Get a taste of the spooky flicks Story Screen has in store for the best party of the year in Beacon, NY.
The Witches (1990)
by Bernadette Gorman
If intrigue, spookiness, enchantments and general bewitchments are what you are after, look no further than Nicolas Roeg’s 1990 The Witches. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel, The Witches warns to always be wary of women with gloved hands, sensible shoes, scalp itch, and a purple tinge to their eyes.
Helga Eveshim has raised her seven-year-old grandson, Luke, among tales of witches who assume a normal, female façade and despise odiferous children. Witches in this reality are bald, grotesque, have purple eyes and no toes. When Helga becomes ill, the pair travel to a seaside resort to recuperate and are plunged into England’s annual witch assembly. Luke discovers the “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children” are the exact opposite, an English coven finally getting to meet the Grand High Witch herself. While investigating, he overhears their plan to turn the world’s children into mice, knowing the rest of society will do their dirty work and kill off the children population. The witches sniff Luke out as he is hiding and turn him into a mouse to make an example of him and stop him from foiling their plans. With Helga’s help, and another mouse/child friend named Bruno, Luke schemes to use the witches’ potion against them. Upon succeeding, turning the entire “Royal Society” into pesky and bothersome mice, Luke and Helga vow to use their gained knowledge to eradicate the entire world of witches. The Grand High Witch’s own assistant defects and uses her powers for good to transform Luke back into a human child.
All seems well, but “I’m warning you. What makes [a witch] dangerous is the fact that she doesn’t look dangerous. You can never be sure if it’s a witch you are looking at or a kind lady – Mysterious things go on in the world of witches.”
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
by Liz Velez
A film that set in motion an unstoppable wave of butt-kicking girl power, Joss Whedon’s, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has a different tone from the beloved follow-up TV series of the same name and is still just as fun. Set in California, our heroine Buffy Summers finds out vampires are all around her and what’s more, her destiny is to stake’em all by herself. A cheerleader fated to hunt vampires that underestimate her in large part due to her gender? Totally speaks to any teenage girl valued more for her looks than her skills.
While some may take issue with Whedon’s particular brand of feminism, no one can plausibly deny the indelible mark Buffy Summers continues to make, inspiring women and girl power enthusiasts all over the world on an impressive scale. After watching this movie you’ll wanna slay vamps in a miniskirt, too.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
by Emily Sylvester
While, admittedly, Sleepy Hollow isn’t normally included on most horror lovers list of favorites, I love this movie, and I do consider myself someone who loves all things horror very much. Yes, it’s a Tim Burton film, so yes it falls prey to a few Tim Burton norms that really need to be put to rest ASAP, but it was 1999, so we weren’t that tired of him just yet. I like this movie for a number of reasons, I remember seeing it when it first came out and being taken aback by just how beautiful it was, full of dark and nightmarish, but at the same time beautiful imagery, drenched in blue and grey.
It’s scary, but not disturbing, which sometimes is really nice. Occasionally you want to watch someone be dismembered by a chainsaw or see a child possessed by demons kill his whole family, but sometimes you need to get up early for work the next day and you need to sleep soundly. Sleepy Hollow is great for that; you don’t hate yourself after watching it. It’s sinister, spooky, sensorial, a great reimagining of a classic horror story.
There’s also powdered wigs, people who look like they haven’t seen the sun in years, and Christopher Walken with razor sharp teeth. It’s great.