October is near: the leaves have begun their descent back down to earth, grey clouds are replacing the sun, a moral obligation to leave your house is fading. Yes, Fall is upon us.
Under such conditions, there's but one thing to do: retreat to your comfiest corner and never leave. October, the best month of all, is here and it necessitates your ass on the couch binge-watching spooky things. Once you've denied your friends' requests to leave the house, found your coziest ensemble, prepared some warm drink, and located a fresh batch of cookies, come right back here, for we have your occult October Netflix watching list.
Set in New England in 1630, The Witch (often stylized The VVITCH) follows a pilgrim family who've been banished from a Puritan plantation. Forced to fend for themselves, they build a home on the edge of a forest, but things quickly go awry when their newborn boy goes missing. What follows is a series of unfortunate events involving the family's health and wellbeing that eventually lead the young twins to accuse their older sister of witchcraft. They might be onto something.
When a woman moves back to her family's Victorian home in San Francisco to live with her sisters, the siblings discover the family's"Book of Shadows" in the attic. From the book, they learn that the three of them are powerful witches destined to fight off the evils of the world, and when one of the sisters reads the book's inscription, she unlocks their supernatural powers. The series follows the sisters as they find love and learn to use their respective powers—like telekinesis and premonition—to fight evil.
Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire takes place in the present day as journalist Daniel Molloy sits down to interview vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (a very young and handsome Brad Pitt) about his life. Louis begins his story in 1791, when he was still a mortal, and the film takes us through his life, which is uprooted when Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise) turns him into a blood thirsty vampire. Louis spends his life trying to resist the temptation of human blood and seeking revenge over Lestat. The film was Brad Pitt's breakout role and, if nothing else, provides a fun look at the actor before he was an A-list celebrity.
Good Witch is about exactly what it sounds like: a good-hearted witch. It's a great pick if you're looking for something that feels Halloween-ish but won't keep you awake at night. The TV series is based on the TV movie series of the same name, and follows recently-widowed Cassie Nightingale and her daughter Grace, who both have special powers they call "gifts." Cassie owns a bed and breakfast and a shop called Bell, Book and Candle where she prescribes herb and oil remedies to locals who stop by for help. Her new neighbor, Sam, and his son are skeptical of Cassie, but she soon wins them over.
Heathers is a dark film in which Winona Ryder plays a twisted yet seemingly innocent high school girl. Her character, Veronica, finds herself in a popular clique of girls, all of whom are named Heather. When a mysterious new kid named JD shows up at school, she quickly becomes fascinated by him. And later, when one of the Heathers turns on Veronica, JD helps her seek revenge—deadly revenge. The two continue on a rampage of lethal adventures until JD takes it too far and Veronica takes it upon herself to stop him.
Inspired by Aboriginal storytelling, Cleverman follows two estranged brothers who come together to fend off evil human and non-human enemies who co-exist with one another. One of the brothers, Koen, harnesses supernatural powers that he must learn to use in order to fend off these entities. The TV series has been called a "benchmark for diversity on Australian television," in part because its creators are advised by Aboriginal elders before proceeding with their plot lines.
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Mary and the Witch's Flower
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, this Japanese animated fantasy film follows a girl named Mary who lives in the countryside with her her Great-Aunt Charlotte. One night, after following a mysterious cat into the woods, she finds a magical flower and a broomstick. The broomstick lifts Mary up and takes her to Endor College, a school for magic, where she runs into trouble after telling a lie and decides she must set things right. The animation is a nod to director Yonebayashi's Studio Ghibli roots.
Honorable mention goes to Netflix's Little Witch Academia if you like anime.