Tag Archives: spooky movies

31 Days of Spooky Movies with Carbon Lilies – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #49

Interview with Lana Carbon and John Lilies of Carbon Lilies on The Big Séance Podcast, BigSeance.comI dare you to watch 31 spooky movies in 31 days next October in honor of Halloween! Can it be done? Lana Carbon and John Lilies, the folks behind Carbon Lilies, took the challenge and succeeded! Listen to find out some of what they learned! Also, they give a bit of behind-the-scenes from their blog.

 

 

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Interview of Lana Carbon and John Lilies of Carbon Lilies on The Big Séance Podcast, BigSéance.com

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13 Spooky Movies to Watch Before Halloween – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #46

What spooky movies should you watch before Halloween? Patrick has a list of 13, and you probably haven’t heard of some of them! Also, some various Halloween updates, and Patrick’s witch friend, Meth Hazel makes another appearance!

 

Pssst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe Link?

 

13 Spooky Movies to Watch Before Halloween, The Uninvited (1944), The Big Séance Podcast, BigSeance.com

A moment from The Uninvited (1944)

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The Woman in Black 2 and O Willow Waly

 

While participating in the traditional Christmas day “rob your neighbor” gift exchange, from the corner of my eye I happened to see the trailer for The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death on the television, only it was muted. I got really excited to look for it online later. I was also shocked, and for two reasons: It has been almost three years since the original film was released, and I hadn’t heard about this sequel until now!

In one of my very first blog posts from 2012, I wrote a brief review of The Woman In Black. I really loved it. I loved the house (known in the story as the Eel Marsh House) as a character. I loved the time period. I loved that the film’s lack of CGI (computer generated imagery) made it so much spookier!

Though there’s no Daniel Radcliffe this time around, fortunately it appears that the same awesome house plays a main role in the sequel, which is enough to make me excited to see it. According to IMDb, this particular story, which takes place 40 years after the first haunting, involves the Eel Marsh House being converted into a safe shelter for schoolchildren evacuated from World War II London. Many paranormal junkies and investigators should connect to this one, as many real life estates of a similar age end up having the same kinds of multiple lives and purposes, like hospitals, orphanages, etc. This, of course, adds to the creepiness!

But do you want to know what makes me even more excited? In a completely unrelated review, I talked about the very creepy “O Willow Waly” recording from one of my favorite spooky black and white films, The Innocents (1961). I’m not sure if this recording is actually featured in the film, but it is featured in the trailer, which I’ve embedded below. I took this delicious synchronicity as another sign that I’m supposed to get really excited for this movie!

The only thing that I’m bummed about is the fact that they’ve clearly made a creative decision to use more CGI for scares, based on the trailer anyway. A January 2 release date probably doesn’t indicate that it’s a blockbuster either, but I have loved quite a few movies that were never blockbusters.

I’ll be there… and crossing my fingers! Here’s the trailer! Watch it! Now!

 

 


Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall (2013)

In my last post, I listed the Top 10 Spooky Movies For Fall. After doing some research, I’ve come up with four classic spooky/fally movies that I haven’t seen but would like to see in the coming months. Tracking down at least one of these will be difficult, but I’m going to try. I hope to write a review for at least a few of them. 

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com.

 

Session 9 (2001)

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Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Watch Trailer

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The Uninvited (1944)

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(...if I can find it.)

(…if I can find it.)

Dead of Night (1945)

Here’s a clip…

 


Top 10 Spooky Movies for Fall (2013 Version)

Well I held off for as long as I could stand it. Last year I posted this list a whole month earlier. It’s September. I have pumpkins. Just lit a candle. Just saw a witch flying in front of the moon in a meme on Facebook. I don’t care what you say it’s FALL! Alright let’s go.

 

In chronological order by release date. Linked titles take you to more info on the film. Photos take you to Amazon.com.

