Long before a “Class of 2006” banner pops up in “Looking for Alaska,” it’s pretty clear what year the new Hulu show’s characters are living through. Some of that comes from the on-screen MySpace references or the relative state of DVD menu design, but most of that mid-’00s feel comes from the show’s song choices.
As has become standard for shows created by the producing team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the “Looking for Alaska” soundtrack is packed with a mix of cozy radio favorites — no chronicle of 2005 would be complete without The White Stripes and 50 Cent and Gorillaz and Jet and J-Kwon and The Killers — and below-the-surface cuts that might just end up linked with some of the series’ most emotional moments.
In addition to some of the most iconic tracks of the day, there are also a handful of covers of some enduring recognizable favorites. Sufjan Stevens’ “To Be Alone With You,” Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out,” The Bravery’s “An Honest Mistake,” and, of course, Kelis’ “Milkshake” all get special reworkings, many of them specifically for the series.
This collection of covers means that we get not one, but two tracks from The Postal Service’s “Give Up.” Well done, everyone.
There are some clear greatest hits moments — how could you have a show like this and not throw in Spoon’s “The Way We Get By”? — but the show also has some deeper cuts from some of the biggest bands and albums of the day. You get a Modest Mouse song, but it’s not “Float On.” There’s a Strokes track, but it’s nothing off “Is This It.” And the perfect song to close out the show’s opening episode comes from Bloc Party, but it might not be the song from “Silent Alarm” you’re expecting.
For a show so built on capturing a specific time and place, it makes the songs from a different era stand out even more. Toss in some Bill Withers and a Strauss wz and there’s the occasional counterbalance to the other Goldfrapp and Beck and Wolf Parade found elsewhere.
Rounding out the show’s musical landscape is Siddhartha Khosla’s atmospheric score. The “This is Us” composer is once again tasked with providing a backdrop for some of the most emotional scenes on TV, this time combining echoey keys and some faintly sung vowels to help bring the show’s Alabama high school setting to life.
A handful of tracks from the show aren’t available on Spotify, but for the over four dozen others, we’ve gathered them in a playlist below:
Based on the 2005 John Green novel of the same name, “Looking For Alaska” was made to be adapted for television by Josh Schwartz. In fact, in 2005, it was set to be adapted by him as a feature film; but even after writing a screenplay that Green reportedly loved, the movie remained in development hell, with constant delays for years. Then in May 2018, it was announced that Schwartz would be writing the eight-episode limited series for Hulu, executive producing alongside his Fake Empire partner and longtime collaborator Stephanie Savage.
Now it's finally here, and despite the story originally being written by someone else entirely, “Looking For Alaska” fits Schwarz and Savage like a glove. This is far from the duo's first adaptation—“Gossip Girl,” “The Carrie Diaries,” and Marvel's “Runaways” all exist—but it is impressive just how much the source material and the finished product makes it feel like their own creation. “Looking For Alaska” is a story that fits right into Schwartz and Savage's teen drama ethos.
“Looking For Alaska” tells the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter Charlie Plummer, a teenage boy from Orlando who is obsessed with famous last words and has become consumed by his desire to seek “the Great Perhaps,” a concept inspired by the last words of poet Francois Rabelais. This desire sends him aways to his father's alma mater, Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama, to find something less boring and safe than the life he's always lived. He immediately gets his wish for excitement upon meeting his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin Denny Love, who introduces him to his new world—and the class feud against the privileged rich kids at school, known as the Weekday Warriors—which includes his laidback friend Takumi Hikohito Jay Lee and the third-wave feminist and whirlwind that is Alaska Young Kristine Froseth.
“Looking For Alaska”
In the grand Dawsonian as in, “Dawson's Creek” legacy of teen drama characters, there is a lot of dialogue in “Looking For Alaska” that is bound to make you say “That's not how teenagers talk.” On top of that, they also talk a lot—perhaps too much—until the moment before the series' major tragedy, the moment where words could have possibly saved their friend from going off into the night. It's an affectation that falls in line with the concept that makes “Looking For Alaska” work as well as it does both as a story and as a miniseries: “Looking For Alaska” realizes that, for a teen, every single action and choice is the most important, life-altering action and choice you can make.
