beloved villains. 

20. ‘Godzilla’ (1954)

After endless spinoffs, reboots, adaptations, and sequels, it’s hard to imagine how impactful the original Godzilla truly is. Yes, it comes off as campy nowadays — but as a reflection of post-WWII nuclear anxieties, it’s a lot more cerebral than it’s usually given credit for. Besides, considering the technical limitations of that time, it’s a gorgeously crafted Kaiju creation.

19. ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’

What can be said about Gremlins 2 that Key and Peele didn’t already cover in their infamously zany sketch about this unimaginably goofy film? Electricity gremlin: it’s in the movie! Spider gremlin: it’s in the movie! Hulk Hogan: he’s in the movie! Gremlins 2 is a hat on top of a hat on top of a hat: the movie is an exercise in over-abundance and has even become the subject of academic analysis for its strangely incisive dystopian setting — despite it having almost nothing to do with the original movie that spawned it. 

18. ‘Haxan’

Haxan is a 1922 Swedish/Danish silent film that documents the cultural understanding of witchcraft throughout history. It sounds pretty dry, but the makeup, styling, and special effects are absolutely stunning and — occasionally — extremely funny. Haxan has become a cult classic amongst occultists for its shocking depictions of demonic dealings.

17. ‘The Invisible Man’

Another modern remake, this version of The Invisible Man focuses on Elisabeth Moss’ character Cecilia who is being hunted by her abusive boyfriend who has somehow figured out a way to make himself invisible. As she slowly begins to unravel the mystery, she fights back, vowing to stop him at all costs.

16. ‘It’

The modern reboot of the Stephen King classic, 2017’s It portrays a shapeshifting monster that most frequently takes the form of a killer clown who terrorizes a town in Maine. As people begin dying, a group of kids decides to fight back and protect the ones they love.

15. ‘It: Chapter 2’

The follow-up to It, It: Chapter 2 marks the return of the original group of kids, who 27 years after the events of the first film, return to Derry, Maine after Pennywise resurfaces. They vow to defeat him once and for all by joining forces again to combat the malevolent presence.

14. ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Horror musicals aren’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but lovingly detailed puppetry from the Jim Henson Company and an absolutely enthralling performance by Ellen Greene elevate this adorable musical out of the realm of kitsch. The music is certainly a bit schmaltzy but it’s impossible to finish the film without getting at least one stuck in your head.

13. ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

The 1980s horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street is the first on-screen appearance of slasher icon Freddy Krueger. It is also one of Johnny Depp’s earliest on-screen roles, so if you haven’t seen this cinematic classic, you’re in for a treat.

12. ‘Mothra Vs Godzilla’

With the exception of Hideaki Anno’s politically dense Shin Godzilla, Mothra Vs. Godzilla is the standout spinoff of the original kaiju film. The mythos surrounding the eponymous winged monster is endearingly complex — and there’s something ineffably glamorous about the insectoid titan and her colorfully-dressed adherents. 

11. ‘Multiple Maniacs’

For a time, John Waters’s Multiple Maniacs was absolutely impossible to find. Luckily, Criterion snatched up a rare print of this perverted classic, and their gorgeously rendered restoration is a filthy treat. The ludicrously glamorous drag queen Divine embarks on a series of stomach-churning misadventures in this midnight movie — until a lesbian experience in a church transforms her from a raunchy madame into a pious worshipper of a deranged god. Waters’ unabashed queerness and putrid charm shine through every shot of this psychotic ode to lewdity.

10. ‘Night of the Living Dead’

George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is considered the first zombie movie ever made and is one of the rare horror films from that time period to feature a Black male protagonist. That casting choice smartly changes the entire context of the movie — especially its depressing conclusion. Both historically important and hauntingly shot, Night of the Living Dead is a groundbreaking horror movie that deserves the veneration it’s received since its release in 1968.

9. ‘Poltergeist’

Tobe Hooper and Steven Speilberg’s unexpected team-up in 1982 wound up producing one of the most iconic American films ever made. Big budget special effects bring this ghost story to life, but amazing performances from the entire cast give the movie a real emotional core. Besides, who can resist a horror film with a reputation for being actually cursed?

