Weekend Watchlist | Halloweekend Haunts

By The Pitt News Staff

Spooky scary skeletons send shivers down your spine and get us in the mood to watch some Halloween movies! Halloween is finally on the horizon, so of course we’re going to talk Halloween watches. Grab your popcorn and cheap candy and enjoy the show.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix) // Sinead McDevitt, Digital Manager

“The Haunting of Bly Manor” is a 2020 miniseries from Mike Flanagan, the creator of “The Haunting of Hill House,” with most of the key actors of the latter returning to the former in various roles. It’s a loose adaptation of several Henry James stories, in particular “The Turn of the Screw.”

Dani (Victoria Pedretti) is hired as the au pair for a pair of children living in a manor in the British countryside, and almost immediately it becomes clear that something is up, especially given the mysterious death of her predecessor. Throughout the show Dani, her coworkers — Hannah Grose the housekeeper, Owen Sharma the chef and Jamie Taylor the gardener — and the family they work for all deal with their own personal ghosts as well as the literal ones haunting the ground.

It’s a deeply introspective show with a non-linear narrative that is hard to follow at times, and whole episodes are dedicated to just a character reliving painful memories. It’s also not always clear what’s a ghost and what’s just the characters’ own personal trauma, which makes the show good for multiple watches. Although fair warning, the accents in this show can be as scary as the ghosts.

Ghost Files (YouTube) // Katelyn Kruszewski, Staff Writer

Who are you gonna call? Ghostbusters! … kind of.

Former Buzzfeed creators Ryan Bergara, Shane Madej and Steven Lim launched Watcher Entertainment in 2020. The former hosts of Buzzfeed Unsolved, the founders of the company, created YouTube content where Shane and Ryan explore supposedly haunted areas across the United States.

Now working for their own company, the pair offers a variety of new YouTube shows including Ghost Files. Ryan and Shane explore old folklore, legend and myth to produce content that is spooky yet comical. Shane does not believe in ghosts, constantly goading potential paranormal activity, while Ryan believes in the paranormal, creating a spooky, yet comical effect for your viewing pleasure. As a result, the two “hunt ghosts” on a never ending quest to prove or disprove the paranormal. Ghost hunting sites vary from old museums to abandoned hospitals and more. The two will occasionally spend the night in a location and explore the most haunted areas of the establishment using ghost hunting equipment to determine results.

Hocus Pocus (Disney+) // Sinead McDevitt, Digital Manager

This one’s a classic that I’ve probably watched too many times.

Three hundred years ago, the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) were put to death for witchcraft and luring children to their death. Now in the modern day — or, well, modern when the film came out in 1993 — Max Dennison (Omri Katz) is taking his younger sister Dani (Thora Birch) trick-or-treating and accidentally revives the sisters. Now they, along with the immortal talking cat Binx (Jason Marsden) and Max’s classmate Allison (Vinessa Shaw), must scramble to stop the witches from killing all the children in Salem.

Kenny Ortega, who people in my age group might recognize as the director of all three “High School Musical” films, directed this film, so you know it’s a lot of fun. The Sanderson Sisters are the stars, working in a bunch of fish-out-of-water gags into their pursuit of Max and Co., and both Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker get to show off their singing chops.

It’s a good goofy watch, and it’s worth at least one go if you didn’t grow up with it.