Best Scary, Dark, Horror, and Halloween T.V. and Movies on Netflix

It’s scary movie time! Even if you’re a horror hater, you must watch at least one creepy flick this month. I recently watched The Houses October Built with a few of my friends and I was so surprised at how well done it was, more on that below. I decided to compile a list of my favorite Netflix shows and movies that veer towards the dark side. There are a few I haven’t watched, but are on the list, I’ll denote them with an asterisk* Happy haunting!

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The Fall – This is a Netflix original T.V. show and like the rest, it’s amazing. The Fall is about a detective trying to track down a serial killer.  This show is disturbing on a few levels. The serial killer is an attractive, unassuming family man, and the violence portrayed against women is pretty graphic. Maybe don’t watch this one if you’re a single lady living alone.

The Killing – Another Netflix original T.V. show, The Killing is based on the investigation that takes place after the murder of teen Rosie Larsen. I watched the first two seasons and then I faded out, but initially, it is a nail-biter.

*Mindhunter – I haven’t watched this one yet, but it sounds super interesting. Yet again, another Netflix original (they obviously know what viewers want) it’s about two FBI agents in the seventies who look at the psychology of murderers.

Hostel – I saw this movie in 2005 before I had ever traveled anywhere. I didn’t even realize what a hostel was or that this concept for shared bunk rooms was prevalent in most countries besides America, where there are surprisingly few. Eeeek, travel and horror, this one hits close to home.

Saw – All the Saws are on Netflix right now, but if you haven’t seen the first one, it’s by far my favorite. Saw is the type of movie that horrifies me because I didn’t even know such dark thoughts were possible. You’re a real freak, James Wan. Thanks for having a healthy outlet for your dark thoughts.

*Gerald’s Game – I haven’t seen this, but it has a rating of 9.1 on IMDB, which is unheard of for a horror film. Here’s the synopsis: while trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. I think the movie delves into the darker side of one’s psyche.

Gremlins – A classic and actually a lot freakier than I remember it being. Basically, a new pet turns into a thousand new mischevious little monsters that wreak havoc all over town.

The Babadook – A dark movie with an interesting theme. I really enjoyed how vague The Babadook was at times, but how evident it was during the final few scenes. A satisfying watch.

The Houses October Built – I thought the premise of this scary movie was sooo spookey. It’s about five friends on a road trip looking for the ultimate haunted house. They travel around looking for bigger and better scares until it seems like it’s being taken too far or is it all part of the haunt? Who knows?!

 

Hopefully you have a friend or at least a pet to watch these flicks with, if not, you may want to stick to the Gremlins. Good luck!

*And if you want to make a witch silhouette for your window, more on that in this post.
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Sarah’s Five Must See Documentaries on Netflix

Hey booboos! It’s not a stretch to say this post lacks a bit of substance, but these five documentaries are chock full. If I’m not watching adventure or travel documentaries, it seems the only type of TV I truly like is that which practically rips my heart from my chest. If I’m sitting wide-eyed, unblinking and holding both cheeks in my hands then I’m enjoying myself, even if it looks like I’m about to cry, which I probably am. I’m sure you’ve watched Making a Murderer by now. If you haven’t, kick off your ‘questioning life and existence’ documentary binge by watching it on Netflix. Making a Murderer really reawakened a true crime obsession that I’ve had for at least a decade. My family was less than thrilled that one summer at the beach when I bought five true crime books, all with various blood patterns splattered across the covers. If you’re not into true crime, don’t worry, these documentaries cover a broad range of topics, but fair warning, all are pretty dark.live-seasoned-netflix-documentary-suggestions

 

Amanda Knox – The story of American exchange student, Amanda Knox, when she is tried and convicted of murder in Italy. This documentary is enthralling because it features in-depth interviews from Amanda herself as well as her boyfriend at the time (also convicted) and the detectives who worked the case. Truly a terrifying story because I realized anyone can get caught up in a serious situation.

The Square – A current, first person account of Egyptian revolutionaries organizing against the regime. The Square shed a lot of light of a story I knew relatively little about. It’s a documentary that encourages empathy and cultural understanding by highlighting another country’s relationship with their own government.

Audrie & Daisy – Is a heart wrenching look at the effects of bullying in today’s world where photos and fibs are spread online like wild fires. Audrie & Daisy helped to remind me of the struggles that young girls and boys face each day throughout middle and high school. If you have children, this is an important documentary to watch, but not necessarily with them. Have tissues handy.

13th – The 13th highlights government policy that led to the massive success of private prisons in America and the perceived motive of those moves. This documentary serves up stats and information that will come in handy during your next cocktail party debate about the prison system in American without you having to read The New Jim Crow, which is an enlightening book that I’m constantly telling everyone to devour.