8. ‘Red Dragon’

Thomas Harris’s Hannibal tetralogy, detailing the unthinkable crimes of the fictional cannibal Dr. Lecter, has been spun off into an extremely profitable franchise of films and TV shows. Red Dragon, a prequel to Silence of the Lambs, explores the psychological turmoil of Detective Will Graham as he attempts to solve a serial killing with the aid of the series’ nefarious maneater. Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins create a gripping air of suspense throughout, but the sickening love story at the center of the film is really where Harris’s excellent plotting and emotional sophistication shine through. 

7. ‘Thir13en Ghosts’

Another entry that is a remake of an earlier film, Thir13en Ghosts follows a group of people trapped inside a haunted mansion that is full of, you guessed it, 13 ghosts. It isn’t the best movie on the list. but is carried by its cast and provides some quality scares along the way.

6. ‘Scanners’

At this point, Scanners is better known as the source of the infamously graphic exploding head gif than for its actual artistic merit. Cronenberg’s twisted sci-fi horror movie, about telekinetically gifted humans being hunted by a shadowy mega-corporation, was given middling reviews upon its release in 1981, but the movie’s use of extremely gruesome special effects and its oddly prescient dystopian setting has garnered the movie a cult following in the ensuing decades. 

5. ‘Blade’

“Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill.”

Equal parts horror and superhero movie, Wesley Snipes takes on his iconic role of a vampire hunter in Blade. Fighting vampires while possessing the powers of a vampire himself, Blade is a ton of fun and also scratches that horror itch as well.

4. ‘The Mummy’

A whole lot of movies go by the title of The Mummy, and this iteration is the 1959 classic. Starring cinematic legends Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, The Mummy shares plot threads with other versions of this character but is definitely a must-watch for any horror fan.

3. ‘The Shining’

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made — regardless of genre. Stephen King continues to loathe the auteur’s hyper-stylish interpretation of his novel, but let’s face it — this is one of the rare instances where the movie’s a lot better than the book. Shelly Duval and Jack Nicholson are a match made in hell, playing a married couple driven mad by isolation and resentment while caretaking an abandoned hotel during a snowstorm. But is the Overlook haunted — or are they both going insane?

2. ‘Corpse Bride’

In Corpse Bride, an effete aristocrat finds himself unwittingly betrothed to an undead beauty. The amount of work that went into creating every second of this lushly animated stop-motion film is hard to fathom: every shot is so densely detailed and beautifully composed that the movie’s somewhat corny, kid-friendly plot is easy to ignore in favor of the astonishing artistry. Burton’s idiosyncratic vision of the afterlife remains both adorable and strikingly original. 

1. ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’

When Twin Peaks ended in 1991, fans were left on a total cliffhanger. A few years later, David Lynch returned to his mysterious fictional town with a movie that ostensibly serves as a prequel for the show — although absolutely nothing is clarified or explained in this deeply terrifying film. Meditating on protagonist Laura Palmer’s immense suffering, Fire Walk With Me explores the psychological impact of sexual trauma through an indecipherably surreal lens. 

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

A Guide to Avatar the Last Airbender Graphic Novels

With the live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender right around the corner and an approaching expiration date on the classic show’s time on Netflix, it’s a good time to get back into what may be the greatest American animated series.

If you get to the end of the show, however, and are still hungry for more… well, there’s always Legend of Korra. After that (or if you’re looking for a more direct follow up to Avatar), there are two decades of Avatar the Last Airbender graphic novels and comics to keep you occupied with the adventures of the Gaang.

But where to start? These are listed by the publication date of the collections (The Lost Adventures technically collects individual comics that were the first published) but luckily it’s a list that starts out strong.

Before we start, though, if you like Avatar and you’re looking for more like it, here are some other options to get you started.

