Approaching Film: My First Hooptober Halloween

author/source: Honey Swan

Heard of Letterboxd? I didn’t until late last year when the site’s number of users doubled. As an avid lover of movies, a social-media site that connected people based on their taste in film appealed to me immediately. Letterboxd allows you to rate, review, and log the movies you’ve seen, while also allowing users to add films to their watchlist and make lists of their favorites. 

I’ve been casually logging movies since I downloaded the app but stumbled on a long-standing trend just in time for Spooky Season: Hooptober. I quickly learned Hooptober is a staple among frequent Letterboxd users. Horror lovers plan their entire month of viewing around the current year’s rules, rating and reviewing each movie. As a newbie to the dedicated and knowledgeable fanbase, I decided this would be a great way to introduce myself to so much of the horror I’ve been missing out on. However, if you’re well-versed when it comes to horror, this challPhoto Courtesy of Letterboxd Twitterenge is still definitely for you. 

Hooptober diversifies viewing and reminds me of curations from film classes I’ve taken, The Criterion Channel collections, and series from Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre. The rules encourage foreign films, films by women, and black-led films while introducing you to a variety of types of horror and cementing it all within the context of film history.

I’ve lived my life through movies but only recently started watching horror in the intentional way I’ve approached other genres. With that in mind, I decided to double the trouble in the spirit of Halloween and under the guidance of Hooptober and Letterboxd, with total disregard for the official rules’ extra credit. Make it your own, after all!

If this interests you, I encourage you to get in on the action with the rules below. On Letterboxd, you can find all the inspiration you need for what films to include without the hassle of googling examples. You can see my list and their related ratings and reviews @hrswan on Letterboxd. For those of you uninterested in the app but excited about the approach, I’ve included the 62 film list I’ve been gnawing at since the beginning of September. 

Happy hunting!

Hooptober 2021 Rules:

  1. 8 Decades
  2. 6 Countries
  3. 4 films from 1981
  4. 3 films with a POC as director or lead actor (excluding Asian)
  5. 3 Asian Horror Films
  6. 2 Folk Horror
  7. 2 films from your birth year
  8. 2 haunted house films
  9. 2 Hammer Films
  10. The worst part 2 film that you haven’t seen before and can access
  11. 1 film set in the woods
  12. 1 Kaiju or Kong film (Not the new Godzilla vs. Kong)
  13. 1 film by Tobe Hooper, because there must always be a Tobe Hooper film
  14. EXTRA CREDIT: Watch JD’s Revenge, The Skull, and The Scooby-Doo Project

Honey’s List:Photo Courtesy Letterboxd Shocktober

    1. 1922  Haxan 
    2. 1928 The Man Who Laughs
    3. 1932 Freaks
    4. 1933 The Invisible Man 
    5. 1935 Mad Love 
    6. 1942 Cat People
    7. 1943 I Walked with a Zombie
    8. 1953 Creature from the Black Lagoon
    9. 1953 House of Wax 
    10. 1954 Godzilla
    11. 1958 Horror of Dracula 
    12. 1960 Black Sunday 
    13. 1968 The Devil Rides Out 
    14. 1970 I Drink Your Blood 
    15. 1971 Daughters of Darkness
    16. 1972 Sisters
    17. 1972 Blacula 
    18. 1973 The Crazies 
    19. 1973 The Messiah of Evil
    20. 1974 Symptoms
    21. 1975 Deep Red
    22. 1976 The Witch Who Came From the Sea
    23. 1977 Suspiria
    24. 1978 The Fury
    25. 1979 The Amityville Horror
    26. 1980 Possession
    27. 1981 The Funhouse
    28. 1981 An American Werewolf in London
    29. 1981 Dead and Buried
    30. 1981 My Bloody Valentine
    31. 1982 The Thing
    32. 1983 Sleepaway Camp
    33. 1984 Night of the Comet
    34. 1985 Demons
    35. 1986 The Fly
    36. 1987 The Slumber Party Massacre 
    37. 1987 Street Trash 
    38. 1987 StageFright Aquarius 
    39. 1988 They Live
    40. 1989 The Woman in Black
    41. 1990 Mirror Mirror 
    42. 1990 Tremors
    43. 1993 Cronos
    44. 1993 Freaked
    45. 1995 Tales from the Hood 
    46. 1998 Blade 
    47. 1999 Audition 
    48. 2000 Ginger Snaps 
    49. 2001 The Devil’s Backbone 
    50. 2002 American Psycho 2
    51. 2003 A Tale of Two Sisters 
    52. 2014 It Follows
    53. 2018 Climax
    54. 2018 Slice 
    55. 2019 Atlantics 
    56. 2020 Slaxx Honey Rae Swan
    57. 2020  My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To
    58. 2020 Fried Barry 
    59. 2021 In the Earth 
    60. 2021 Candyman 
    61. 2021 The Boy Behind the Door
    62. 2021 Lamb

Honey Swan is a Nashville native in Greater Boston. Movie lover. Lady Coder. Sci-fi aficionado. Cat mom.