The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. For the week of Oct. 21-27, we get into the Halloween spirit and present our picks for the top holiday-appropriate offerings.
WATCH IT: Pay your respects to the master of suspense with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window
Long before CGI and gory special effects, Alfred Hitchcock needed nothing more than a pulled-back shower curtain, some chocolate syrup and a screeching Bernard Herrmann score to make audiences scream. Along with 1960’s Psycho, Starz Encore will be airing other chilling classics from the master of suspense this week, allowing horror fans to revel in the voyeuristic, whodunit appeal of 1954’s Rear Window and the simple, spine-tingling thrill elicited by a murder of crows slowly gathering on the jungle gym behind Tippi Hedren in 1963’s The Birds. Warning: Side effects may include nightmares about showers, snooping and songbirds. — Erin Donnelly
Starz Encore is airing The Birds on Oct. 21 and Oct. 26, Psycho on Oct. 27 and Rear Window on Oct. 30. Check listings for times.
WATCH IT: No trick — ABC is treating everyone to two airings of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Christmas comes early with a double showing of the greatest Peanuts TV special ever made. (And believe me, I watched all 45 of them.) Much like the franchise-launching A Charlie Brown Christmas, Great Pumpkin is also, in part, a story about faith —specifically Linus’s faith in the titular gourd-headed deity that he believes will swoop down to visit the local pumpkin patch. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown dons his signature bedsheet for a trick-or-treating outing that’s best described as… uh, rocky. Great Pumpkin also benefits from having just the right amount of Snoopy — as opposed to too much like the infamous It’s the Flashbeagle, Charle Brown special — with the beagle taking to the skies as his Flying Ace alter ego before contaminating everyone’s apple bobbing water. All in all, these 30 minutes are sheer Peanuts perfection and a treat worth watching year after year. — Ethan Alter
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown airs Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. on ABC
READ IT: The World of It isn’t clowning around
About as close as you can get to Pennywise and still get out alive, Alyse Wise’s The World of It takes you deep inside Derry, chronicling the creation of the two-part cinematic horror saga based on the Stephen King classic. Featuring commentary from director Andy Muschietti and the cast of both hit movies, this coffee table book is loaded with creepy concept art, spooky storyboards and insightful behind-the-scenes photos and makes for the perfect Halloween treat. — Marcus Errico
The World of It is now available at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Feast on The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror” series before it goes behind the Disney+ paywall
Starting Nov. 12, the Simpson clan and their Springfield neighbors are relocating from FXX to the Disney+ streaming service. So you’d be well-advised to fill your eyeballs with free Treehouse of Horror episodes while you still can. Freeform has been marathoning the signature Simpsons franchise for the past month, from the very first episode (which is still freaky as all get-out if you ask us) to the more recent installments. That marathon comes to its climax this week, with two nights of multiple trips to the Treehouse. Whether you’re a fan of “Hungry are the Damned,” “The Shinning” or “The Ned Zone,” there’s a spooky Simpsons tale for everyone to enjoy. — E.A.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror-thon airs Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 25 at midnight on Freeform.
HEAR IT: Frank Zappa’s Halloween ’73 is still perfect for Halloween 2019
The avant rock genius’s legendary All Hallows Eve shows, recorded live at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater in 46 years ago, are available for the first time as a limited-edition, four-disc costume box — complete with a Zappa mask and gloves. There’s your Halloween costume sorted for this year, then. And with more than four and a half hours of music. this box with keep your crazy costume party going, too.
RENT IT: Get behind the wheel of some classic haunted cars courtesy of Turo
So you and your pals have already decided that you’re pulling up to this year’s Halloween party dressed as the Scooby gang, by which we mean Fred, Velma and Shaggy, not Buffy, Willow and Xander. To complete the look, you really need to be driving the flower-powered Mystery Machine, and now you can courtesy of Turo. The car sharing service has a trio of Halloween-appropriate rides for rent from $89 to $250 a day. Aspiring Ghostbusters can get some drive-time in piloting the Ecto-1, while Marty and Doc Brown can ride again in their time-traveling DeLorean. (Sorry folks: Flux Capacitor and Grays Sports Almanac are not included.) — E.A.
The Mystery Machine, Ecto-1 and DeLorean can be reserved on Turo.
WATCH IT: Hellboy (the good one) hits 4K Ultra HD
Hellboy is hitting 4K Ultra HD! The reason we sound excited about this is because it's the beloved 2004 version with Ron Perlman, not that unwatchable reboot from earlier this year (#NotOurHellboy) that even star David Harbour couldn't help dissing when he hosted Saturday Night Live last week (though that one is on 4K as well). The 15th anniversary re-release of our favorite Satanic superhero's origin story comes with both the theatrical cut and Guillermo del Toro's director's cut as well as an all-new "To Hell and Back" retrospective on the special features. For those viewers who prefer crimefighters to horror flicks, here's all you need for Halloween. — Kevin Polowy
Buy Hellboy 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.