The series' backdrop also allows Schwartz—by way of his regular music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas—to return to a place he knows very well: the defining music of the aughts. The soundtrack for “Looking For Alaska” is a mix of era-popular songs—like J-Kwon's “Tipsy,” The Darkness's “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” and a novelty dance song that provides such an amazing moment to witness that you shouldn't have it ruined for you—and the indie rock heavy original soundtracks of Schwartz's three biggest shows of the era, “The O.C.,” “Chuck”, and “Gossip Girl”. For an audience that grew up with those shows, “Looking For Alaska” creates the perfect wave of nostalgia, one that will send those memories flooding back to that time when everything was life and death and your very being was defined by things like your love of specific music or book or art.
“Looking For Alaska”
As a result, “Looking For Alaska” functions well as a series for both a contemporary teen audience and an audience that would've been teens when these characters were. While the 2005 setting is subtly recognizable—relying more on things like casual puka shells and Takumi's entire look than obvious trucker hats and Juicy sweatsuits—it's also not so unrecognizable to teen audiences now. The story should also be universal to anyone who has ever had a teenage experience and to anyone who has longed for something more, especially given your circumstances in life.
“O.C.” diehards, especially, will and should gravitate to this series not just because of the music but because “Looking For Alaska” is also a love letter to Schwartz's first and arguably most important series. Schwartz even recreates one of the most iconic shots of “The O.C.”— Ryan in the passenger seat of a car on his way to Chino, passing Marissa, from the pilot, and then the Season 1 finale—for Alaska and Miles, even though Miles is really more of a Seth Cohen with his starter packs and awkwardness during the very 2005-specific “group hang” than a Ryan Atwood.
Alaska, on the other hand, is a complete Marissa Cooper—only without the weakness that would otherwise imply. Plummer captures the milquetoast nature of the character both the funny and frustrating aspects of that, while also finding a way to make your heart break for him. In fact, it's impossible for your heart not to break for pretty much all of the characters on this show at this point—besides maybe the Weekday Warriors—even Mr. Starnes Timothy Simons, aka “The Eagle.”“The Eagle” truly encapsulates to the teen perspective of this series, as these characters find him extremely intimidating, despite there being nothing really intimidating about Simons in a post-”Veep” world or the character itself. It almost feels like the one misstep in casting at first, until you realize the latter.
“Looking For Alaska”
For the sheer amount of teen dramas that still exist during this era of “Too Much TV,” the staggering lack of straightforward, earnest teen dramas truly sticks out. Especially with every new announcement of reinventions on a classic “Clueless,” which already had an underrated TV adaptation; “Gossip Girl” or the concept of a classic that's inspired so many now-successful successors that it has to crib from those successors to survive in this television climate Schwartz and Savage's “Nancy Drew”.
It seems that nearly every teen drama now has to have a larger-than-life twist, whether it's murder mysteries, supernatural abilities, a Lynchian nightmare, or in “Riverdale's” case, all of the above. Yes, there is a death in “Looking For Alaska”, and the characters try to make sense of it, but it is not a mystery series. Even the mystery of who the rat was is not truly central to what the full story is and what makes this series work. “Looking For Alaska” is your standard, tried and true, coming-of-age story. And for that, it stands out from the rest.
Nicholas Britell won Film Composer of the Year for his Oscar-nominated score for If Beale Street Could Talk at the World Soundtrack Awards, the annual event that honors the year's best in film and TV music. The ceremony for the 19th edition of the honors was Friday on the sidelines of the Ghent Film Festival in Belgium.
“A Star Is Born” Warner Bros
Other winners include Lady Gaga's “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, which won the Original Song Oscar earlier this year. It written by Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson. Michael Abels, who wrote the score for Jordan Peele's Us after collaborating on Get Out, was named Discovery of the Year.
In TV, Hildur Guðnadóttir was named Best Television Composer for the score of HBO's Chernobyl. Her recent credits include Warner Bros' Joker, and she was a Discovery nominee last year for Sicario: Day of the Soldado. She and Britell are coming off Emmy wins, her for Chernobyl and him for HBO's Succession.
Britell won the Discovery award in 2017 for Moonlight. His recent credits include Vice and Netflix's The King.
