If there’s one thing I love, it’s telling people what to do. And movies. Telling people what movies to watch? A dream. (Literally my dream job- film programmer.) I like to live seasonally. I have home decor that I change with the seasons, wardrobe, music, and, of course, movies and TV that I watch at certain times of year.
Juliana was too busy packing and moving to contribute to this watchlist, but expect more seasonal watchlists from us! (Honestly, there may be more than one for Christmastime alone.) For now, get cozy on the couch in a knit sweater with a cup of hot apple cider, or maybe that bag of Halloween candy that you bought just for yourself because you’re too old for trick-or-treating, and watch these movies and TV shows this autumn. Whether you’re craving gorgeous autumnal color schemes or pre-Halloween spooky-but-classy vibes, I’ve got it.
(It’s also important to note that our birthdays signify the beginning and end of Autumn. Juliana on August 31 and me on Halloween. So, wish Juliana a happy birthday, watch all this stuff, then wish me a happy birthday!)
September 2012 I decided that Gilmore Girls was distinctly back-to-school/autumnal vibes and so I would rewatch it every September. What makes it so autumnal? It could be that every season begins with Rory going back to school amidst the faux-Connecticut fall foliage. Or that every DVD set has the titular girls posing with a fallen leaves motif. Is watching the entire series every year too much? For some shows, sure, but I’m somehow not sick of the Gilmores yet and every year I get more of their pop culture references.
Over the Garden Wall, Ruby Gloom, Hilda
Some of the best animated shows that I’ve seen (and I work for an animation festival- brag) also happen to be perfectly suited to autumn/Halloween watching. All three of these shows will give you leaf-heart-eyes; spooky forests, creepy house, mythical creatures. I can’t do the color schemes justice with only words! You’ll just have to watch them for yourself.
The Addams Family
The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The New Addams Family
No, I will not be watching the new movie. It. Looks. Terrible. I’m so disappointed. Better to stick with the legends Angelica Huston and Christina Ricci. And for longer-lasting Addams vibes I’ll put on the silly Canadian sitcom, The New Addams Family.
The Craft, Practical Magic, American Horror Story: Coven
I’m a witch all year round but October is time to go all in. I could write a whole piece about how The Craft made me who I am today (look at my wardrobe). AHS: Coven also has major wardrobe goals and extreme power dynamics at play. Witches are all about wardrobe- I mean- power. I watch witches to power up pre-birthday! (I turn 30 on Halloween WTF)
The Halloween movies for your inner child
Halloweentown (1-4), Ernest Scared Stupid, Double Double Toil and Trouble, Hocus Pocus, Casper, The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror
If you’re not watching Hocus Pocus every October, what are you even doing with your life? The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episodes are a great way to watch horror movies without having to actually watch them.
The Hallmark movies
Autumn Dreams, Harvest Moon, October Kiss
Netflix has seemingly infinite Hallmark/Lifetime/sappy movies for Christmastime, but what about when you need some romantic sap in the fall? These three Hallmark movies may be totally predictable and saccharine-sweet, but- well, that’s it really. That’s what they are, take it or leave it. I’ll take it!
Anne of Green Gables
Anne with an E, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea
Last summer, I had my heart set on going to PEI for my time off in October. (It didn’t happen- but next year!) So, I decided I better check out Anne with an E to get into a PEI mood but I got so much more than that. Anne with an E is honestly one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. Anne Shirley is such an amazing character, whether it’s this new (queer!) show from CBC, the original mini series, or the book. Why is it autumnal watching? You get to see all four PEI seasons throughout the show but season 2 starts with her much-Pinterested quote “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!” *queue happy tears*
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
So happy to make this a new yearly rewatch. Christine is like Morticia’s crafty sister. Watching her create delicious spooky treats and decor would make this a very soothing show to watch if it were not for her hilarious Jim Henson creature roommates making you cackle.
I’m including Coraline this year because I am going to be Coraline for Halloween. And it’s probably my favorite animated film, and it’s got spoopy vibes perfect for pre-Halloween season.
The Book of Life
As Juliana reminds me every time we mention this movie “It was our first date!” I am aware that Día de los Muertos is not Halloween. But, come on. Skelly vibes.