Oklahoma Contemporary
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
An image from the film The Nightmare Before Christmas depicts a claymation character set against a full moon

New Light

Oct. 22, 2020

#FridayFilms: Halloween Favorites, Part 2

More fright-inducing flicks selected by Oklahoma Contemporary staff
A still from the film The Shining depicts actor Jack Nicholson sticking his head through an opening in a door and smiling maniacally
Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)

In the mood for a scare? You've come to the right place. #FridayFilms is back with more movies to celebrate the Halloween season, selected by Oklahoma Contemporary staff. Last week we brought you a diverse range of picks, from folk-horror freakouts like Midsommar (2019) to meta masterpieces like The Cabin in the Woods (2011) and other movies that go bump in the night. Now we're back for Round 2, offering up more staff selections that will have you sleeping with the lights on this weekend.

The Shining (1980) | Psychological horror, mystery; 2 hours 26 minutes

Kubrick’s classic 1980 psychological terror The Shining has been subtly disturbing viewers for four decades. The seemingly quiet, colorful and bright film conveys the opposite of what we’d visually expect from a “horror” film — yet Kubrick slowly drags the audience through an overwhelming sensory overload. Kubrick adheres to both subliminal and liminal horizons and focuses attention to light qualities. He meticulously navigates patterns, shades and color. Keeping a stable view with his legendary cinematography, Kubrick lulls his audience into thinking they're looking at a pure reality. Arguably one of the most visually complex films made, he invents an original genre and invigorates potential for film to become a language all its own.

Available on: Amazon Prime, Google Play

- Logan Hooper, Visitor Experience associate

Hubie Halloween | Comedy horror, mystery; 1 hour 42 minutes

I’m almost embarrassed to write about this on a public forum, let alone my employer’s blog, but I really liked Hubie Halloween. For this Netflix Halloween comedy, Adam Sandler assembles his old crew of notorious goofballs to probably make good on his threat to create a film “so bad on purpose” after his Uncut Gems Oscar snub.

Adding another mumbling doofus character to his repertoire (for which you’ll likely need subtitles), Sandler plays Hubie Dubois, Salem’s self-appointed “Halloween Monitor.” While enduring a sad, yet comical amount of bullying from the community, Hubie stumbles into a murder mystery where any of his tormentors could be the culprit. What follows is a surprisingly wholesome and dumb Sandler movie filled with ridiculous running gags and predictable jokes that go one step further to deliver laughs. Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and The Waterboy fans will enjoy this dorky comedy and feel like they’re back in the late '90s again.

Available on: Netflix

- Luke Atkinson, communications manager

When a Stranger Calls (1979) | Horror, suspense; 1 hour 27 minutes

This week I am choosing a film that changed my life within the first 20-30 minutes: When a Stranger Calls, directed by Fred Walton and starring Carol Kane. When and where I was growing up, besides working on a farm, you had babysitting as another way to make extra money at a young age. My first babysitting job went off without a hitch, despite being the weekend of Halloween. The next day I watched When A Stranger Calls, my brother’s choice (very interesting) — and, well, if you have watched it, you know … the calls are coming from inside the house! I never babysat another day in my life.

Available on: Amazon Prime

- Amanda Herl, Visitor Experience associate

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) | Animation, family, fantasy; 1 hour 16 minutes

Rather than debate whether this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas one, you should compromise and watch Tim Burton’s magic all fall long. Burton imagines holidays as literal destinations, filled with denizens who create each season. (Picture the North Pole, writ in clay.) A bored Jack Skellington, heart scraped as empty as a jack-o’-lantern, stumbles into Christmas Town – and immediately wants to make the holiday his own. Joyful, well-meaning hijinks ensue. With deft lyrics and picture-perfect stop motion, Burton’s mad scientists, buggy big bads, mouthy Santas and Frankenstein-ian leading ladies, along with our Pumpkin King, emote yearning befitting a literary drama. Instead, we’re all graced with an unexpected musical delight.

Available on Disney +, YouTube, Google Play and Prime

- Lori M. Brooks, director of communications

The Witch: A New England Folk Tale (2015) | Folk horror, occult; 1 hour 33 minutes

Few films succeed on their own terms quite like Robert Eggert's The Witch. This deceptively simple tale of a 17th-century Puritan family who encounter evil in the woods of their isolated New England farm unfolds with unsettling dread, dialing up its terror through the young director's trademark restraint and elegance. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie, this modern A24 classic ushered in a new wave of "elevated horror" by eschewing traditional scares and inciting terror through ambience and cinematography. Plus a Satanic goat!

Available on: Amazon Prime, YouTube

- Jezy J. Gray, content creator and editor

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