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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

Spooky Scene Selections

Cristina Interiano | The Observer
Cristina Interiano | The Observer

Boo! Scene’s here, and we just went trick-or-treating for some spook-tacular movies and music to make your Halloween extra scary. Scared of the dark? Lean into your fears and have some fun this All Hallows Eve. A scary movie never killed anyone, except maybe all the characters in the movie. Some spooky music, cackling cries or howling wind never did any harm. So get dressed in whatever slapdash costume you’ve put together, buy an extra large bag of candy from the Huddle, gather your friends and enjoy some Halloween-themed arts and culture.


“Don’t Look Now” - Nicholas Roeg’s spooky sensations

By Mike Donovan, Scene Editor  

Quite spooky are the momentary sensations — gristle from unconscious suspicions — when time’s line seems a little less straight than previously thought, when, the mind unseated by the partial silence and half-darkness of a bit too much alone time, we encounter memories (often unsettling) in the periphery visions and extra-aural clippings of our present experience. These sensations, spooky indeed, mediate the strange visual-temporal logic of Nicolas Roeg’s masterful 1973 film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s “Don’t Look Now.” Pervading the canals and alleyways of a beatific Venetian maze, such sensations (colored the bright red of a fresh and terrible tragedy) haunt a skeptical John (Donald Sutherland), his hopelessly hopeful wife Julie (Laura Baxter) and an attentive audience from oblique angles — always emanating dread though never giving too much away. The consequence: near perfect horror, hidden in the particulars, allowed to fester, twist and grow in the collective memory of both character and audience, a horror more felt than seen until our hero, pursuing its indirect visualizations (via mis-en-scene), drags it into the light (from past to present) and looks. 


“Without Warning” - 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin go trick-or-treating for trap rap bangers

By Ryan Israel, Scene Writer

21 Savage goes as himself for Halloween because he’s already so terrifying. The man has a knife tattooed on his forehead. He deadpans the most haunting verses in his signature mumble with a bone-chilling lack of emotion. You can’t question what 21 Savage has done or seen. He’s straight out of every rappers’ nightmares.

On “Without Warning,” an album dropped without warning on Halloween in 2017, Savage goes trick-or-treating for trap rap bangers with Migos’ Offset and super-producer Metro Boomin. The three of them make a terrifying trio of goons. 21 Savage delivers his cold-hearted verses as always; Offset serves as a grizzled but high-energy counterpart; and Metro Boomin provides an offering of trap rap beats mixed with all the haunting sounds of spooky season. 

It’s the perfect rap album for Halloween, complete with Freddy Kruger, Jason and “Nightmare on Elm Street.” “Wear a hoodie, I’m the boogie man,” spits Savage, to which Offest replies, “Come in the middle of the night, like it’s a nightmare / You open your eyes, not dreamin’, n— we right there.” If you bump into Savage and Offset on the streets this Halloween, you’d best walk the other way.


“Everything Opposite” - Simple Creatures’ fierce and fearsome EP

By Jim Moster, Scene Writer

In the mood for a dose of blood-curdling trash-pop beats this Halloween? Plug yourself into the morbid, chimeric soundscape of Simple Creatures with their second EP, “Everything Opposite.” The super-duo of Mark Hoppus (blink-182) and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low) hold nothing back as they fearlessly force fierce and fearsome refrains onto the listener.

Look no further than “The Wolf,” a song so grotesque that I had to check my phone to ensure the artist didn’t change. “The Wolf” greets you with a jump scare — a brief lull of white noise is overpowered by screeching synth. Alex whispers haunting lyrics about furtive predation as the song alternates between thumping energy and ominous suspense. It’s certainly a big step up from the Monster Mash. 

In “Thanks, I Hate It,” Simple Creatures splices vivid imagery with a jaunty tune to recreate the world in their bizarre image. “You bathe in the light of a trash fire / I see the stars in the eyes of a vampire,” Alex sings. Simple Creatures fleshes out their alternate dimension in “One Little Lie,” where Mark is “living in a shark’s teeth” and “waiting for the water to bleed.” 

Nothing is real but that’s the appeal. Revel in visceral discomfort as Simple Creatures infects you with “Everything Opposite.”


“Scream” – Wes Craven’s horror classic is perfect for your Halloween bash

By Jacob Neisewander, Scene Writer

Look at you. We’re four weeks into the spookiest season of the year (barring finals week) and you (probably) still haven’t watched a single scary movie. Pathetic and miserly, you are the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween. I bet you haven’t even carved a pumpkin or sat in a pile of leaves since grade school! Sad! But luckily for you, I have the perfect scary movie Netflix recommendation to accompany your Halloween pregame: the 1996 slasher flick, “Scream.”

