Oct. 25, 2019Print | PDF
Planning a Halloween movie marathon? We asked Wilfrid Laurier University English and Film Studies professors Andrea Austin, Philippa Gates and Katherine Spring for their top three recommendations.
Andrea Austin, associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, is an expert in cultural theory. Her research has focused on science fiction film and literature, narrative games and adaptation, posthumanist theory and aesthetics theory, among other topics.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)
“A stylized and hauntingly literary story about an elderly novelist.”
“Shot on location in the Scottish Highlands, it features one of the best character performances by Celia Imrie, outside of Anthony Perkins’ memorable role in Psycho.”
“Another beautifully shot, stylish ghost story with a literary cadence. The story relies partly on Irish folktale.”
…and one more
The Uninvited (1944)
“A classic, because the film is even better than the famous novel. Based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle.”
Philippa Gates, professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, is an expert on Hollywood films, especially action, detective and crime films, and gender, race and aging in film.
“It’s the original Halloween horror film and still holds up as the classic. It established many of the tropes of the genre and, even though it is over 40 years old, it offered a feminist hero in Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie. Plus, in Canada, Myers’ hockey mask seems an inspired choice of disguise!”
The Shining (1981)
“Although not set at Halloween, the film is set in a creepy and remote location complete with an outdoor maze, which seems appropriate for the season. In a sea of slasher pics, The Shining offers more of a psychological thrill!”
“Although a parody of the teen slasher pic, Scream is still a great horror film in its own rights. It sparked a reinterest in the genre in the mid-1990s and stars Canadian actress Neve Campbell.”
Katherine Spring, associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, is an expert on film sound and music and is especially interested in how changing technologies have influenced the composition of film music and soundtrack design in the late 1920s and 1980s.
Battle Royale (2000)
“A blood-soaked variation on Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale is exquisitely suspenseful and an instant cult classic.”
The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
“A tight noir thriller about two ordinary men whose ride turns out to be a serial killer. The Hitch-Hiker was directed by one of the few women who broke into directorial positions at the major studios during Hollywood’s studio era.”
The Babadook (2014)
“A cleverly constructed script that rewards the audience’s patience in spades.”
…and one more
The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
“Great fun for fans of the slasher pic.”
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