 

Psycho (1960)

There’s just something about a Hitchcock classic in black and white that gets me electrified for fall. And with the success and rise in popularity of A&E’s Bates Motel series starring Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), the original Psycho has made it back onto the scene for lovers of this spooky genre. As a kid, I was obsessed with this movie… a movie most known for the screeching strings in the score that in my opinion forever changed film music, and that horrifying shower scene. I was known to refer to it as simply “Bates Motel”. If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s time to dust this one off and give it a watch! Just be sure to shower BEFORE showtime! Watch the trailer.

 

The Innocents (1961)

I watched and fell in love with this film for the first time last year. The movie begins with a black screen and a creepy melody, “O Willow Waly”, which is sung a cappella by a young child. Much of the film is shot in beautiful outdoor garden-like settings, and the rest of the movie takes place in a beautiful large country estate. It really is beautiful to see on screen. And then, of course later, that same beauty creates the good old-fashioned spookiness that I love in a horror movie. No special effects needed. The storyline involves two children, their governess, and the ghosts of the former governess and valet who possess the children.

 

 

Carrie (1976)

This movie first played at screens just two years before I was born, but it was actually only like 6 years ago that I saw it. I’ve seen it many times since. The wonderful Sissy Spacek hasn’t aged a day since filming it. Also, at the time I had no idea that Betty Buckley (a Broadway star to me) was in the film. For many people, this was the first time they learned of a phenomenon called “telekinesis”. Carrie has an amazing film score that I think is really beautiful, but unfortunately it isn’t really accessible or recognized. The beautiful score from final scene that finishes with a surprise, is simply genius and is one of my favorite movie themes. Don’t waste your time with any of the remakes. They are horrible and just don’t even come close to the small budget original. Watch the trailer.

 

The Changeling (1980)

Like The Innocents, it was only last year that I saw this film for the first time. Starring the wonderful George C. Scott, it has that classic spooky movie feel that I always prefer. I very rarely enjoy all of the computer generated imagery (CGI) of modern-day films. I get a much bigger scare out of some good sound effects, an emotional score, an incredibly spooky setting, darkness, a ball bouncing down the steps, or a secret dusty room that has been untouched for decades. This movie has all of those things. Fitting right into the subject of this blog, The Changeling also includes a séance scene, and believe it or not… even some EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Watch the trailer.

 

The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

I first watched this Disney Pictures film when I was very young. Until recently, I sort of forgot about it, which is unfortunate. I was two years old when it was released, and I can’t believe I’m old enough to mention that it stars Bette Davis… but it does. I never understood why it was the Disney company that made this film, simply because it is so incredibly creepy! Don’t believe me? Watch it! I remember having nightmares about it. But it is such a good movie. From imdb: “When a normal American family moves into a beautiful old English house in a wooded area, strange, paranormal appearances befall them in this interesting twist to the well-known haunted-house tale. Their daughter Jan sees, and daughter Ellie hears, the voice of a young teenage girl who mysteriously disappeared during a total solar eclipse decades before…”

 

 

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Ohhhh my beloved Hocus Pocus. I’m finding that I’m far from being the only nerd that enjoys a tradition of watching this film every year. As a young teenager I loved it because it had all of the elements a spooky Halloween themed movie needed to have… witches, spells, graveyard, a black cat, and a cute main character. But of course, what makes this movie fabulous is the hilarious trio of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler. It used to be on cable a lot more, but I try to catch it every time it’s offered. In fact, I think I’ll set the DVR now. Most of these movies are on my list because of the nostalgia that they bring, and this one brings back feelings of the excitement I’d get as a kid around Halloween. Watch the trailer.

 

Halloween H20 (1998)

The events taking place in this film, along with the year it was released, marks twenty years after the original. It is one of those nostalgic college movies for me. I used to be into these old slasher movies a lot more than I am now. Don’t get me wrong, if a Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or a Michael Myers (Halloween) marathon catches me on the right day in October, I just might get sucked in. But even though this is probably on many lists for being a really horrible movie, it is my favorite of the Michael Myers films, with the possible exception of the original Halloween, which I haven’t seen in a long time. It is the Halloween movies that has forever changed the meaning of  The Chordettes’ Mr. Sandman for me. And of course, there is the unforgettable classic Halloween theme. Watch the trailer.