What to Read Before Avatar the Last Airbender Graphic Novels:
Isola
Image Comics
https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/isola

Like Avatar, it’s a compelling adventure through a beautiful fantasy world with a very small cast. The book is beautiful with some fantastic characters.

shop now from image
https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/isola
Through the Moon
Graphix
https://amzn.to/3oTJpRt

If you like Avatar, hopefully you’ve also checked out Dragon Prince. While the animation style takes some getting used to, it’s a similarly epic adventure with much of the same creative team. Like Avatar, it also has a graphic novel to help tide you through to the next season.

shop now from amazon
https://amzn.to/3oTJpRt
Runaways
Marvel Comics

While not high fantasy like Isola, Dragon Prince or Avatar, Runaways does feature the same endearing group of outcasts dealing with the problems of terrible parents.

shop now from amazon
https://amzn.to/3mMixQX

But anyway, you came here for Avatar comics. Below is a good reading order for all of the Avatar the Last Airbender graphic novels released to date:

1. The Promise
(January-September 2012)
Dark Horse Books

Though it isn’t the earliest book by publication date, a fan who just finished Avatar: the Last Airbender and is hungry for more should start with The Promise. The book picks up just moments after the series finale, but more broadly helps flesh out the first year after Ozai’s defeat.

Aside from Aang and Katara constantly calling each other “sweetie” in a move so saccharine it even makes Sokka and Toph gag, The Promise not only does a remarkable job of keeping the characters’ voices true to the show, but presents them with a conflict where right and wrong isn’t as clear as it was throughout much of Avatar.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3FJekpB
2. The Search
(March-October 2013)
Dark Horse Books

Following The Promise, the next few sets of Avatar books flow sequentially and tell a few overarching narratives. One of the big ones—Zuko’s search for his mother—is a loose thread from the show that becomes a major plot point in the comics that starts here. There’s some Aang and the spirit world action too, but it’s the continuation of Zuko and Azula’s story that’s rightfully center-stage here.

After all the build up, revelations about Zuko’s family past aren’t as compelling or impactful as readers might have hoped, but following up on Azula after the show’s end makes The Search worthwhile.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3AACmzs
3. The Rift
(March-November 2014)
Dark Horse Books

The Rift shifts the focus back to Aang and Toph, kicking off a turn for the series to focus more on one or two characters rather than the broader cast. There are some instances where that weakens the story, but it works in The Rift by—like The Promise—both emphasizing the cultural evolution from Avatar to Legend of Korra and some of the moral complexities.

In The Rift, new refinery is bringing together various types of benders as part of technology advancing. Beyond just depicting a technological evolution, something that’s been a strength of Avatar’s worldbuilding since the start, it’s a representation of some of the wounds of the Fire Nation’s war starting to heal.

The refinery is causing ruin to the nearby land and the spirits. Aang is put into an uncomfortable situation where his role as a bridge between the spirit world and the human world is tested in a conflict where no solution will satisfy both parties.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3iX262T
4. Smoke and Shadow
(October 2015-April 2016)
Dark Horse Books

Aang returns for this comic, but make no mistake: this is the Team Fire Nation’s story. Smoke and Shadow is very much a follow up to The Search. Your enjoyment of Smoke and Shadow will hinge on two things: your tolerance for the Avatar comics dipping back into the conflict with parents for the fourth time in a row and your enjoyment of the Fire Nation internal conflicts set up in The Promise and The Search.

Overall, Zuko’s continuing arc in the Avatar comics helps keep Smoke and Shadow an enjoyable and worthwhile addition to the Avatar canon for those who aren’t too bothered by some of that story getting a little repetitive.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3BF3YVA
5. North and South
(September 2016-April 2017)
Dark Horse Books

North and South finishes out Gene Yang and Studio Gurihiru’s run on the Avatar comics, but it doesn’t quite live up to the heights of the earlier stories. Once again, the Gaang—here represented primarily with Katara and Sokka—is in the middle of a divide between respecting tradition and embracing technological progress. But the divide feels less personal and less nuanced than in The Rift.

Katara and Sokka return to the South Pole only to find some of the locals concerned that the Northern Water Tribe is starting to erase the Southern Water Tribe’s culture and drill for oil. The Southern nationalist isn’t as sympathetic an antagonist as earlier iterations of that same idea, and the Northern Water Tribe acquiescing to most of his demands almost halfway through the series sort of takes the wind out of the conflict’s sail.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3DDnMJd
6. Imbalance
(December 2018-October 2019)
Dark Horse Books

Imbalance opens with a new writing and artistic team, with Faith Erin Hicks on the script and Peter Wartman, Ryan Hill and Adele Matera on the art. The shift is noticeable, but isn’t a downgrade. Studio Gurihiru’s art was a very literal transition from the show to the comics, with panels that look like they might have been still frames from the show.

