Saturday, May 2, 2009

Movies That Are Dark, Cold, and Autumnal

(The photo above is something I do on all vacations--I call it "feet on vacation" and we stand somewhere that is indicative of the place we're visiting and take a photo of our feet there. This was an autumn in West Virginia shot)

With a name like Autumnforest and a tattoo of an autumn leaf on my shoulder, you can imagine that fall is my time of year. During the summer in this godforsaken desert, I turn up the air conditioner, black out the lights in the house, and on my day off enjoy nonstop horrorfests on the TV. When it’s that hot outside, I just want it to be cold, dark, and autumnal. Sometimes, I light candles and even a fake Jack-O-Lantern and make my best friend and I cups of hot mulled cider. Yeah, pseudo-autumn is kinda pathetic, but I’ll take it over 110 degrees and blinding light.

In my desire to show you all there is in the horror genre that is "cold," "dark," and "autumnal," I've divided the movies into those categories to suit your mood. Once again, I’ve spanned the decades so there’s something for everyone.


“30 Days of Night" (2007) Imagine vampires in Alaska when there’s 30 days of night--neverending horror.

“Ghost Story” (1981) Imagine old folks fireside tales of the golden days, a vengeful ghost, and swirling snowy scenes.

“The Blair Witch Project” (1999) Imagine being lost in the woods in autumn and not knowing exactly what was trying to terrify you.

“The Shining” (1980) Imagine being locked in a resort all winter long with only your family and your whacked out husband with an ax.


"Night of the Scarecrow" (1995) Imagine a town with a cursed scarecrow and lots of secrets.

“Shattered Silence” (aka When Michael Calls) (1972) Imagine your childhood trick-or-treating in the early 70s, now mix that with a potentially dead boy haunting you.

Halloween (1978) Imagine a mask-wearing madman ruining your Halloween.

“Salem’s Lot” (1979) Imagine the new folks in town in the big scary house with the scary antiques business acting kind of strange and locals going missing at the same time.

“Sleepy Hollow” (1999) Imagine the Hudson Valley in autumn, a headless horseman, Jack-O-Lanterns, frightening scarecrows.

“Twilight” (2008) Imagine the Northwest with fog-shrouded woods and lush chilly places.

“The Village” (2004) Imagine a village in the middle of late autumn, icy, colors changing, and a feeling of being stalked by monsters.


“Darkness Falls” (2003) Imagine the tooth fairy isn’t so nice, in fact, she torments you when you sleep and you must outrun her in the dark.

“The Changeling” (1980) Imagine a big dark mansion and living in it alone—or are you alone?

“The Fog” (1980) Imagine the Northwest coast, a lighthouse, a small town on the seaside, and a shipload of vengeful lepers.

The Haunting (1963) Imagine ghost research cloistered in a big scary house where it feels like nighttime all the time.

“The Howling” (1981) Imagine you saw something that scared you and you were sent to recover at quiet beautiful retreat in the woods only to find a den of werewolves.

“Jeepers Creepers” (2001) Imagine all your Halloween fears come to life on a road trip with your sibling, fighting a monster that feeds every 23 years.

“The Legend of Hell House” (1973) Imagine a team of psychics and a parapsychologist locked into a house with an evil perverse past with no incoming light from the boarded windows.

“Dead Silence” (2007) Imagine creepy ventriloquist dolls, winding roadways, dark cemeteries, and a haunted theater.

The Mothman Prophecies” (2002) Imagine being tormented by some kind of creature that can tell future tragedies.

“Phantasm” (1979) Imagine creepy music in a film that revolves around a questionable mortuary and its practices.

“Prince of Darkness” (1987) Imagine being part of a team that discovers and analyzes a strange container in the basement of a church which might contain the devil.

“Silent Hill” (1999) Imagine your nightmare never ends and you’re in a weird twilight world of darkness and scary creepy monsters, a sort of parallel universe.

“Night of the Living Dead” (1968) Imagine zombies attack and you’re forced to find refuge in a house with strangers, desperate to fight off the incoming onslaught.

I would love to hear more suggestions of what to add to the list. I’m always hoping to expand my options on my summer retreat from the heat.


  1. I find your blog very interesting, so I am following :) I saw this picture and immediately thought WV before I saw the caption. I grew up in WV but have been living in NC for a little over a year now. Its absolutely beautiful in the Fall there!

  2. I just watched Ghost Story last week. I hadn't seen it in ages!
    I also watched
    The Hamiltons - cool movie
    Fright Night - Roddy McDowell
    Clive Barker's Valerie on the Stairs
    Feast - very cool movie
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    Caught a great sale at our local Borders.

  3. Autumn, my fav season is, Autumn. I, when at home might complain about the coolness here, but i have lived where it was also really hot. So i guess i will take the coolness. I never get the time anymore to watch many movies. I did like Jeepers Creepers, both movies. Hell House was good. Watched most of the Freddy movies until they got to boring, as did the Halloween movies. I think they should stop after a couple of movies to do with the original movie. It has to be a really good movie to keep my attention and i haven't watched any lately. Oh the Saw movies where good, well the first two where.

  4. As always, another great list!

    I'm with you...Autumn is hands-down my favorite season! Decaying autumn leaves is one of my favorite scents :)

    At least here in Flaggy we get some fall weather! You should come up here in October and do some ghost hunting at one of our many haunted locations.

    Blair Witch is probably one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. It's definitely in my top five all time scary faves!

  5. Tracy;
    So happy to meet a girl from my neck of the woods. Although I grew up in Fairfax, all my family is in the Hinton/Nimitz area (Southeast). I go there as often as I can to reconnect but also to reconnect with the woods. There's just no woods like the ones in WV! Although autumn in NC is fantastic too! You lucky girl! Thanks for following. I'll be checking on your blog too :-)

  6. Marbella; Fright Night was awesome but I had a major crush on Chris Sarandon since I was a kid (the vampire). Yum! I should have probably added Exorcism of Emily Rose for the foggy cool farmland, but I gotta admit, I got rid of my copy because my son had meningitis one time and had seizures in front of me and watching the movie was like a PTSD fest.

    Magicaleccentric (great name) I agree about the first two Saws, they're the only ones I own. The first Freddy movie and first two Halloweens were the best, at the time they were still novel. :-)

    Yeah, your autumn is pretty yellow up there which is awesome! I usually try to make a girl's weekend in Sedona in the autumn so we can do the woo-woo shops/aura photos/drive Oak Creek for the colors, and then do something crazy. We have a promise we'll do something we've never done before when we go there. One time, we danced in the moonlight around a medicine wheel on the airport vortex, another time we stopped our car along the creek and waited for a cop to bug us for not having a Sedona parking sticker and I got to feign being car sick just to see if he'd let us off. He didn't just let us off, he hung out with us and threw leaves into the creek while we sat around talking about autumn, then another time we sat in the jacuzzi and smoked cigars, yet another time, we all skinny dipped in the hotel's pool which was in the central courtyard where all the rooms opened up--we all had to do two laps in the bright light. Yikes! Yeah, you get a bunch of women on a weekend away and they get pretty goofy. Should make a scary movie just about that... What would it be called??? I think it should be called something like "Legend of Free Women," but it'd probably be called "Fright Night." Hee hee

  7. I am an Autumn girl too. That is my favorite time of year. I enjoy hot chocolate or coffee, popcorn and a good horror flick in the cool dark evenings.

  8. Hey Julie;
    Totally agree--of course, in Phoenix, those cold dark evenings are about December to January??? Yikes!