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Wildcats Wired

Ominous October: Films, Books, and songs

Top three books, songs, and movies for the spookiest time of the year
Films, Books, and Songs is ready with the top three picks from each category! This is the first edition of this monthly series. This is a picture created on Canva.
Films, Books, and Songs is ready with the top three picks from each category! This is the first edition of this monthly series. This is a picture created on Canva.

Hello Wildcats! In this series, I will share my top three choices of films, books, and songs each month. In the future, I will collect student recommendations, but as this is the first publication in this series, I will supply some of my favorites for now. After reading this article, click the forms link at the end to give your favorite for each month according to the selected theme. In the spirit of Halloween, most of these picks will be spooky-themed, discussing jumpscares, ominous sounds, and dialogue that make you feel what Halloween is all about—lots of treats and an equal amount of tricks.

Films

Gremlins

I can’t tell you how many scary movies I’ve watched that made me have nightmares on end for weeks. This, however, is not one of those movies. For my easily spooked crowd out there, this is a movie that is technically a horror-comedy movie with weird fur balls, Gremlins,  and scenes that make you go “E.W.!” and “GROSS!” more than “AAAH!”. So, if you want to watch a movie for Halloween but don’t want to face nightmares that will haunt you for days, I recommend this.

Gremlins follows the plot of a boy whose father buys him a pet, a Gremlin named Gizmo. With this exciting creature comes even more absurd guidelines. As a Gremlin caretaker, Billy must never expose the Gremlin to bright light or water or feed him after midnight. Unfortunately, as many of you expected after reading this, he accidentally breaks these rules. Gizmo isn’t a cute little fur ball anymore. With water, Gizmo reproduces. Although Gizmo is a well-behaved Gremlin, his children are not. They start causing trouble and get Billy to break the remaining rules, which causes them to destroy the town.

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Gremlins is available on many streaming platforms, including Max, Crave, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube T.V., and Apple T.V.

Nightmare Before Christmas

This is an iconic movie that is still so good, making it hard to believe that this movie came out in 1993! This is one of the very few stop-motion movies, meaning it isn’t animated or live-action, but instead, moldable material changes a tiny bit in every frame. It takes a long time to create, but in this case, the result makes it all worth it.

The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown (original, right?), who becomes bored of scaring people in the real world, which begins a unique adventure. When he accidentally discovers Christmastown, he suddenly wants to take over Christmas and become its new ruler. How? By kidnapping Santa Claus and taking his place when Jolly old Saint Nick is out of the picture. However, through plans gone awry, he soon realizes this may not be the best idea.

Watch this movie on Disney+, YouTube T.V., Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple T.V.,  and Google Play Movies.

Star Wars: A New Hope

I know, I know. This isn’t a Halloween movie, but I had to wiggle in a Star Wars movie. This one, the first in the trilogy, is for people who either can’t stand horror movies or know what Star Wars is and will take any excuse to watch it again. I don’t blame you! Star Wars is one of those movies that never gets old, and you can watch it with anyone.

It all begins in a galaxy far, far away. Princess Leia (think cinnamon buns) is in the crossfire of the empire and the small force of the rebels. Before Darth Vader captures her, she sends an important message through a droid to Obi-Wan, a powerful Jedi who hid after the empire took over. When finding this droid, young Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan, and Han Solo (a pilot with a snarky attitude) fly off to rescue Princess Leia from the wrath of the empire and bring peace and justice to the galaxy.

You can watch their adventures on Disney+, Hulu (With Disney+ Bundle), and Amazon.

 

Books

Unwind

Unwind, by Neal Shusterman, is a dystopian horror novel about a world where unwanted children are “unwound” by the government. This story follows the journey of Connor, an unwanted kid with a habit of getting into fights, Risa, a brighter, more calculating orphan, and Lev, who was set to be unwound due to his religion (give 10%, literally). Throughout the book, Connor, Risa, and sometimes Lev attempt to find a place to lay low and live until they turn eighteen, where they will be protected by law against unwindings. But, many unexpected enemies, plot twists, and an abandoned baby stand in their path to freedom. 

Unwinding is a process where children under 18 are taken into “camps” and, with surgery, taken apart for adults and others to use when needed. 

You can find this novel at your local bookstore (Or online on Barnes and Noble and Amazon).

