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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Halloween Movie Picks for a Date

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Halloween Movie Picks
Just Scary Enough for a Date

Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I love Halloween.  One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is rent some scary movies, curl up on the couch, and creep myself out a bit.  Of course, it’s even better if you have someone to curl up with.   

I’m a bit of a movie snob, but I’ll see almost anything if it seems to have a believable storyline or strong characters.  That’s out the window with a scary flick.  Some are too cheesy, with their low-budget special effects or paper-thin storyline.  The scariest thing about those movies is that they were even made.   There are different kinds of “scary”—a psychological thriller (along the lines of Zodiac or Seven), a straight up horror flick (such as Halloween), and the gruesome scary (such as the Saw or Hostel sequels).  I like all three for different reasons, but I lean more toward a good psychological thriller, especially if there’s a good storyline and an unexpected ending.  The straight-up horror flicks are just fun, and sometimes the more gruesome ones—Saw comes to mind—have a surprisingly clever storyline behind all the blood and gore.  What can I say—I’m a writer, a good story and characters are everything!


All of that aside, why not get into the spirit (literally) of the season and rent a few movies that will make you cuddle up to your special someone? 

Below a list of some of my favorites to get you started:    

The Others (2006). 
Set in England during World War II, Nicole Kidman plays Grace, a mother with two children, Anna and Nicholas.  Both children have a rare sensitivity to light, so Grace keeps the curtains on the windows in her huge British manor shut tightly at all times.  Grace and her children are only in the house for a few months before strange things start to happen—is the house haunted?  One of my very favorite psychological thrillers.   

The Shining (1980). 
A horror classic, no matter how you look at it.  Jack Nicholson is at his terrifying best as Jack Torrance, a disgraced teacher/writer turned hotel caretaker who moves his family up to the huge, creepy Overlook Hotel for the winter.  Ghosts (both real and ones Jack imagines) from the hotel’s past soon start playing mind games with Jack.  Hallucinations and alcohol don’t mix, as we soon learn.  Based on Stephen King’s novel.  King reportedly disliked director Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation of his novel, but unfortunately, it’s too much of a horror film staple to do much about it now.  Those little twin girls in the hallway who show up every so often?  My skin crawls a bit every time they come on screen. 

Lady in White (1988). 
I saw this movie as a kid and it’s freaked me out ever since.  Lukas Haas plays Frankie, a young boy who gets trapped in the school cloakroom overnight.  While locked in, he witnesses the replay of a young girl’s murder.  Frankie vows to help find the girl’s killer and clear the name of the school’s janitor, who had been accused of committing the murder.  Granted, the special effects haven’t aged all that well (it does have a hint of 80’s cheesiness to it), but it’s a good scare.  Katherine Helmond (“Mona” from Who’s the Boss?) is perfect as the ghostly title character.  Creepy!

The Amityville Horror (1979). 
I prefer the original to the remake that came out a few years ago, mostly because I didn’t think Ryan Reynolds was as good in the father role as James Brolin.  This film is based on a true story.  George Lutz (Brolin) and his wife Kathy (Margot Kidder) move their family into a huge new house in Amityville, New York.  The house itself looks a bit eerie, with the two huge attic windows that resemble eyes.  Eventually, the house’s secrets spill out little by little.  A family had been murdered there years earlier, and the legacy of that day starts affecting the Lutzes.  The ending is super gross. 

The Exorcist (1972). 
I watch this movie every year, and it disturbs me every time.  What can I say about it that hasn’t been said already?  Linda Blair plays Regan McNeil, a young girl who somehow becomes possessed with a demonic spirit, and her movie star mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) does whatever it takes to save her—including bring in a priest to exorcise the spirit.  Beyond that, you know the rest—the demonic voice coming out of the little girl, her head turning all the way around,  and oh yeah, the famous spewing of green pea soup scene.  Good stuff. 

The Mist (2005). 
I didn’t think I’d like this one, so I was pleasantly surprised when I did.  A thick, vaporous mist rolls in and virtually covers a small Maine town.  The residents literally become prisoners since it’s impossible to see your own hand in front of you, let alone walk down the street or drive anywhere.  A group of people are trapped in the grocery store, which wouldn’t seem so bad, but when one of the men tries to leave, a huge…thing…snatches him out of sight and spits back a bloody stump.  That got my attention!  What the heck is this mist?  Where did it come from?  Will they be trapped in the grocery store forever? 

And a few other “must-see” classics:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). 

Halloween (1978). 

Christine (1983).

Carrie (1976).   

Pet Sematary (1989).

Happy Haunting!


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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