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Grab the popcorn, it's spooky season.

| By Nicole Kliest | Entertainment

10 Cult Favourite Halloween Films For Aesthetes

Grab the popcorn, it's spooky season.

At long last, fall has officially begun. And with the season’s arrival comes a spate of opportunities to relish in the next few months of picturesque scenery and cosy interiors. The month of October, specifically, has a delightfully spooky feeling leading up to Halloween thanks to falling leaves, moody weather, and — of course — movie nights.

For some, the perfect horror flick sits within the slasher category. But for us, the best movies to watch this time of year have a strong sense of aesthetic, from the costumes to the set design. The ‘70s and ‘90s are two decades that many cult favourite Halloween films hail from, but there are even more to be discovered throughout the last century.

Ahead, 10 visually inspiring picks to add to your Halloween watchlist over the next few weeks.

1. The Craft

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

What do you get when you combine ‘90s grunge fashion, a cool cast of beguiling characters (ahem, Neve Campbell), and an angsty rock-n-roll soundtrack? The Craft, of course. This 1996 film has garnered a strong cult following since its debut and tells the story of a group of outcast teenage girls in a Catholic prep school who dabble in witchcraft, ultimately with a chaotic outcome. Gather your coven of friends for a witching hour of your very own this autumn to watch it (goth-inspired costumes encouraged).

2. Practical Magic

Where can I watch it? Apple Tv

Speaking of witches, Practical Magic is another ‘90s film that has all the trappings of a stylish Halloween flick. You’ve got velvet, Levi’s denim, chokers, tiny sunglasses, and even a brown lipstick shade thrown in for good measure; all on the movie’s co-stars, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman (both of whom play witches). Even though the film’s plot can hinge on cheesy, on occasion, it’s the perfect guilty pleasure for both the fashion and supernatural themes.

3. The Addams Family

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

Whether you fancy yourself more of a Wednesday than a Morticia, The Addams Family in all of its macabre glory is a Halloween classic worth returning to. Join this quirky cast of characters as they determine whether or not a man who claims to be a long-lost relative is in fact who he says he is. British costume designer Ruth Myers dreamt up the wardrobe for the film, basing it on original illustrations by Charles Addam (she even received an Oscar nomination for her work in the category).

4. The Shining

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Based on the Stephen King book of the same name, The Shining is among the most psychologically scary films of all time. But despite how spooky the film is, it’s hard to not fall for the aesthetic of the whole thing. From the ‘70s-era interior design within The Stanley Hotel to Shelly Duvall’s retro wardrobe, the film is replete with inspiration. Even the troubled son, Danny, as he’s muttering his iconic ‘red rum’ line is dressed in a cosy flannel and chunky wool knit that we’d happily wear all season long.

5. The Birds

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

This 1963 Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller follows a San Francisco socialite played by Tippi Hendren as she and the residents of Bodega Bay, California attempt to escape a series of violent bird attacks. Hitchcock tapped Edith Head to create the film’s costume design (she was also responsible for Grace Kelly’s wardrobe in Rear Window) and Hendren’s look embodies the polished glamour of the 1960s, like her head scarf for driving the convertible and the iconic green suit.

6. Midsommar

Where can I watch it? Hulu

A newcomer to the horror scene, Midsommar was released in 2019 and directed by Ari Aster (known for his other spooky flick, Hereditary). Florence Pugh plays Dani who travels to Sweden alongside her boyfriend and friends for a midsummer festival, only to find themselves in the middle of a cult that’s practising unthinkable rituals. As disturbing as the concept is, the costumes and overall look of the film is imbued with folk sensibilities (for example all of the costumes were embroidered by hand and some of the pieces, like peasant blouses and dresses, were made with 100-year-old linen from Hungary and Germany).

7. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Where can I watch it? Disney+

This kitschy, cult-favourite comedy horror flick tells the story of a young engaged couple (played by Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) whose car breaks down in front of a castle occupied by a quirky cast of characters, namely, Frank N. Furter played by Tim Curry. While it received negative press for its initial release in 1975, it has since become a fan favourite film, both for its music and for the eccentric costumes. Costume designer Sue Blane created the look for the film and has cited the emergence of the Glitter (or ‘Glam’) Rock movement that developed in the United Kingdom in the early ‘70s as a source of inspiration.

8. Carrie

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

Sissy Spacek plays the 16-year-old bullied teen in the 1976 horror film, Carrie. Considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, the story culminates with the now-iconic prom night scene (if you haven’t watched it yet, we won’t spoil it for you). The costume design by Rosanna Norton highlights style staples of the era like flare jeans and peasant blouses while contrasting it with Carrie’s conservative, often childlike clothing. Of course, it’s her silky pink prom dress that's most memorable and what would go on to play a pivotal turning point for the character.

9. Rosemary's Baby

Where can I watch it? Hulu

Who can forget Mia Farrow’s depiction of Rosemary Woodhouse in the 1960s psychological horror film, Rosemary’s Baby. From start to finish, the movie has an eerie feel as a pregnant Rosemary tries to determine whether or not the residents of her apartment building have evil plans for her baby. Costumer designer Anthea Sylbert opted for a ‘60s wardrobe of sweet shift dresses and pinafore frocks that add an unsettling contrast to the sinister plot line. The wardrobe from the film has inspired designers for decades, most notably Miu Miu’s Autumn/Winter 2015 runway as well as Altuzarra’s collection from the same year.

10. Pearl

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

Set in 1918, a young woman by the name of Pearl (played by Mia Goth), finds herself on the brink of madness. Pursuing stardom to escape the isolation and lovelessness of life on her parents' farm; her frustrated dreams find an outlet through serial murder. Pearl dons praire-inspired outfits designed by Malgosia Turzanska, who links the colours of Pearl's garments with the progression of her devious actions.

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