The Culture High – Possibly the hardest documentary for me to watch, The Culture High, features graphic scenes and stark realities of the war on drugs in America. The criminalization of drugs in America is a topic I’ve personally had to deal with and suffer the consequences of, which is why I cried throughout this movie, knowing how lucky I was and how unlucky others were when dealing with the same drug possession charges.

If you’re wanting more, I highly recommend these true crime documentaries, none of which are on Netflix at the moment: Central Park 5, The Jinx, and The Staircase.

Now go! Go feel pain, agony and helplessness and hopefully gain more empathy for our fellow man’s struggle.

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Four Best Travel & Adventure Documentaries on Netflix

Sneak in some travel on the couch or at your desk by reading these travel guides: State College, Bangkok, & Haystock Rock, Oregon.

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Happy Monday chickadees! Are the birds chirping outside of your windows like they are mine? I truly hope so I had a relaxing weekend full of hikes, coffee, photos and putzin’ around the yard. I also lounged around and watched some Netflix. Sometimes I’m at a total loss as to what to watch, but this weekend I cozied right in with some adventure documentaries. In this post about saving money for a trip, I mentioned staying motivated by thinking of your future travels. I try to do this constantly by reading travel magazines, books (< freebies)  and guides. I also love looking at maps and globes (right now I have three globes, two big maps and a world map shower curtain) and watching adventure documentaries for inspiration motivation.

I have a few favorite travel and adventure documentaries that are streaming now on Netflix and I wanted to share them with you. I’ve watched a bunch of documentaries and movies, high and low budget, and these are my four favorites. I won’t give you any spoilers, but I’ll let you know why I enjoyed each film.  Also, I tend to always be doing something, even while watching TV. These films are listed in order from most to least multitaskability (Yes, I made that up. I think?) meaning you can probably multitask a little with the first and second suggestions, but watching every second is imperative as you move down the list.

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180° SOUTH –  watch the trailer

180° South follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Do the companies Patagonia and The North Face ring a bell? Yep. Chouinard and Tompkins are the founders and owners and are totally badass rock climbers and environmentalists (you’ll see how amazing they are in the film). Back in ’68 the pair drove a van down to Patagonia, but Jeff decides to travel by sea from Mexico and south along the west coast of Chile.

The film opens with Chouinard and Tompkins’ original home video footage and continues with Johnson’s. Johnson’s adventure south includes surfing, sailing and climbing and an extended stay on Easter Island. I won’t tell you much more, but you’ll never guess who Johnson meets up with in Patagonia…

Watch 180 south if you want to be uber inspired to save up for epic travels. If you’re an ultra planner take some tips from this documentary; you’ll see everything doesn’t always have to go as planned.

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Mile… Mile & A Half – watch the trailer

Mile… Mile & A Half is the story of five friends and their hike on the John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). The documentary is shot by the group over the course of 25 days. The trail scenes are breathtaking.  Mile… Mile & A Half was created during a high snow year, which means the rivers were raging and the peaks completely covered with snow.

Mile… Mile & A Half immediately had my attention. I started backpacking around age eleven. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “about a mile… mile and a half.” It is the answer to every question. How far until lunch? How far to the vista? When do we get to the summit? Where is the swimming hole? Are we almost at the campsite? I loved living vicariously through the group. Mile… Mile and a Half actually got me on a John Muir reading kick. Speaking of kick – this project was partially funded by kickstarter.

Watch this movie when you’d rather be outside, but for some reason or another you’re stuck on the couch. I promise it will have you planning adventures ASAP.

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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga – watch the trailer

Happy People is a documentary depicting the life and work of animal trappers in Bakhtia, Russia. Bakhtia is a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century. This film is an amazing look at the ‘simple life’ which is complex in its own right. The documentary follows the trappers for over a year.

Happy People has subtitles so you’ll have to pay attention. As you should. Happy People gave me warm fuzzies even though it looked damn cold there. You’ll get to watch the trappers interact with their dogs and repair their tiny huts in the wilderness. We also get a glimpse of cultural traditions in the Taiga.

Watch this film when you really need to unwind. Watch it when life is a little too much or your routine is upsetting you a bit. Happy People helped me focus on simplifying

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SAMSARA – watch the trailer

I have to admit it took me a good half hour to get into Samsara. I didn’t know anything about the movie before I pressed play and I was kind of dumb founded for at least twenty minutes. Samsara is a non-verbal documentary. Yep, there is NO dialogue. It’s not all scenic, areal shots though, there are people, just no dialogue.

Samsara was filmed over a five-year period in twenty-five countries. According to the website, Samsara is one of only a handful of films shot on 70mm film in the past forty years. The filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, had previously created BARAKA another film, which they describe as a guided meditation on humanity. That phrase actually perfectly describes Samsara too. I’m excited to get my hands on a copy of Baraka.

Watch this film when you’re really in the mood to cozy up on the couch and enjoy an amazing sensory experience. Turn on, tune in, drop out friends.

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*All photos taken from the movie trailers linked above.
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