Fall-ing into Films

Whether you like scary or soulful movies, comfort films are a Fall essential


As tree leaves dry to a burnt-orange crisp and the weather begins to cool down, while some choose to stick to warmer, calmer movies, many see Fall as the perfect time to embrace their admiration of scary movies.

Paly junior Carly Chandler’s all-time favorite fall movie is “Coraline”. She has appreciated its outwardly creepy aesthetic and eye-catching setting since she first watched it as a kid. 

While “Coraline” airs on the genre of horror, which may not seem comforting to some, Chandler favors it above others for the Fall season because of the rainy weather and fallen leaves that are present throughout the film. 

“I watched it when I was a kid, and I really liked the aesthetic of it,” Chandler said. “And it was creepy but I liked it because it’s kind of out-worldly.”

Similarly, senior Ken Ogata, whose go-to movies are generally classics, also enjoys experimenting with scary movies during Fall. His favorite has become “The Witch.”

“It’s kind of short but it’s kind of terrifying,” Ogata said. “I’m not good with horror movies, and it’s definitely not a cozy fall movie.”

Even as someone who isn’t typically a horror fan, to Ogata, the grey, dead energy that the movie showcases not only fits the overall Fall ambiance but also gives a Halloween type of vibe, making it fit the season perfectly. 

“With fall you have Halloween, and it’s a good Halloween movie, definitely. It’s a pretty big contrast from all of the warm fall movies and a pretty good refresher,” Ogata said. 

Sometimes watching these movies while eating a slice of pie is the highlight of my holidays.

— Bella Daly, junior

Junior Anna Markesky also recommends a Halloween-oriented fall movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

While Halloween heavily influences fall favorites of some, comforting movies that better match the energy of Thanksgiving check all the boxes for others. 

In the case of junior Bella Daly, who often enjoys a good comedy, her favorite fall movies include the Charlie Brown holiday specials. Between “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Daly has seen the movies at least 20 times, as her family holds a tradition of watching them every year.

“Sometimes watching these movies while eating a slice of pie is the highlight of my holidays,” Daly said. 

Sophomores David Tomz and Miya Joshi also recommend popular childhood movies like “It’s the Great pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Harry Potter.”

Like Daly’s family memories played a role in determining some of her favorite fall movies, sophomore Renny Argast’s favorite fall movie is “Coraline” because of her memories from watching it with her dad. 

Argast, who is also usually a fan of comedies, feels that even though many people say “Coraline” is scary, it is like a comfort movie to her. 

“I was like eight and my dad was like ‘Let’s watch ‘Coraline’ together,’” Argast said. “I don’t think he really knew what the movie was about and my dad was terrified, but I was totally enamored with it.”

Since then, Argast has made a habit of watching the movie every year on Halloween also in part because of thoughtfully composed elements of the film.

“I just love how creepy the animation is and how intricate the story is, and it’s clear how much care went into making it,” Argast said.

A perfect fall movie is one that makes you want to drink hot chocolate and cuddle up under a blanket. Fall movies should bring you comfort.

— Bella Daly, junior

It’s clear that many different factors come into play when deciding one’s favorite fall movie which is why opinions differ so much from person to person. But what makes a perfect fall movie in general?

Part of what makes a perfect fall movie, for Argast, is being story-centered and having calm energy.

“I feel like Hallmark movies really go well with fall rather than winter,” Argast said.

During a time when things are starting to slow down, like Argast, many others agree that peaceful and comforting movies are essential during fall time. 

Ogata also emphasizes the value of having classic autumnal colors shown throughout fall movies. 

“When you’re talking about fall movies, they’re all going to be like red or orange — you know, the classic colors. Something that’s a little cozy would be good because fall’s cold, so just having some warming up inside, is what you’re looking for,” Ogata said.

In the end, everyone likes different types of fall movies, but no matter which type one prefers, it’s clear that they should all have one thing in common. 

“A perfect fall movie is one that makes you want to drink hot chocolate and cuddle up under a blanket. Fall movies should bring you comfort. They should make you feel safe and should bring you serotonin,” Daly said.

• Art by Audrey Guo