It’s Halloween week & I just can’t contain my excitement! I love holidays & I especially love Halloween. You might have guessed that already with 3 of my recent posts revolving around it: Spidey Cakes, Zombie Apocalypse & Ghost Cookies. It’s a day that deserves extensive celebration and you can expect a few more Halloween posts before the holiday is over.
This year, I invited friends to help with decorating. I live in a high rise building called an Officetel. Half of the building is apartments & the other half is offices. Just across from my window I’m facing three other high rises that are full of after school academies, restaurants & other businesses. I can see directly across from my window each night, two academies in which the kids are studying well into the early morning hours. I thought it would be fun to give the ones who might gaze out the windows, something spooky to look at. So with the help of my lovely friends, one of whom is a talented artist, we made spooky silhouettes.
There is my silhouette wearing a Victorian dress & holding my own decapitated head as my ghost rises out of my body. There is Mr. FGK’s head laying underneath the guillotine that cut it off. A spider web with a spider & a jack-o-lantern, of course. And hanging on the far side, a butcher’s knife, axe & some sort of animal’s leg.
These are so fun & affordable to do. Since we’re in such a small space & our stay here is so temporary it wouldn’t be worth it to invest in reusable decorations. So this was the perfect solution. We just purchased some really durable black poster board from a stationary shop & drew & cut out the silhouettes ourselves.
We’ve been enjoying a “retro” Halloween this year by watching really old black & white monster movies. I love horror movies but my preferences are always changing. I will go through phases where I only enjoy the really bad, B list horror movies from the 80s or slasher films from the 70s.
This year, monster movies were at the top of my list. Here is a list of movies I recommend for a Halloween with the kids or for those who enjoy the less terrifying but equally spooky side of Halloween. These classic monster movies can be both funny & scary but spare you a lot of the gore or cheap scares often used in newer horror films. Maybe you can find a few of these to enjoy in time for a Monster Movie-a-Thon this Halloween.
FGK’s Monster Movie-a-Thon Playlist:
- Nosferatu (1922) – a silent movie that directly copies Bram Stoker’s Dracula, without ever having paid the rights for it. The shadows & Nosferatu’s seemingly crooked, gnarling body make this an eerie film that will spook you just enough, without any nightmares or gore. There are also some great laugh out loud moments like when the bat enters with visible strings moving its wings up & down.
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) – this silent German Expressionist film uses hand painted sets. It is called the first horror film & the first film with a twist ending. A friend told me this movie heavily influenced Tim Burton, & if that’s true, it’s easy to see all the similarities. If you’re a fan of Tim Burton movies, particularly Edward Scissorhands, give this one a watch.
- Dracula (1931) – This is essentially the talkie version of Nosferatu, that was was filmed after purchasing the rights. Bela Lugosi portrays Dracula with some very skilled & creepy hand expressions. Also, the shadows are at play here along with the iconic image of lights on Lugosi’s eyes.
- Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) – this one was released in 3D for audiences in the 50s. It is based off the myth of a half fish-half human creature living in the Amazon. Many of the scenes are filmed underwater which was still a very new concept at the time. The story line is simplistic but the idea & image of the creature really sticks.
- Frankenstein (1931) – this movie is responsible for the famous “It’s alive! It’s aliiiive!” scene. It’s based off Mary Shelley’s novel, of course, & is called one of the greatest movies of all time. Bela Lugosi was originally cast as Dr. Frankenstein then later recast as the monster. He either quit the film or was replaced but this is the film that made Boris Karloff a star. I wonder if this is where their famous feud began…either the way, the image of a flat head, bulging forehead monster was created on this set & it’s a longtime Halloween classic.
Happy Halloween movie watching! Check back tomorrow for more fun Halloween experiments I’ve been working on.
4 thoughts on “Spooky Silhouettes & a Monster Movie-a-thon”
I didn’t notice your spirit escaping from your body when I saw those photos before! Or Mr FGK’s head for that matter. The decorations look really awesome! So … are any of these movies tame enough for me to watch? ^^
Yes, they are Prianka approved. If you are too scared by them I will be shocked.
We watched ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ last night, and I really loved it. Besides the silly spookiness (perfect for me, although Evan found it hilarious when I jumped a couple of times) I really, really loved the aesthetics of it. Looking at your write-up, I remember now you saying that they the sets are handpainted. The best part of the sets were the bizarrely shaped windows/doors/shadows etc. So basically everything. Thanks so much for the recommendation! Any other silent German expressionist films you would recommend?
So glad you liked it! Could you see the Tim Burton inspiration there? Sorry, that is my only German Expressionist movie to recommend 😉