Teen Tastemakers | October 1, 2021
Happy October, everyone! If you’re looking for some worthwhile entertainment to celebrate the “Spooky Season,” the Teen Tastemakers have got you covered. Read on for our recommendations:
Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. I just love the spooky energy. And to keep the spooky energy going all October, here’s some of my favourite books, movies, and shows to get me in the Halloween mindset.
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry: This beautiful, poetic, and hilarious tale of a high school field hockey team in 1989 practicing witchcraft in order to win at field hockey is like The Craft, but better. Every character is wonderfully drawn, and We Ride Upon Sticks is one of the best entries in the Teen Girl Witch Canon.
Addams Family Values: This time, the sequel is better than the original. It amps up everything that made the Addams Family great, plus Wednesday, played by the always fantastic Christina Ricci, gets a bigger plotline after being sent to summer camp, and Joan Cusack delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as a black widow-type trying to steal Uncle Fester’s money.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: This campy musical classic is about recently engaged squares Brad and Janet who, after being stranded at the mansion of the extremely bizarre Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), get involved in ridiculous plots of aliens and murder and fake science. It is so much fun, and the songs are amazing.
The X-Files: This TV staple follows FBI agents Mulder, who believes in aliens and the paranormal, and Scully, who doesn’t, as they try to solve unexplained cases. The whole series has great Halloween vibes, but if you’re looking for some humour alongside your mystery, here’s a few particularly funny episodes:
- Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (Season 3, episode 4)
- War of the Coprophages (Season 3, episode 12)
- Syzygy (Season 3, episode 13)
Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year, and it’s just about the right time to start getting in the mood for all things spooky. With that in mind, here are a few of my favourite classic novels with a good dose of Halloween spirit.
Dracula by Bram Stoker: Dracula is the well-known story of a Transylvanian vampire moving to England, and the efforts of real estate agent Johnathan Harker, his wife Mina, vampire hunter van Helsing, and a cast of other characters, to defeat him. There have been many adaptations of Dracula, but in my opinion, none have managed to quite capture the true spirit of the novel.
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu: A precursor to Dracula, this novella establishes much of what we know of the vampire myth today, but it’s definitely underappreciated. It follows Laura, a lonely girl in Austria, who becomes close friends with the mysterious, strange, and dangerous Carmilla. If you’re looking for a lesser-known story, Carmilla is for you.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Sometimes credited as the first science fiction novel, Frankenstein is about the titular character, a scientist who brings his own creation to life. This novel is stellar, both in its use of prose and imagery, and in how it examines themes of humanity, goodness, and evil.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: Another novella about inner evil, this follows Dr. Jekyll, who through dark experiments creates a monstrous persona named Mr. Hyde. This is a shorter read, and it’s definitely recommended for those who want something quick and compelling, with elements of mystery.
Hocus Pocus: You can't have a proper Halloween unless you watch the classic Halloween movies. Bring back our three favourite witches by watching the 1993 comedy, Hocus Pocus. It follows Max, a young boy who moves to Salem with his family, lighting a cursed Candle of Black Flame. Then three witches resurrect after 300 years to exact revenge and begin a reign of terror.
Twitches (Available on Disney+): Twitches is about twin girls who are adopted after being separated at birth. On their 21st birthday, Alex and Camryn run into each other and discover that they are not only twins but also princesses from another dimension called Coventry. But that isn't all. They have magic powers that they will need to learn and practice in order to save Coventry from the evil of something known as "the darkness."
HalloweenTown (Available on Disney+): When a young girl living with her good-witch grandmother discovers she, too, is a witch, she is driven to assist her grandmother in saving Halloween town from evil powers.
Casper (Available on Prime Video): When an afterlife therapist and his daughter move into an old mansion to rid it of evil spirits, they encounter a friendly young ghost. Following the heart-warming friendship between the two humans and our loved ghost friend Casper.
Video Recommendation of the Month:
Do you have exceptional taste? Do you love books, movies, and music? Would you like to be involved with the library, gain valuable resume experience, AND earn volunteer hours? Register today for the next Teen Tastemakers Zoom meetup!