 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

People often make fun of me for loving this movie. It is a movie I have often watched late on Halloween night by myself after the trick-or-treaters fizzle out. I’m not sure why, because this movie doesn’t exactly scream “HALLOWEEN”, but ah well. I think the improvised faux reality style in which it was made was ground breaking and shocking. Several films have used this technique since. If you’re not familiar with this movie or the way it was filmed, it might be worth checking out its wikipedia page. Then again, that might ruin it for you. Watch it first and then check out the page. Though a lot of people complained about getting nauseous in the theaters due to the amateur shaky film footage, I think they’re whiners! Watch the trailer.

 

What Lies Beneath (2000)

Again, college nostalgia for me. I was lucky enough to have HBO in my apartment back then, and this was shown a LOT for a year or two. It’s just a creepy movie with some pretty intense spirit communication, including a funny scene with a Ouija board. Right up my alley. Plus, who could forget the amazing bath tub scene? I’ve never personally had one of those “lounge in a tub” kind of bath tubs, but when I see one I immediately think of this scene. Sadly, this is one of those movies that is becoming hard to find unless you own the DVD. I do not.

 

  

 

The Others (2001)

The last movie on our list tries to give us a glimpse into what happens when we die and what it might be like. That, of course, is probably not how Hollywood describes it, but that’s the question that is pondered and brought up so many times in this blog and in other paranormal circles. Again, like most the movies from this list, it has all of the spooky elements to it. Creepy old house, creepy children giggling, lots of darkness, and a séance scene that includes some automatic writing. And then… the creepy old woman… with the little girl’s voice! I thought this was a very well-made movie.

 

 

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Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime?  (Photo Credit: David Shankbone)

Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime?
(Photo Credit: David Shankbone)


The Uninvited (1944) will finally be released on DVD

A year ago I very much wanted to watch the classic 1944 haunted house film, The Uninvited, based on a 1941 novel by Dorothy MacardleI even included it on my list of Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall from last year, and I was interested in reviewing it here at The Big Séance. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Not even a bootleg version on YouTube. Well I decided to search for it again tonight and was excited to see that thanks to The Criterion Collection, The Uninvited is finally being released to DVD in late October! The film has a new and improved cover that you can see here (a major improvement). According to Criterion, the features also include a new visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda, two radio adaptations from 1944 and 1949 (both starring Ray Milland), the trailer, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme and a 1997 interview with director Lewis Allen. I’m so incredibly pumped to receive my copy on October 25th, just in time to get a review posted before Halloween!

 

A pair of siblings from London (Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey) purchase a surprisingly affordable, lonely cliff-top house in Cornwall, only to discover that it actually carries a ghostly price—and soon they’re caught up in a bizarre romantic triangle from beyond the grave. Rich in atmosphere, The Uninvited,directed by Lewis Allen, was groundbreaking for the seriousness with which it treated the haunted-house genre, and it remains an elegant and eerie experience, featuring a classic score by Victor Young. A tragic family past, a mysteriously locked room, cold chills, bumps in the night—this gothic Hollywood classic has it all. – Synopsis from Criterion.com

 

Check out the super spooky trailer!

 

 

You Might Also Like These Classic Spooky Movie Reviews

The Innocents (1961)

The Innocents (1961)

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling (1980)

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Innocents…

There has been a lot of experimenting and evidence analysis lately… maybe too much. I needed a break. And so on a dreary, blustery fall day like today (which is my favorite, by the way)… a day that required me to put on the season’s first hoodie… what better time is there to grab a blanket, light a candle, and watch an old black and white psychological horror movie? You may remember that this was the first movie on my list of Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall.

