Staff Recommendations Oct. 29



“The Goonies” is just one spooky film to watch or rewatch this Halloween season.

WSN Staff

“American Horror Story”

Filling the gap that has been empty since the era of  “Twin Peaks” and “The X-Files,” the latest gripping series to hit television is Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story.” The show is presented as an anthology, with the same cast members being the only commonality between the otherwise stand-alone storylines. From a family living in a haunted house with the ghosts of its former inhabitants to patients trapped in a 1960s mental institution, the show sways between fascinating and terrifying. Set in 1950s Florida, the latest and fourth season, features a band of freakshow misfits and a murderous clown, all characters that may inspire Halloween costumes this year.

— Dana Reszutek, Managing Editor


This Halloweekend, take a trip back to your childhood with “Goosebumps.” Gather your friends, make a fort and turn off the lights, open up any of the novels in R.L. Stine’s horror series and be prepared to be terrified. Rediscover the roots of your fear of dolls in “Night of the Living Dummy,” or relive the torment of Carly Beth when her Halloween mask got stuck to her face in “The Haunted Mask.” If you are looking to revisit your childhood and also pregame, play one of the many “Goosebumps” TV show drinking games that you can find online.

— Kavish Harjai, Web Managing Editor

“House of Leaves”

“House of Leaves,” Mark Z. Danielewski’s wild novel, is a fake nonfiction book about a documentary made by a man whose house kept growing. This is only a simple way of explaining the novel’s structure — the book’s frame narratives concern people finding books about books and films about films. On each narrative level, there is a frantic exploration of insanity, which Danielewski portrays by having the book randomly explode into visual poetry. The narrators lose their minds as they get lost in the depths of the house, whether experienced directly or indirectly. Readers will have similar experiences because of Danielewski’s chilling prose — a style that is both disorienting and engrossing in equal measure.

— Alex Greenberger, Arts Editor

“The Goonies”

Of course, there are many Halloween-themed movies that need to be watched this time of year (“Halloweentown,” we’re looking at you). If you want to branch out from Disney Channel and ABC Family fare while still keeping things PG, return to the spooky glory that is 1985’s “The Goonies.” There are creepy attics, skeletons galore and, most importantly, plenty of booby traps. Even three decades after they originally hit the big screen, Goonies never say die.

— Clio McConnell, Editor-at-Large

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 29 print edition.