Redbrick Film’s creepy critics come together for the fourth year in a row to recommend their favourite chilling watches, sure to haunt viewers during the spooky season

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As the weather chills and the leaves turn red, something spooky this way comes. For the fourth year in a row, the editors and writers of Redbrick Film are back to recommend their favourite spooky films. From Teen Wolf to Hereditary, there is something for everyone, no matter your scare tolerance.

Teen Wolf

Bizarre to the point of ridiculousness

The 1985 film Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox is nothing short of a Halloween classic. I would like to clarify that this is a bizarre film – Michael J. Fox as Scott the teen basketball player that mysteriously becomes a werewolf should say it all. Transforming during a match, ‘Wolf Fever’ swiftly takes over the school, making Scott a celebrity in the corridors. They actually sell merchandise for him. In his own school. I digress; ultimately, as every teen werewolf must, Scott has to decide between his new fame and his true self. It is a coming-of-age tale twisted into a strange werewolf love story that feels at times a bit like a fever dream. The spookiest thing about it being the prosthetic work done to transform Michael J. Fox into a long-haired werewolf-come pubescent teenage boy. The entire thing is bizarre to the point of ridiculousness but serves for a perfect 80’s Halloween watch. This is the Halloween film for when you simply just want something fun and spooky to laugh at.

Scare-o-meter: 🎃 🎃

Sammy Andrews, Music Editor

The Addams Family

First created by Charles Addams in 1938, The Addams Family began as a series of cartoons about a satirically inverted classic nuclear family – mother and father, two children (a son and a daughter), wealthy, vaguely aristocratic, and utterly strange. The spooky and kooky family have existed in various different forms, but undoubtedly the best version of them – funny, heartwarming, and delightfully macabre – was brought to our screens in 1991 and 1993 respectively, titled The Addams Family and the sequel, Addams Family Values. These films, the first of which was released thirty years ago now, have proved timeless classics in a world that has not moved as far from the nuclear family narrative as people often think. But why have a white picket fence when you could have a semi-sentient gate (named, aptly, ‘gate’) that attacks your visitors at the beginning of the film to foreshadow their later ill intent?

The Addams Family showcases one of the healthiest family dynamics you can see on screen – Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and Wednesday (Christina Ricci) are well cared for, their interests encouraged, and their school plays attended by the whole family and rapturously applauded. And you will find no Marriage Story here either – Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and Gomez (Raúl Julia) are still alight for one another in a deeply refreshing look into a heterosexual relationship I can actually get behind. In short, The Addams Family is not only one of the best Halloween films, but also one of the best films about family that you can find. 

Scare-o-meter: 🎃 🎃 

Charlie Knight, Film Critic


If someone asked me to describe the plot of Ari Aster’s 2018 hit Hereditary, I would struggle – but it is somehow simultaneously the horror film that has had the biggest impact on me long-term. For those unfamiliar with A24 films (or indeed Aster’s 2019 film Midsommar), Hereditary captures the best of both: featuring hauntings, unsettling motifs (like a dead crow’s head), and morbid themes of grief and family trauma which gives the film its name.

One of the most shocking and terrifying films I have ever experienced

It is definitely a film you have to warm to, taking a long time to introduce the horror elements, but once it does, it ramps up fast providing one of the most shocking and terrifying films I have ever experienced. It is no wonder that Toni Collette was nominated for so many awards, and Alex Wolff said that the filming process traumatised him.

Essentially, the film centres on a family as they come to terms with the death of their grandma. As eerie things begin to occur, alluding to a potential haunting, the true cause behind the horror turns out to be much more sinister and one which left me completely astounded. It was the type of film that leaves you unable to recover for several minutes, before occupying your every thought for the week following it. I truly cannot recommend it enough.

Scare-o-meter: 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃

Colette Fountain, Comment Editor

What We Do in the Shadows

Have you ever wondered what the day-to-day life of a modern vampire would be like, away from ominous castles or dramatic love stories? What We Do in the Shadows sheds some light – or perhaps darkness would be more fitting – on this question. Directed by and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary that focuses on four vampire roommates living in New Zealand – Viago (Waititi), a dandy, Vladislav (Clement), a Russian warlord, Petyr (Ben Fransham), an 8000-year-old vampire with the classic Nosferatu look, and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), the young rebel of the group, only being the youthful age of 183. We follow them as they go about their days finding (or rather, getting their familiar to find) unsuspecting virgins to feed on, although things take a turn when one of their victims, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), is turned into a vampire himself.

What We Do in the Shadows is a refreshing take on vampires, taking classic tropes such as feuds with werewolves and romances with humans in new, comedic directions that sets it apart from both a genre and format that many may feel has been overdone. The spirit of the film is captured perfectly by its deadpan humour (excuse the pun), and you will undoubtedly find yourself quoting some of its fantastic one-liners. Although it might not be the scariest film you will see about vampires, What We Do in the Shadows is the perfect light-hearted and charming watch for the Halloween season.

Scare-o-meter: 🎃 🎃

Emily Wallace, Film Editor


Coraline is unconventionally terrifying. Loosely based on Neil Gaiman’s novella of the same name, the ‘horror’ of Coraline feeds off of the unnerving and surreal, twisting a vision of reality just enough to make it utterly terrifying. After moving to Oregon with her parents, Coraline (Dakota Fanning) finds a mysterious doorway that transports her to a house that looks almost exactly like hers, ‘The Bedlam’, with ‘other’ parents who are just a little too loving. Complete with a talking cat sidekick (Keith David), a trusty pair of wellingtons, and a makeshift hag stone, Coraline must escape the grasp of the Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) before it is too late – before her eyes are swapped for buttons. This storyline paired with masterful stop-motion animation from Laika Studios is the perfect combination for a visually beautiful spooky watch.

Twisting a vision of reality just enough to make it utterly terrifying

Though Coraline does feed off of our fear of the uncertain, the unnerving does become outright terrifying towards the end, when the Other Mother reveals her true form – a disturbing, Kafkaesque button-eyed insect-lady with needles for hands. Nightmare fuel for viewers of all ages, and a moment which really makes me question the PG rating. Surprisingly, the image of the Other Mother is not what sticks out as the most terrifying aspect for many – instead, the simple idea of having one’s eyes swapped for buttons is enough to send a shiver down a viewer’s spine. Not only is the film itself haunting, but the setting makes Autumn the perfect time to revisit this modern classic. Scenes of fog flooding the ground, leaves turning crisp, and an eerie chill to the air place Coraline firmly in a Halloween-themed atmosphere. Whilst not officially a horror film, the sense of unease and discomfort that Coraline still instils in us as adult viewers is one of the most powerful forms of fear.

Scare-o-meter: 🎃 🎃 🎃

Samantha Hicks, Film Editor

For more Halloween-themed film fun, check out Redbrick Film’s past Spooktaculars:

Feature: Spookiest Flicks for Halloween 2018

Redbrick Film’s Halloween Spooktacular 2019

Redbrick Film’s Halloween Spooktacular 2020