Thursday Movie Picks - Halloween Edition: Folk or Urban Legends


This week's Halloween theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies about folk or urban legends. There's plenty of those, and the only rule I set for myself was not to use Urban Legend, because that's too easy. Here's what I came up with.

1) Candyman (1992)-
Say his name 5 times.. This is still one of my favorite horror movies, and I have an even bigger appreciation for it after how Nia DaCosta's 2021 remake frames it in retrospect. It made me afraid of parking garages and park bathrooms my entire childhood.

2) When A Stranger Calls (2006) -
Yes, I'm going with the remake. I like Camilla Belle and I wish she had a better career. But what better choice than "the call is coming from inside the house!" to use for Urban Legend week.

3) The Ring -
You die 7 days after watching the video tape. I still think this is the best PG-13 horror film out there. It holds up even though I've seen this 100 times.


  1. The Ring was okay, neither riveting nor terribly scary but not painfully bad either which is what I was expecting when I finally got around to watching it. But it was a one and done for me.

    I haven't seen this version of When a Stranger Calls. The original had perhaps the most effective beginning and end (as far as the mission of the movie goes) I think I've ever seen but a flat, meandering middle. I doubt they could replicate that in the new one so I never bothered.

    I'll never watch Candyman, just not for me.

    I went with a mix of urban legend and folktale for mine.

    So Long at the Fair (1950)-Young Vicky Barton (Jean Simmons) and her brother Johnny (David Tomlinson-Mary Poppins’ Mr. Banks) arrive in Paris from Britain to see the 1889 Exposition Universelle. They check into their hotel and after a night on the town Vicky retires while Johnny lingers over a late-night drink. The next morning Vicky finds a blank wall where her brother’s room was. Asking Madame Hervé (Cathleen Nesbitt), the hotel’s owner the woman claims the girl arrived unescorted. Alone and adrift in a strange city Vicky struggles to prove her brother exists but romantic stranger George Hathaway (Dirk Bogarde) may hold the key to the mystery. Derived from the 19th century urban legend “The Vanishing Lady”.

    The Juniper Tree (1990)-Their mother burned for witchcraft two Icelandic sisters, Margit (Bjork) and her elder sister Katla, flee looking for a place where no one knows them. They meet young widower Jóhann and his son Jónas. Katla bewitches Jóhann and the sisters move in. Margit befriends the boy, but he rejects Katla as his stepmother. Shortly apparitions of both deceased mothers appear (as a spirit and raven respectively), and the situation becomes fraught with danger. Based on a Brothers Grimm folktale.

    Dead Man on Campus (1998)-College freshmen Josh (Tom Everett Scott) and Cooper (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are party animals who take little time to study, and their poor grades are about to get them kicked out. They begin to despair but discover an outlandish college code that grants a suicide victim's roommates automatic straight A's! They think they’ve happened upon the answer but sharing space with a lineup of lunatics may just drive both boys crazy. Inspired by an urban legend.

    1. Dead Man on Campus is a fun pick! I don't remember that movie very well, but I remember my parents wouldn't let me see it in theaters so i had to wait to record it on TV.

  2. I've seen these films and yes, Camilla Belle should be in better projects as she is a really good actress. I thought the film was OK but not that great. The original Candyman scared me in my teens.

    1. Yeah, I wouldn't call When A Stranger Calls good, but she was good in it.

  3. How is it possible that I still haven't seen Candyman! I really need to sit down and watch it.

    1. You to! I'm pretty sure it's on Hulu now if you have that.

  4. These are exactly the kind of movies I am too scared to watch haha I did expect to see Candyman this week though!

  5. Cool picks! I still need to see the Candyman remake. The original is so so good. I haven't seen When A Stranger Calls. I'll have to check it out. And omg, The Ring freaked me out as a tween. I'm sure it's one of the reasons why I started to dread renting videos. lol

  6. I saw Candyman as a kid and while I don't remember much other than the whole thing about saying his name a few times, the hook hand and the bees, it was a scary movie. So now I want to watch the remake.


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