This horror classic has everything: scares, laughs and frisky teenagers who should know better than to throw house parties when there’s a killer on the loose. Directed by legendary horror filmmaker Wes Craven, “Scream” perfectly blends the campy fun of a “whodunit” “Scooby-Doo” mystery with the slashing and gashing of “Friday the Thirteenth.” Did I also mention it features one of horror’s most iconic villains and is an ingenious and hilarious parody of the very horror cliches it emulates! Wowza!

Moreover, “Scream” is a fun ride and well-suited for large viewings with your rowdy crowd of friends who never shut up during a movie. So this week, take a trip to the small town of Woodsboro with Sidney Prescott and her teenage friends, and see if you can spot the killer before it’s too late.

Who knew scary could be this fun? 


“The Deer Hunter” - Experience true fright with Michael Cimino’s Vietnam War movie

By Charlie Kenney, Associate Scene Editor

It’s Halloween, the year is 2007 — you want to be fun and scare your friends, give them the ever-elusive jeepers creepers. So, you throw “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th,” maybe even “Hocus Pocus” on the 20-inch flat screen in your basement. Pre-pubescent boys jump off the couch, popcorn flies through the air, Mountain Dew stains your carpet and all in the room shriek out blood-curdling screams. Everyone seems quite spooked indeed. 

But now you’re 21 years old and you realize it is all a fat sham. Your friends screamed like the little boys they were and threw anything in sight because it was Halloween and that is how they thought one is supposed to act when the theme of the holiday is ‘spooky.’ And now you muse: how can I truly scare my friends?

If you want genuine horror, take your friends to Vietnam in the 1970s. Make them play Russian roulette with a loaded revolver. Pry open their eyelids while a 20-year-old draftee your friends went through basic training with dies of a gunshot wound to the stomach. Entrap them in a cage filled with water up to their neck in the Mekong river for 10 hours a day. Force them to sleep outside in the dead of a Vietnamese summer without a mosquito net over their hammock. 

But that might get a little expensive and illegal. So instead, just have them watch 1979 Best Picture winner “The Deer Hunter,” starring Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. Then your pals will see something real and genuinely spooky this Halloween. 


“Capitalism” - Oingo Boingo reveal the one true horror

By Willoughby Thom, Scene Writer

This Halloween, ask yourself, “Can characters like Freddie Krueger and the Grim Reaper really be considered ‘scary’?” No, because true horror comes from what is real. Every day, especially every Halloween, we succumb to its wrath. It’s called capitalism. 

Oingo Boingo’s song “Capitalism,” off their 1981 debut album “Only a Lad,” should be Halloween’s anthem. It’s a holiday which profits from our yearly purchase of a new costume and pounds of miniature candy-bars. Every purchase we make this Halloween season is put into the pockets of the few and large private companies because we feel pressured to participate in a holiday which promotes children asking for candy from strangers. Spooky, right?

The song highlights the hypocrisy of capitalism. Danny Elfman removes the mask from those capitalists, revealing them as “a middle class socialist brat / From a suburban family and you never really had to work,” and in frustration he sings, “You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain / Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain / What the hell do you know about suffering and pain.”

So, if you really want to scare your friends this Halloween season, tell them about capitalism.


“Stranger Things” - Take a trip to the Upside Down 

By Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer

The theme song to this thrilling creation of the Duffer Brothers should be enough to put you in the Halloween spirit. With the third season released this summer, there are now 25 whole episodes, each ranging around an hour long. Season four is on its way, so why not binge-watch to prepare yourself for the upcoming season?

The first two seasons take place in the fall, while the third takes place in the summer (in case you need the correct context for getting the most out of spooky season). Four boys bond over Dungeons and Dragons until the Demogorgon, a powerful demon monster, manifests in reality and Will Byers goes missing. The dimension from which all of the creepy creatures come, the Upside Down, rivals any haunted house, with slime and spores replacing cobwebs and darkness. 

The Duffer Brothers cleverly tie the thrill factor of the common scare in with other holidays as well, similar to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Be warned, Christmas lights take on a completely different meaning in “Stranger Things.”

Enter Eleven, bloody nose and all, and the sci-fi element strengthens. The addition of Max, another female protagonist, completes the squad, and just wait until you meet her brother, Billy. While it would be pretty scary if he were a werewolf, he paves the way for an even more gruesome creature in season three.