Spooky season is upon us, and for those who love a scary movie or ghost story all year, it is time to thrive. While Halloween may look different this year with people opting to stay home instead of getting decked out for a party or trick-or-treating, the scary movie marathon remains a perfect way to get jump-scares and chills.
In honor of the spo0o0oo0oky holiday, we consulted the Patriots resident scary movie aficionado, Brandon Bolden, for his Halloween hot takes, favorite terrifying flicks and the best family-friendly spooks.
Bolden immersed himself in the world of horror at a young age and got his introduction like so many kids -- sneakily watching movies behind his parents' backs. Starting with "From Dusk to Dawn," a 1996 vampire movie set in a desert, he was hooked.
"It freaked me out for a long time," he said. "I stayed away from RVs, any place that was surrounded by sand. If it looked like the desert, it wasn't for me."
Though the days of being scared by "From Dusk to Dawn" are long gone, and he has learned what, in his opinion, makes for a great scary movie. Namely, there needs to be an element of surprise.
"For me, it's when you have me guessing ... Let me figure it out," Bolden said. "It's like the private eye element of trying to figure out the movie that makes a good one."
With that in mind, let's dive in.
For those watching with kids or who want to get in the festive spirit without losing sleep, Bolden's got you covered.
"Hocus Pocus" is always a slam-dunk option, as is "Nightmare Before Christmas," a movie that Bolden said is appropriate from October to December, despite stirring up some healthy debate on Twitter earlier this month.
While those two might be staples on anybody's list, Bolden rounds out his choices with "Frankenweeinie," a 2012 Tim Burton movie, and "Don't Look Under the Bed," a 1999 made-for-TV movie about the boogeyman.
While many 90s kids hold "Halloweentown" in their spooky little hearts, Bolden said he doesn't have the same affection for the movie, but he gets why it might be a hit in New England.
"You guys like 'Halloweentown' because y'all are 'Halloweentown.' I found that out when I got there," Bolden, who is from Louisiana, said. "I was walking around and I was like this looks like the set of 'Halloweentown.' Almost every town [in New England]."
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For braver viewers who enjoy scaring the living daylights out of themselves, Bolden has got your Halloween weekend viewing locked in.
Bolden kicks off his list with "Candyman." The original was released in 1992, and a remake is set to be released in 2021. "Candyman" is a movie that Bolden says still gets the best of him.
"It still to this day scares the crap out of me," Bolden said.
The 2018 A24 movie "Hereditary" also makes the cut, but it comes with a warning.
"That was extreme," Bolden said. "Make sure you're sitting down, and there's no objects that can fly up when you jump. It's a jumping movie."
Next up, Bolden suggests "Paranormal Activity 2." While "Paranormal Activity 2" is part of a larger franchise, if you are looking for a universe to dive into, Bolden says "Annabelle" is the one. As part of "The Conjuring" universe, Bolden said the three "Annabelle" movies are a solid option.
"They are of course in "Star Wars' order," Bolden said. "But I enjoyed those three. It's a little series if anybody is going to binge watch some movies, that's a nice little series to go back and watch."
And it wouldn't be a scary movie list without some Stephen King. For those looking for an extended marathon, Bolden recommends watching both the 1989 and the 2019 adaptations of "Pet Sematary."
"You got to watch them back to back. The new one is going to make you appreciate the old one, and the old one is going to make you like the new one that much more," he said. "If you want to sprinkle in a little movie in between there be my guest."
With Brandon Bolden's guidance, you are sure to have a haunted and spooky Halloween.