5 Occult Films for the Halloween Season
For years now, Halloween has been my favorite holiday and occult films have been my special area of film interest and maybe even expertise. I have been working towards a complete collection of (non horror) occult films and I love finding new hidden gems to add to my collection. I thought it would be appropriate to select a few of my favorites to share. I wanted to choose ones that were great but not as well known as the typical season films such as Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Hellraiser. Enjoy.
Suspiria is iconic. Suspiria is suspenseful. Suspiria is beautiful. The soundtrack is chilling, the visual are stunning and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. An incredible stand alone film but also the first of three in a theme, Dario Argento’s Three Mothers Trilogy. Starring Jessica Harper as an American ballet student who attends a prestigious dance academy in Germany. She soon realizes that the academy is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of murders. A cult classic and a must see this season. If you enjoy the film then I recommend watching all three! You won’t be disappointed.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
The first of two Polanski films on this list. This one is less dark than other films on this list, but it’s still a great occult adventure. Johnny Depp is a ruthless rare book dealer in New York and a client has hired him to embark on a country-hopping mission to authenticate a very rare book that was supposedly co-written by the devil. The journey takes him nearly to hell and back, filled with murder, mayhem, and occult symbolism, though I don’t want to spoil it for you. Rotten Tomatoes decided they didn’t like this one but I still think it’s worth a watch this Halloween season.
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wickerman is one of my all time favorite movies. As the movie begins, it gives you no clue to where as to where it might end up. The setting is a scenic Scotland and the plot revolves around a mainland police officer looking for a missing girl. Starring Christopher Lee as the antagonist leader of a pagan island community, the officer finds himself getting deeper and deeper into the Mysteries as he witnesses casual harvest time celebrations with naked girls jumping over bonfires and boys singing and dancing around a maypole. Another cult classic that you must see if you haven’t. Just make sure you’re watching the original because the remake isn’t worth watching.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Why is it that the late 60’s and early 70’s gave us such wonderful horror films? This film is one of the first to kick off a wave of occult horror, so we must thank it for that. Rosemary’s Baby is frightening in it’s simplicity and elegant in it’s execution. Mia Farrow plays a bright, young housewife. She and her husband move into an apartment with a strange reputation in New York City. She discovers that she’s pregnant, but becomes convinced that her unborn child is not of this earth. The story and acting are superb and the revelation at the end of the film is well worth the build up. The most frightening thing might be watching Rosemary become weaker and more zombie-ish as she gets deeper in her pregnancy. Mothers beware.
Night of the Demon (1957)
I watched this for the first time last month and I can’t stop thinking about it. Don’t let the cheesy cover image or the age of the film dissuade you. Dana Andrews is a skeptical American psychologist who comes to England for a conference but quickly embarks on a hunt to find a killer after one of his friend ends up dead. He confronts the leader of a local devil worshipping cult which has him questioning whether he believes in the supernatural after all. The film is a classic and is entertaining throughout, keeping you wondering how it will all end with the cult leader and the beautiful blond sidekick. Released in America as “Curse of the Demon,” but the film is the same.
About the Author
Justin K Prim is an American gem cutter and gemologist living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. He has travelled all over the world, studying various types of meditation techniques, psycho-spiritual healing therapies, as well as his trade skills of audio engineering and gemcutting. He is in the process of publishing two books, the first is about a spiritual quest through the UK to find the hidden heart of Merlin the wizard, and the second is a book about the worldwide history of gemstone faceting. He has explored careers in spiritual counseling and energy healing but now works as a Gemstone Faceting Instructor in Bangkok as well as writing articles, producing videos, and giving talks about gem cutting history.
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