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Normally, this time of year would be devoted to dressing up in highly elaborate fancy dress (alright, a ghost costume made of a bedsheet) and going out on the sesh, but, as we all know, these are unprecedented times. How are you meant to make the most out of scary season when the world is a horrific and terrifying place all the time now?
Well, sometimes this lockdown, pandemic life has its benefits. Halloween is the ideal time for using that bedsheet to cover yourself up on the sofa, bust out the Haribo Tangfastics and get fired into the scary movies. Netflix and Prime never let you down, and given that all the cinemas are closed again, there's plenty of new content available waiting for us this year.
Straight off the bat, Netflix brings you The Haunting of Bly Manor, which (you'll be surprised to hear) is about a haunting at a big aul manor. I'm a sucker for a haunted house - the Treehouse of Horror where the house realised the Simpson family are so bad it dissolves itself to nothing is the best one, come fight me - and this one looks deadly. Yep, that's the pun. It's the sequel to The Haunting of Hill House and if there's one genre that loves a sequel, it's horror. I fully expect to be curled up on a blanket for Halloween 2030, celebrating a decade of the coronavirus, watching The Haunting of Some Gaff and hoping that the crumbling remains of the pubs will reopen.
They've also got Irish horror comedy Extra Ordinary, starring Maeve Higgins and Barry Ward and currently rated at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It features an American rock star washing up in rural Ireland and using supernatural means to kick start his failing career. You can insert your own joke about having to do something supernatural to reach international fame from the Irish countryside, but hey - it worked for Our Lady of Knock.
There's plenty of classics to be found too, which means plenty of the old horror movies that you remember from your childhood - or shamefully, have not yet seen - are lurking in the shadows there. Irish Netflix features The Addams Family (both the old and new versions and all the sequels too), as well as more recent films like The Nightingale (by Jennifer Kent, who made indie horror classic The Babadook) and the TV versions of Scream and even the grown up Sabrina.
Prime has Midsommar, last year's summer/halloween crossover smash. They've got the original Hostel and the original Blair Witch Project too. If you're feeling like you'd like to see how good your Leaving Cert Irish is, the brutal Van Diemen's Land is on Prime Ireland - it's hard to describe what it's like better than my Ma's review, which was that it was the Fenian Revenant. Mark Kermode is shiteing himself at the idea of a wee woman from Belfast starting her own film podcast. Van Diemen's Land is in both English and Irish, and is well worth looking up, especially if you've mates in Australia who might be ostentatiously enjoying their lives at the moment on social media.
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