Peter Wartman’s art in particular feels refreshingly like an interpretation of the show’s style rather than a direct copy. Another strong suit of the artwork is that Team Avatar is also visibly growing up, though it’s a little disorienting at first seeing a tall Aang. The detailed images of a swelling cityscape are a particular standout that help make Imbalance’s urban setting stand out.

The comic follows up on some of what started in The Rift, much like Smoke and Shadow felt like a follow up to The Search. But here, Imbalance benefits both from the set up in previous conflicts and from some foresight with how its story foreshadows the main conflict between benders and non-benders in the first season of Legend of Korra. The haves and have-nots conflict felt a little underdeveloped in that season, and Imbalance is a worthwhile read to see that explored more.

Both thematically and visually, the very good earlier run of Avatar comics started to lose some steam towards the end, and Imbalance goes a long way to breathing fresh life into the comics. Unfortunately, what seems like a fresh start and a new chapter for the comics ends (for now) with this story.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3p1Hvi1
7. Katara and the Pirate’s Silver
(October 2020)
Dark Horse Books

Katara and the Pirate’s Silver isn’t bad. If you really love Katara as a character and want more of her specifically, you’re in luck. Earlier Avatar comics focused on specific characters, but never to the degree that this book does. It’s also set during Book 2 of the show. Those are two bold departures from the previous comics, but it also confines the story and stunts any potential character growth in ways that make it feel more skippable and less independent than earlier entries.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3mGo0bG
8. The Lost Adventures
(November 2020)
Dark Horse Books

Chronologically the first Avatar comics written, these vignettes are mainly collected from the Nickelodeon magazine and the DVD collections. The quality of the art and the various stories are fine, but most of them are no longer than three or four pages and don’t have room to tell much of a worthwhile story. There are a handful of longer comics in the mix, but even those don’t really manage to add much. Ultimately, The Lost Adventures is a boon for hardcore collectors or folks starving for Avatar content after reading everything else, but they’re hard to recommend beyond that.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3lC76Mj
9. Team Avatar Tales
(November 2020)
Dark Horse Books

Probably the most comic-y of the Avatar comics, Team Avatar Tales is an anthology collecting several free comic book day issues. For the first time in the list, the art styles are dramatically different from the show. Some look different, but work really well; others less so, but it’s at least a change that helps the comics stand out. Like The Lost Adventures, these stories are on the shorter side, but have just enough room to tell interesting stories and generally have more compelling premises. This is still not a “must read” but definitely a step up from The Lost Adventures.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3FBv2Hs
10. Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy
(February 2021)
Dark Horse Books

Toph is one of the standout characters from Avatar and a fan favorite, and her endearing grumpiness and impatience help boost the really thin plot. Toph getting into trouble because she’s bored is a great characterization, along with her revulsion at being an authority figure. It’s a good Toph story with appropriately small stakes, but that does leave the comic a little lacking in comparison to some of the more epic earlier arcs that felt like they could have been seasons of a show.

buy now on amazon
https://amzn.to/3DAPB55
11. Suki, Alone
(July 2021)
Dark Horse Books

With its name, Suki, Alone ties itself to the tradition of Zuko Alone and Korra Alone, two of the best episodes in Avatar and Legend of Korra, respectively. Does Suki, Alone live up to that pedigree? Not really, but it’s still a good story, and despite having the same problems as Katara and the Pirate’s Silver with being set between episodes of the show, Suki, Alone is more compelling by putting the spotlight on the eponymous secondary character from Avatar. Katara was at the center of three seasons of Avatar and many of the earlier comics, and spending more time with Suki during her stay at Boiling Rock feels more worthwhile and interesting.

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If you’ve finished those and are looking for more, there’s also a pair of Legend of Korra comics as well.

Legend of Korra Comics:
12. Turf Wars
(July 2017)
Dark Horse Books

Like The Promise, Turf Wars kicks off within a few minutes of the show’s end. Here, there’s a touching expansion on the relationship alluded to in the Legend of Korra ending and the writing here is as tender and compassionate as that deserves, working even better since its paired with some of the wild visuals of the spirit world. But back in Republic City, the comic focuses more on the aftermath of the crisis at the end of the show. Irene Koh’s excellent artwork is also some of the best in the Avatar/Korra comics, both matching the feeling of the show while still looking unique.