I’m not sure this 1961 British film perfectly fits into that psychological horror category. It also lacks the blood and gore of what I consider a “horror” film. I decided not to include the official trailer for the movie in this post, though it is certainly available on YouTube, because its style just doesn’t seem to match the classy movie that I just watched.

 

 

The movie begins with a black screen and a creepy melody, “O Willow Waly”, which is sung in a cappella by a young child. Perfect, right?! I just knew I was going to love it. Much of the film is shot in beautiful outdoor garden-like settings, and the rest of the movie takes place in a beautiful large country estate (filmed on location at the Sheffield Park House in East Sussex, England). It really is beautiful to see on screen. And then, of course later, that same beauty creates the good old-fashioned spookiness that I love in a horror movie. No special effects needed.

 

 

From Wikipedia, here’s a bit about the story…

Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) applies for a job as a governess. It is to be her first position, but the wealthy bachelor interviewing her (Michael Redgrave) is unconcerned with her lack of experience. He values his freedom to travel and socialise and unabashedly confesses that he has “no room, mentally or emotionally” for his niece and nephew, who were orphaned and left in his care as infants, and whom he keeps at Bly, his country estate. The previous governess, Miss Jessel, died suddenly less than a year ago. All he cares about is that Miss Giddens accept full responsibility for the children, never troubling him with whatever problems may arise.

 

Miss Giddens eventually discovers that the two children are being possessed by the spirits of the previous governess and the uncle’s former valet.

Because the two children are supposedly possessed by spirits who were in love, this created some weirdness for me. In the movie there is talk of how these two spirits (while alive) would engage in sexual activity in clear view of the children. So now when the children act strangely or say in appropriate things, Miss Giddens begins to wonder just what the children know or what they saw before she took over as governess. At times, the young boy seems to be taken over by the spirit of the valet, and there is even an uncomfortable moment where he kisses his governess passionately. Of course, this weirdness is mild since the movie is over fifty years old… but I just thought I’d give you a heads up.

 

 

Below are two clips. The first clip is a scene that I think captures the style of most of the movie. I think it is beautifully shot. It’s also the video I watched that made me realize I needed to see the film. I quickly ordered it on DVD. The second clip is possibly the creepiest scene from the film.

Enjoy!

 

Unfortunately, the first video no longer exists on YouTube. 

 

 

 

 


Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall…

In my last post, I listed My Top 10 Spooky Movies For Fall. After doing some research, I’ve come up with five classic spooky movies that I haven’t seen but would like to see in the coming months. Does anyone know any of these? It was nice to get many of your opinions or additions to my last list. Any suggestions or movies that I should add to this list? 

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com

The Innocents (1961)

Watch Trailer

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Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Watch Trailer

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House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Watch Trailer

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The Uninvited (1944)

Watch Trailer

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The Changeling (1980)

Watch Trailer


My TOP 10 Spooky Movies For Fall…

Yes. I said “fall”. This list is coming out now for several reasons. First of all, fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Also, as a teacher I go back to work today, making it officially fall in my book. And finally, a friend of mine works in a flower shop. Apparently they just started changing the window display for FALL! That’s all the excuse I need, so light a few candles (another fall favorite) and here we go.  

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com

 

Hocus Pocus (1993)

As a young teenager I loved this movie because it had all of the elements a spooky movie needed to have… witches, spells, Halloween theme, graveyard, a black cat, and a cute main character. But of course, what makes this movie fabulous is the hilarious trio of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler. It used to be on cable a lot more, but I try to catch it every time it’s offered. Most of these movies are on my list because of the nostalgia that they bring, and this one brings back feelings of the excitement I’d get as a kid around Halloween. 

