What a weekend. Today is Halloween, my favourite day of the year where I buy too much candy with the pretense that it is in case kids knock on my front door. But we all know where that candy is going.
Also today: the Queensland state election here in Australia.
And then during the week: the US election this coming Tuesday (Wednesday here in Australia thanks to the timezone and our opposite swirling drains).
It’s a time of scares and votes. I’m planning on a big weekend of themed viewing and I thought I’d offer a few suggestions that will reflect white knuckle terror and also a few Halloween movies too.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror - Disney+
Every Treehouse of Horror episode, an annual tradition on The Simpsons, always has at least one segment that will delight. The best remembered is Homer Simpson stumbling into the third dimension. But, I’d recommend Treehouse of Horror V:
The family's job at Mr. Burns' country estate goes awry when Homer goes mad; Homer's attempt to repair a toaster results in inadvertent time travel; The school staff turn cannibalistic.
Host - Shudder
Running at a very lean 57 minutes, horror film Host is a genuinely unnerving film that is a perfect merging of technology and a cultural moment.
Six friends hire a medium to hold a seance via Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more than they bargained for as things quickly go wrong.
Channel Zero - Shudder (US)
The first season is creepy as hell. It has a creature that is covered in teeth.
The Good Fight: The One Where a Nazi Gets Punched - CBS All Access | Stan
The most high profile episode of The Good Fight has an extended storyline in which regular characters Lucca and Jay come face to face with an alt-right group aiming to intimidate voters. Midway through the show Jay breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience why it is important to punch Nazis.
The Simpsons: Lisa’s Substitute - Disney+
Is this the all-time best episode of The Simpsons? Maybe. Lisa Simpson falls in love with a substitute teacher (played by Dustin Hoffman). The B story has Bart Simpson campaigning to become Class President. Everything you need to know about democracy is right here in this episode.
Primary Colors - Binge
While the film is a little on the nose these days with such a strong focus on a Bill Clinton-type of character, the movie is a great deep dive into the idea of political idealism and humanity standing in the way of it.
Watch for the great central performance by Adrian Lester, but watch out for a star-making appearance by Allison Janney.
Expect many legal challenges following election day in the US. Recount is a look back at the efforts to seek a victory in Florida in the 2000 US election.
The Campaign - YouTube
Australian comedian Santo Cilauro followed the Paul Keating campaign back in 1996.
Enjoy your weekend.