The Okay Witch

For people who prefer a lighter, more upbeat read, I recommend The Okay Witch. Spooky, scary stories aren’t the only thing that makes Halloween unique. So do the interesting characters,  delicious candy, and funny costumes! The Okay Witch, by Emma Steinkellner, is a book that somehow incorporates all these elements into a wholesome graphic novel about an ‘okay’ witch (Okay is a stretch). The Okay Witch follows a half-witch, Moth Hush, who has just discovered her magical origin. Throughout the novel, Moth attempts to navigate high school bullies while trying to figure out the conspiracy behind her town and the century-old witch history with her family right in the middle of it. She meets a talking cat, Mr.Laszlo, who provides great advice and helps her find the truth behind all these lies.

You can find this graphic novel online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your local bookstore.

Gone

This novel, another dystopian book, happens to be one of my favorite book series (There are nine. Nine times less than Warrior Cats, probably). Gone, by Michael Grant, is about a small coastal town that is suddenly trapped in a foggy, impenetrable sphere with no way to get out and nobody aged fifteen and up to help. This book follows mainly Sam Temple as he struggles with his new power of shooting light beams and the leadership that is thrust onto him by the public school children. As he tries to stop the bullies who have gained control over their town, Perdido Beach, a new enemy, gains power in a private school for misbehaving children. Caine, with the ability to telekinetically control anything he wishes, strives for control of the entirety of Perdido Beach and all the children. Along with Diana, a pretty girl with the power to tell the level of power someone has, and Drake, a sociopathic sharpshooter, Caine plans to take down Sam and the rest of Perdido Beach.

You can find this novel and the spin-off series (don’t recommend it) online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble or at your local bookstore.

Songs

Thriller by Michael Jackson

“Thriller,” a haunting song by Michael Jackson, is not a throwback. It’s one of the few songs played on the radio where few know the lyrics, but all know the iconic beat. This song was released in 1982, more than forty years ago! However, it’s safe to say that this song won’t be leaving streaming platforms anytime soon.

Michael Jackson, one of the most famous musicians of the eighties, was born on August 29, 1958, and died on June 25, 2009. Although this musical prodigy is dead, his songs are anything but. With hits like “Beat It,” “P.Y.T.,” and “Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson’s music lives on.

You can listen to this amazing song on Spotify, Apple Music, and more.

Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett

This song is even older than “Thriller”. It was released in 1962 before many of your parents were born.  This doesn’t take away from the timelessness of the “Monster Mash,” which was way ahead of its time. Do you know any other songs from the 1960s besides this? Probably not.

 Along with being a singer, Pickett was also a songwriter, actor, and comedian. With Leonard Capizzi, Pickett wrote “Monster Mash,” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for about two weeks in October. Pickett never achieved such success again, but he continued writing and doing impressions until his death on April 25, 2007.

You can listen to this song on Spotify, Apple Music, and more.

Blinding Lights by The Weeknd

Speaking of timeless songs, “Blinding Lights” is a song that was so ahead of its time that it’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since its release in 2020. With its unique music and sounds, Blinding Lights deserves its success and the honor of being one of my top 20 songs.

“Blinding Lights” is among the many top hits sung by The Weeknd, including Starboy, Save Your Tears and Die For You. It’s hard to imagine that The Weeknd began producing music in 2011, only twelve years ago. Luckily, The Weeknd shows no sign of stopping his music journey, letting us listen to his new music right when it comes out.

You can listen to Blinding Lights on Spotify, Apple Music, and more.

 

Did you not see any of your favorite songs, movies, and books showcased in this article? Recommend ideas for the next issue on the link below! Submissions must be school-appropriate and fit the theme for the following article. Also, depending on how many recommendations I obtain, yours may not receive recognition. Don’t worry! There will be more articles to come! 

Link: https://forms.gle/vey5twwVQqctGcHb9

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About the Contributor
June Horton, Photojounralist
June Horton is a freshman at Walnut Grove High School. During school hours, she practices water polo and works on Wildcats Wired. Outside of school, she plays lacrosse, reads, and watches movies. When she's not doing an outrageous amount of homework, you can find her at the school Sonic, blue rasberry slushy in hand. This is her first year on a newspaper team.
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