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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

31 days of horror: ‘Monsters and magic’

Start off spooky month with some monsters and magic-oriented horror films, such as “Suspiria” and “Interview with the Vampire”
Created by Ariana Powell on Sept. 27.

It’s a dark and stormy night somewhere! In preparation for Halloween, get scared with 31 days of horror. Each week will have seven films that align with a specific theme. 

This week’s theme: monsters and magic. 

Representing this theme are films about werewolves, witches, vampires and more. From foreign classics to modern flicks with A-list celebrities, there’s something for everyone. Gather with friends and family to get in the spooky spirit with a scary movie for every day of the month.

Day 1, Sunday

“Interview with the Vampire,” 1994

Vampires have been around for centuries, in actuality or conceptually, your choice, but who knew — outside of the cringy “Twilight” film series — you could feel sympathy for one.

Vampire fledgling Louis — played by Brad Pitt — soon realizes the loneliness and guilt that comes with immortality. Along with his sire Lestat — played by Tom Cruise — and their daughter Claudia — played by Kirsten Dunst — Louis has to figure out how to survive in an evolving America.

This classic is a chill, but enthralling way to enter spooky month. Whether watching it for the first or 100th time, you can never grow tired of this dramatic, heart-wrenching vampiric film.

“Interview with the Vampire” can currently be streamed on Hulu and rent or bought through Prime Video.

Day 2, Monday

Shaun of the Dead,” 2004

In North London, ambitionless and unmotivated 29-year-old Shaun — played by Simon Pegg — and his burn-out roommate Ed — played by Nick Frost — escape from a zombie horde in this fast-paced horror comedy. 

Directed by Edgar Wright, this film features his signature quick-witted dialogue, slick editing and smart physical comedy to create an endlessly funny, undead adventure. There’s a powerful soundtrack and faithful references to other zombie movies such as “Dawn of the Dead,” the inspiration for “Shaun of the Dead’s” title.

Overall, the realistic depictions of literal and allegorical zombies, the monotony of everyday life and humor in the absurd all make “Shaun of the Dead” a memorable movie.

“Shaun of the Dead” can currently be streamed on Hulu and Peacock, with options to rent from Prime, Apple TV and YouTube.

Day 3, Tuesday 

“The Possession,” 2012

Get inside a father’s head as he rushes to save his youngest daughter from a demonic spirit. Clyde — played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan — desperately tries to find a way to save his daughter Emily — played by Natasha Calis — after she finds a box at a yard sale and opens it, releasing an ancient demonic spirit that preys on children.

This demonic spirit possession film sets itself apart from others by including a Jewish exorcism instead of the stereotypical Christian exorcism in films such as “The Conjuring.”

The movie is thought to be based on a true story, so “The Possession” is a great way to get into a creepy mindset. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a haunted box at a yard sale.

“The Possession” can currently be streamed on AMC+, Hulu, Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV and The CW. It is also available to rent or buy through Prime Video.

Day 4, Wednesday

Suspiria,” 1977

“Suspiria” is a renowned Italian horror classic. American exchange student Suzy — played by Jessica Harper— joins a prestigious dance school in Freiburg, Germany. Soon, a series of bizarre and horrific events unfold, including brutal murders and supernatural occurrences.

Suzy learns the evil truth about her dance school and must take down the powerful presiding witch. The film features gripping gore with intense sounds and colorful visuals that create a timeless, engrossing atmosphere. 

The striking sets, costumes and camera work help this movie maintain its iconic status. Prepare for eccentric Italian filmmaking as this slow burn, horror classic erupts to a fiery end. 

“Suspiria” can currently be streamed on Showtime and Tubi.

Day 5, Thursday

“Frankenstein,” 1994

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 “Frankenstein,” lesser known as “The Modern Prometheus,” is considered one of the first monsters in the literature world. Dozens of films and TV shows have depicted Frankenstein’s “monster” but none have come as close as Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 “Frankenstein.”

The gothic-style film follows Victor — played by Branagh — and his creature — played by Robert DeNiro — and their terrifying game of cat and mouse.

Branagh takes a more accurate and fresh approach to Frankenstein’s “monster” by depicting him as Shelley intended: an emotionally and mentally torn creature thrust into a cruel world without the benefit of a guiding parental hand.

To see Frankenstein’s creation as humanistic rather than monstrous, Branagh’s version will thoroughly restructure your thoughts. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn to hate the creator instead of the creation.

“Frankenstein” can currently be streamed on Showtime.

Day 6, Friday

Rubber,” 2010

The surrealist tale of Robert, a psychokinetic tire with a taste for blood, “Rubber” is an oddball indie horror with elements of absurdist comedy. A piece of meta-cinema in which a film and audience exist within the plot makes for a unique viewing experience. 

After a string of sometimes vindictive, sometimes spontaneous killings, Robert the tire has the police on his tail. A compelling ending and funny physical gags add to the bizarre, horrific world of French director Quentin Dupieux’s circular film. 

“Rubber” can currently be streamed on Max and Hulu.

Day 7, Saturday

“Ginger Snaps,” 2000

Become acquainted with death alongside sisters Ginger — played by Katharine Isabelle — and Brigitte — played by Emily Perkins — in “Ginger Snaps.”

To most, death is the end. For the macabre Fitzgerald sisters, it’s the beginning and something almost as strong as their sisterly bond.

However, their bond is tested as they learn what it means to be a woman in suburban America, and for one of them, what it means to become a werewolf … and all the urges that come with both.

“Ginger Snaps” can currently be streamed on AMC+, Crackle, Freevee, Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel and Tubi. It is available to rent or buy on Prime Video.

Callum Standish can be reached at [email protected].

Ariana Powell can also be reached at [email protected] and [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.
Callum Standish
Callum Standish, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Callum Standish is a third year journalism and news major from Castro Valley, California. Standish is in his second semester on The Orion and now serves as the arts and entertainment editor. He has broad interests in cars, music and the environment. Standish enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of Chico on his bicycle and wasting time with friends. His goal is to get everyone involved in the community on-and-off campus. 

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