Like Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy, the scale is a bit smaller than some of the other comics, at least at first, but if you’re willing to overlook that, the strength of the comic is in exploring its central romantic relationship and leaning into a discussion of queer relationships and oppression in a way the show could only skirt around. More broadly, there are themes of non-violent protest and some complications around internal politics that might be a little dull, even heavy-handed in some places, but still help Turf Wars feel like a fitting epilogue—if not its own epic standalone story.

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13. Ruins of the Empire
(September 2020)
Dark Horse Books

While Turf Wars could get away with feeling more like an epilogue than its own standalone story, that starts to wear a little thin in Ruins of the Empire. It’s very much a Kuvira story, and your mileage here will vary by how invested you were in Kuvira. The Kuvira ending was a little rushed at the end of Season 4 of Legend of Korra, so the turn for her character feels worth exploring, but the pacing of the comic seems to drag that out for a little longer than it merits. While the trilogy structure has worked well for some other Avatar comics, here maybe two might have been better. Also Asami gets kidnapped again, which is 2-for-2 in the Korra comics and feels not only a little repetitive but sort of a cheap use of her relationship with Korra.

Still, Ruins of the Empire is a capable, but not extraordinary, addition to Legend of Korra.

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Culture Movies/TV

The 10 Best TV and Film Trailers from New York Comic Con 2021

The Jacob Javits Center is open once again! 

And now the biggest geek culture expo in the “Big Apple” is back in full swing. New York City Comic Con 2021 returned as an in-person gathering and gave fans from every corner of the nerd-verse a welcome return to form. Cosplayers came out to stunt in their anime, gaming, comic book, etc. inspired drip, of course. And there were plenty of panels where major announcements were made. And with some of those reveals, we were treated to some new footage of upcoming tv shows and films. 

Now that NYCC 2021 has finally wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at all the significant trailers that came our way over the entirety of the event.

1. ‘Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’

We’re getting a brand new Dragon Ball Super film, y’all! And just like the last two movie entries in the long-running anime series, this one adopts a different animation style that’s comparable to the anime-inspired 3D cinematics featured in video games. The latest trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero showcased some familiar faces, such as Goku and Piccolo. Plus we got a quick glimpse at Broly, who was shown for a split second during a rematch with Goku. Pan was also shown as she’s right in the middle of her training as a toddler. The film’s plot details are still a bit hazy, but it looks like Goku and Piccolo are going to have their hands full battling against two new baddies named Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is slated to drop in Japanese theaters next year. As for the US? We still don’t have a confirmed release date, sadly…

2. ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus’

Adult Swim’s Toonami block is getting a brand new show that’s fully dedicated to expanding the lore within the Blade Runner universe. A brand new trailer for the show debuted at NYCC 2021 and it has us super excited for what’s to come once it premiers on Saturday, November 13th at midnight. Joseph Chou, the executive director of Blade Runner: Black Lotus, said during a panel that the creation of his new show can be traced back to The Animatrix. From the new footage we’ve seen, that key inspiration is definitely noticeable. The synopsis for Blade Runner: Black Lotus is as follows – set in the year 2032, this new series takes place between the events from the first Blade Runner film and Blade Runner 2047. It also transpires 10 years after the 2022 “blackout” and will focus on the massive changes in society and the technological degradation caused by that major event.

3. ‘Shenmue the Animation’

The Sega Dreamcast open-world epic that revolutionized gaming is getting its own anime adaptation and it looks like it’ll be worth checking out. The first trailer for the 2022 series finally came out and it shows off several moments from the first game in full anime form. The show’s amalgamation of hand-drawn and computer animation is quite striking – watching Ryo Hazuki put in work with his martial arts mastery against random goons and familiar foes already looks amazing through those visual styles. Yu Suzuki, the director of all three games in the Shenmue series, is working on the anime as its executive producer. So at least we know this show is in good hands. Shenmue the Animation will comprise 13 episodes and air on Adult Swim and stream on Crunchyroll in dubbed form. We can’t wait!

4. ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’

Amazon Prime Video has some animated heat coming next year on February 4! And what’s even cooler about that is the fact that that new series is based on the Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role. The beloved castmates from Critical Role actually did a live read of a scene from the show’s first episode, which was an awesome treat that showed just how much of a string unit they are as real-life companions. Vex’ahlia, Vax’ildan, Percival de Rolo, Pike Trickfoot, Keyleth, Scanlan Shorthalt, and Grog Strongjaw are going to get caught up in a whole lot of hilarious hijinks within The Legend of Vox Machina’s fantastical medieval world. Thanks to the mega-successful Kickstarter campaign and Amazon’s decision to pick up the series, The Legend of Vox Machina will deliver 24 episodes that we can’t wait to see unfold.

5. ‘The Expanse’

It’s so hard to say goodbye, isn’t it? If you’ve been rocking with the Amazon Prime Video series The Expanse for this long, then you know it’s time to prepare for the sixth and final season. And unlike the previous seasons that ran for 10-13 episodes, this final farewell will deliver just six episodes. The release date for the upcoming season was revealed at NYCC 2021 and it’s December 10, so you have ample time to catch up on previous episodes if you haven’t already. For those of you who’ve read through the sixth Expanse novel Babylon’s Ashes and the novella Strange Dogs, you already know you’re going to be in for quite the wild ride during this last batch of episodes. It’s time to tie up all the loose ends in The Expanse’s conflict-driven universe.

6. ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’

90s babies fondly look back on two slasher flicks to this day – Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Amazon Prime Video is ready to revive that aforementioned 1997 classic in the form of a brand new series. The first slice of footage from the upcoming thriller, which is set to premiere on October 15, showcased the fresh cast of rowdy youngsters doing the very thing that got them hunted by a ruthless killer. That car accident scene sure took us back. The coolest part about the panel for I Know What You Did Last Summer was the surprising appearance of the film’s original cast, who popped up to ask the new cast some fun questions. Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Jennifer Love Hewitt still look amazing, by the way.

7. ‘Outlander’

Outlander, which is the smash-hit historical drama series from Starz, gave its fans a closer look at the upcoming sixth season. If you’ve read the novels extensively and have been keeping up the series thus far, then we’re sure you let out a scream of absolute glee at the sight of this new teaser footage. The last season ended on a tense note as viewers got to see Claire escape a brutal confrontation with Lionel Brown and make her welcome return to Fraser’s Ridge. As we make our way back to the ridge, the Revolutionary War is beginning to take shape. Now Claire and Jamie must confront this threat to their family’s wellbeing. Outlander is set to return in 2022.

8.’Star Trek: Prodigy’

Nickelodeon and CBS Studios’ Eye Animation Productions are taking the Star Trek franchise into the world of 3D animation with the upcoming Star Trek: Prodigy series. Even though it’s aimed at younger audiences, even older fans of the space-faring franchise have a lot to look forward to and enjoy. This new series, which is set to premiere on October 28 on Paramount+, will follow a ragtag group of aliens who embark on a grand journey that centers around finding a better future for themselves. On the voice casting side of things, Star Trek: Prodigy features Daveed Diggs, Jameela Jamil, Jason Alexander, Robert Beltran, Mulgrew Brett Gray, Rylee Alazraqui, and Dee Bradley Baker have all been cast.

9. ‘Hanna’

Based on the 2011 film of the same name, Amazon Prime Video’s Hanna follows a young woman of the same name that’s been trained as an assassin. A teaser trailer for the show’s third season debuted at New York Comic Con, which gave us a sneak peek at Hanna’s attempt at taking down the very same organization that trained her in the first place. The action sequences we got to see were fire, plus the continued tense atmosphere attached to the series’ huge sense of espionage & wild conspiracies remains intact. We can’t wait to see how Hanna, her enemy turned ally Marissa Wiegler, and John Carmichael work together to bring down Utrax once and for all.

10. ‘Psych 3: This is Gus’

USA’s hilarious detective comedy series Psych has come to a close, but extended films have been made to feed the hunger of the show’s hardcore “PsychOs” fanbase. Psych: The Movie and Psych 2: Lassie Come Home are already out and now we’re getting the sequel in Psych 3: This is Gus. The trailer for that highly anticipated Peacock exclusive film is out and it shows Shawn Spencer and Burton “Gus” Guster embarking on a new case – investigating the double life and estranged husband of Gus’ fiancée Selene. Plenty of hilarity ensues, which lets us know that the spirit of Psych hasn’t gone anywhere for its latest movie spinoff.