 

What Lies Beneath (2000)

This (along with several others on this list) is college nostalgia for me. I was lucky enough to have HBO in my apartment back then, and this was shown a LOT for a year or two. It’s just a creepy movie with some pretty intense spirit communication, including a funny scene with a Ouija board. Right up my alley. Plus, who could forget the amazing bath tub scene? I’ve never personally had one of those “lounge in a tub” kind of bath tubs, but when I see one I immediately think of this scene. 

 

Halloween H20 (1998)

This is another college movie for me. I used to be into these old slasher movies a lot more than I am now. Don’t get me wrong, if a Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or a Michael Myers (Halloween) marathon catches me on the right day in October, I just might get sucked in. But even though this is probably on many lists for being a really horrible movie, it is my favorite of the Michael Myers films, with the possible exception of the original Halloween, which I haven’t seen in a long time. It is the Halloween movies that has forever changed the meaning of  The Chordettes’ Mr. Sandman for me. And of course, there is the unforgettable classic Halloween theme

 

The Birds (1963)

What can I say about this classic from Alfred Hitchcock? I actually haven’t seen it many times. I remember watching it in high school with my parents. I don’t see it on cable very often so it might be worth a DVD purchase. The scene that sticks out in my mind is the tense schoolhouse evacuation scene.

 

 

Psycho (1960)

Another Hitchcock classic. When I was a kid, I knew this to be the movie about “The Bates Motel”. This movie is probably most known for the bloody shower scene. According to Wikipedia, “it is often ranked among the greatest films of all time and is famous for bringing in a new level of acceptable violence and sexuality in films.” Psycho has its own unforgettable classic theme written by Bernard Herrmann. The theme written specifically for the shower scene is titled The Murder, and in my opinion, forever changed film music.

 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

People often make fun of me for loving this movie. It is a movie I have often watched late on Halloween night by myself after the trick-or-treaters fizzle out. I’m not sure why, because this movie doesn’t exactly scream “HALLOWEEN”, but ah well. I think the improvised faux reality style in which it was made was ground breaking and shocking. If you’re not familiar with this movie or the way it was filmed, it might be worth checking out its wikipedia page. Then again, that might ruin it for you. Watch it first and then check out the page. Though a lot of people complained about getting nauseous in the theaters due to the amateur shaky film footage, I think they’re whiners! 

 

Carrie (1976)

This movie first played at screens just two years before I was born, but it was actually only like 5 years ago that I saw it. I’ve seen it many times since. The wonderful Sissy Spacek hasn’t aged a day since filming it. Also, I had no idea that Betty Buckley (a Broadway star to me) was in the film. Carrie has an amazing film score that I think is really beautiful, but unfortunately it isn’t really accessible or recognized. The final scene is amazing and is embedded below. The music is great! And guess what? It’s even a musical now! 

 

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Speaking of spirit communication. This one is more of an autumn movie for me than “Halloween”. Not only is it one of the brilliant M. Night Shyamalan films, but the scenes, with their rustling leaves and the vibrant fall colors, make me want to visit Philadelphia. In my opinion, the best scene isn’t spooky at all. It is the heart-wrenching scene with Toni Collette (one of my favorite actors) and Haley Joel Osment. Toni is brilliant and the scene still makes me cry. 

 

The Others (2001)

This movie tries to give us a glimpse into what happens when we die and what it might be like. That, of course, is probably not how Hollywood describes it, but that’s the question that is pondered and brought up so many times in this blog and in other paranormal circles. This film has all of the spooky elements to it. Creepy old house, creepy children giggling, lots of darkness, and a séance scene that includes some automatic writing. 

 

Roseanne 2nd Season Halloween Episode “Boo” (1989)

So I guess this is an exception. It’s definitely not a movie, but it is definitely fall tradition in my house. I’ll probably watch this two or three times before Halloween… and I’ll say all the lines as it plays (while texting my friend Amy, who has the same obsession). All of the early Roseanne episodes are amazing, but “Boo”, from season two, is the first and greatest Halloween episode of them all! It wouldn’t be fall without it!

 

 

What would your top spooky fall movie list look like?

 

 


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