Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a strange fascination with horror movies. And when I say strange, I really do mean it. I’ve always gravitated towards the dark and mysterious, but what I appreciate more are films that are quirky and inspire a sense of intrigue, while being enveloped in a thin veil of eeriness. If you too, like me, enjoy spending your weekends cozied-up around the fire, or rather, the dull warmth of your overheating laptop, binge-watching weird movies, then this list of frightfully delightful movies is right up your alley!
From the fanciful plot to the incredibly talented cast, there’s just so much to love about this Tim Burton classic. The thing that makes Beetlejuice so special is that it takes everything you expect from a horror movie and turns it up on its head. The story is based around a reverse haunting of sorts. A recently deceased young couple turn into ghosts haunting their former house. Troubled by their situation, they approach an eccentric, obnoxious ghost — Betelgeuse — to teach them the nuances of a real haunting and scare away the new inhabitants of their home. What ensues is a hilarious, gaudy 80s take on a horror movie.
2. The Addams Family (1991)
Who doesn’t love the Addams family? Dressed in all black, this odd, spooky bunch give an eerie spin to our notions of what a picture perfect family looks like. Though The Addams family has been featured in a bunch of cartoons and movies, this particular film is my favorite. The plot revolves around Uncle Fester, who returns to the family after going missing for 25 years. The family is overjoyed at his return, but soon start to suspect that ‘Fester’ might not be the real deal. What follows is a dark and waggish tale that involves explosions, torture, and a robbery. This movie is a real roller coaster ride, and it has just the right dramatic flair to make each and every character’s quirks stand out. And if you’re anything like me, Wednesday Addams’ deadpan one-liners are sure to leave you in splits.
Since this is a horror movie list, I probably ought to throw a real scary one in here for good measure. And what other movie could top this one? The Exorcist, or as I like to call it, the easiest way to mortify little kids, is an iconic horror movie made in 1973. The story follows a mother and her 12-year old daughter, Regan, who falls prey to demonic possession. I first watched this movie when I was a little girl, and I can tell you one thing, it left a deep, indelible mark on my memory. And even after years of re-watching it, it still gives me the same chill down my spine every time.
4 .The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This glorious amalgamation of genres — sci-fi, horror, comedy, romance, musical… you name it — is a wild and whimsical ride. Its charming oddities are laced with an air of mystery, making it the perfect movie to watch when you’re in the mood for something out of the ordinary. We begin with a young couple who is stuck with a flat tire while driving through a desolate area. They spot an eerie mansion nearby and decide to go in and ask for help. But the poor unsuspecting couple doesn’t have the slightest clue about what they’re getting themselves into — an unforgettable night filled with queer occurrences. They come across Dr. Frank-N-Furter — a self-proclaimed transvestite mad scientist with a penchant for big musical numbers. With a houseful of bizarre characters and epic rock ballads, this movie is a one-of-a-kind experience filled with flamboyance, costumes, and eyeshadow to die for.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
This animated dark-fantasy musical tops my list of frightfully delightful movies. Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas Town, a land he has never been to before. In fact, the very concept of Christmas is new to him, and needless to say, the guy is completely awestruck. He’s so enamored by this new holiday that he can’t help but celebrate it too, which ends up with some unideal consequences. This makes for a film that is truly magical; it transports the viewer into a world that is peculiar and spooky, while being charming in its own way. Apart from its memorable characters, the movie also has a killer soundtrack (something you can find me jamming to often).
You might have noticed that there’s a running theme across all the films on this list — eccentric oddballs who are a tad off-center and who you wouldn’t see in regular Hollywood films. That’s precisely why these movies mean the world to me. They aren’t just about ghosts and monsters, but rather, about embracing the weird and the bizarre. A belief that resonated deeply with me as a child, and still does to this day. So when you watch any of these movies, let them be a reminder to let your freak flag fly without any compromises.
Kavya can be quite the oddball—from her taste in music to how she chooses to dress. She is a lover of all puns and dry absurdist humour, and her existential angst goes out the window when she’s hanging out with her dog. Follow her on instagram (__K.jpg), she promises to keep you entertained!