HEAR IT: Sharon Needles puts the Spoopy in Halloween
Nobody does Halloween quite like scream queen Sharon Needles. The RuPaul’s Drag Race winner — who during her victory speech uttered the immortal line, “If anyone boos you offstage, that is simply applause from ghosts” — goes back to Party City where she belongs with this holiday EP, putting her black-fingernailed touch on creepy-crawly classics like “Monster Mash,” “Purple People Eater,” AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” Classics IV’s “Spooky,” and Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With the Blue Dress On.” It's the perfect campy soundtrack for any Halloween lip-sync contest. — Lyndsey Parker
BOOK IT: Scare yourself silly at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights
Revelers will see references to everyone's favorite Halloween movies, scary and not so scary alike — Ghostbusters, anyone? — during a night at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. At the Hollywood location, part of the theme park transforms into 10 mazes, with pop culture themes, including Us (watch the film’s kid stars navigate the maze above), Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. Orlando visitors will scream their way through 10 haunted houses with the same themes. But make no mistake, most of them are terrifying. — Raechal Shewfelt
WATCH IT: The Haunting of Hill House episodes get extended for even more creepiness
After taking ample time to lament and finally get over how confusingly similar this latest adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s legendary novel's title is to The House on Haunted Hill, we settled in for 10 episodes and were thoroughly impressed — not only by the chills and thrills Hill House brings, but the emotional beats the Mike Flanagan-created series nails as well. Now the series is on Blu-ray just in time for Halloween with a “Director’s Cut” edition that include three extended episodes. For horror fans, the show is a must-watch. But don’t take our word for it: Genre maestro Stephen King called the series “close to a work of genius,” which is probably higher praise than he’s given any of the films made from his own books. — K.P.
Buy The Haunting of Hill House: Extended Director's Cut on DVD or Blu-ray on Amazon
PLAY IT: Go trick-or-treating for Pikachu and pals in the Pokémon Go Halloween event
Haven’t played Pokémon Go in a while? Well, fire up your phone, because with Halloween right around the corner, the Niantic team is rolling out the scary red carpet. See all of your favorite Pokémon donning Halloween costumes as you try to catch them all. Trick out your avatars while you’re at it and don’t forget to check out the themed raids. Be on the lookout for candy bonuses and some scary ghost Pokémon on the prowl. — Arjuna Ramgopal
HEAR IT: Lovecraft’s This Is Halloween Volume 1 is the soundtrack to your nightmares
This supergroup of full-moonlighting record producers Lil Punkin (Evan “Kidd” Bogart), Deepkutz (MNDR), Norman Crates (Peter Wade), Scary Ana Grande (Sarah Barrios), Ghost M’lone (Scott “Babydaddy” Hoffman), Count Trackula (Justin Gray), and DejaVudu (Romell) — have joined forces for a scary-good collection of modern Halloween originals, with the “singular mission of putting ‘Monster Mash’ back in its grave.” They also offer creepy covers of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” and the Backstreet Boys’ “As Long as You Love Me” that will haunt your nightmares — L.P.
WATCH IT: Go old-school with TCM’s Horror Classics series
This month Turner Classic Movies is dusting off the ghosts of Halloweens past with a Thursday night lineup packed with the scariest stories to grace the silver screen. Airing all night long and into the wee hours, this frightful fare is guaranteed to keep you up with a motley crew of monsters, from vampires (1922’s Nosferatu, Hammer Studios’ Horror of Dracula and David Bowie fang fiction The Hunger) to George Romero’s zombies in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. It all comes to a head on Halloween, which TCM has devilishly devoted to a series of double features with twisted themes like maniacs, Edgar Allen Poe, haunted houses and more. Consider it the ultimate black-and-white fright. — E.D.
TCM’s Horror Classics series airs on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.
HEAR IT: Kim Petras turns up the Halloween spirit with Turn Off the Light
The German pop sorceress’s bewitching second album is a new-school Halloween classic, with monster-mashable party thrillers like “There Will Be Blood,” “Bloody Valentine,” “Demons,” “Massacre,” “Omen,” "Death by Sex,” "Boo! Bitch!,” and "Transylvania.” The title track even features the one and only Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! Petras’s wild, colorful Instagram feed should provide plenty of costume-party inspo, too. — L.P.
BUY IT: Fill your trick-or-treat bag with spooky, scary and silly Funko Pops
Let the kids have their candy: we’re going to stuff ourselves on Halloween-appropriate Funkos. The vinyl masters have a wealth of franchise figures in different shapes and sizes. For example, collect all four Ghostbusters and pit them against familiar ghouls like Slimer and a 10-inch Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. More super-sized scares can be found in the form of Funko’s 10-inch Pennywise figure, who has a grin that will follow you around the room. Or if you’re into more high-brow horror, there’s an Edgar Allan Poe Pop that’s available for an ultra-limited time and, after that… nevermore! There’s also a classic Beetlejuice-themed set featuring the Ghost with the Most in Dante’s Inferno Room, and a vintage movie moment from The Nightmare Before Christmas with Jack Skellington resting in repose on an Angel Statue. That’s a Christmas and Halloween present in one! — E.A.
READ IT: The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid brings laughs to the horrors of adolescence
The latest installment in DC Comics’s engaging new line of middle-grade and YA graphic novels (also check out Teen Titans: Raven, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass and the forthcoming Black Canary: Ignite), Swamp Kid tackles big issues like bullying, body differences and the pains of puberty without ever feeling preachy. Presented as the doodle-filled notebook of the weird yet oh-so-relatable Russell, a kid who happens to be going through some unusual changes (in his case, it’s algae for hair and a tree-trunk arm that doubles as a frog sanctuary), author-illustrator Kirk Scroggs brings charming humor and empathy to this new spin on the iconoclastic Swamp Thing. — M.E.
The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid is available at Amazon.
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