Here's the full list of winners:
Film Composer of the Year Nicholas Britell If Beale Street Could Talk
TV Composer of the Year Hildur Guðnadóttir Chernobyl
Original Song Written Directly for a Film “Shallow” A Star Is Born Music & lyrics by Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson; performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Discovery of the Year 2019 Michael Abels Us
Original Score for a Belgian Production Duelles Frédéric Vercheval
SABAM Award for the Most Original Composition By a Young International Composer Pierre Charles
Public Choice Award How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World John Powell
Hulu kicks off the month of November with a new original series and a handful of films that will probably make it on more than a few “Best Of” lists for the year.
Kat Dennings returns to comedy with Dollface, a show about a woman struggling to rekindle her female friendships after getting dumped by a long-term boyfriend. Olivia Wilde's directorial debut lands mid-month to give us a hilarious ode to female friendship and coming-of-age comedies with Booksmart. And Michael B. Jordan puts on the gloves again in Creed II with Sylvester Stallone in his corner once again.
Dollface Hulu series streaming 11/15
Kat Dennings stars in this dramedy about a young woman named Jules, who returns to single life after her long-term boyfriend dumps her. After being coupled for so long, Jules resorts to using her imagination to literally and metaphorically re-enter the world of female friendships and the dating pool.
Booksmart film streaming 11/18
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut is this coming-of-age ode to friendship starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. Feldstein plays Molly, a politically ambitious high schooler who resolves to have one night of teenage fun before graduation. She ropes her best friend Amy Dever into her plan, and the two navigate a host of wild mishaps to make it to the biggest party of the year.
Creed II film streaming 11/15
Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson return for round two of this boxing drama reboot. Still training with Rocky Balboa, Adonis Creed Jordan tries to bounce back after a dangerous beatdown, resolving to face off against the son of Viktor Drago, the man who killed his father.
Here's the full list of titles coming to Hulu in November:
Avail. 11/1/19 America's Cutest : Complete Seasons 2&3 Giada's Holiday Handbook: Complete Seasons 1-3 Holiday Baking Championship: Complete Seasons 1-4 Into The Dark : Pilgrim: Episode Premiere Hulu Original Kids Baking Championship: Complete Season 4 Love Island: Australia: Complete Season 1 Sex Sent Me to the ER: Complete Seasons 1&2 Too Cute!: Complete Seasons 2&3 A Fairly Odd Christmas 2012 A Simple Plan 1998 Albert 2016 Big Top Pee-Wee 1988 Chinatown 1974 The Counterfeit Traitor 1962 Dinner for Schmucks 2010 Double Jeopardy 1999 The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain 1995 Escape from Alcatraz 1979 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask 1972 Fantastic Four 2005 Fatal Attraction 1987 Fever Pitch 2005 Fire with Fire 2012 The Firm 1993 Flashdance 1983 Freddy Vs Jason 2003 Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare 1991 Freelancers 2012 Fun with Dick and Jane 2005 Gloria 2014 Head of State 2003 Home for the Holidays 1995 I Heart Huckabees 2004 In Enemy Hands 2003 Interview with a Vampire 1994 Kingpin 1996 Light Sleeper 1992 Madea's Big Happy Family 2011 Madea's Witness Protection 2012 Magic Mike 2012 The Mexican 2001 The Nightingale 2019 Overlord 2018 The Pink Panther 2 2009 Reds 1981 The Ring 2002 Santa Hunters 2014 Shall We Dance? 2004 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas 2002 Soapdish 1991 Spy Next Door 2010 Summers Moon 2009 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003 Terminator Salvation 2009 Tim Burton's Corpse Bride 2005 Tiny Christmas 2017 The Two Jakes 1990 Under the Tuscan Sun 2003 Undisputed 2002 Waiting... 2005 You Laugh but It's True 2011
Avail. 11/4/19 Denial 2016
Avail. 11/5/19 Framing John Delorean 2019
Avail. 11/6/19 Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story 2017 The Biggest Little Farm 2019
Avail. 11/7/19 Texas Chainsaw 3D 2013
Avail. 11/9/19 You're the Worst: Complete Season 5 FX
Avail. 11/13/19 Anna and the Apocalypse 2018 Ugly Dolls 2018
Avail. 11/14/19 Instant Family 2018 Veronica Mars 2014
Avail. 11/15/19 Dollface: Complete Season 1 Premiere Hulu Original Creed II 2018 Wings of the Dove 1997
Avail. 11/18/19 Booksmart 2019 The Tomorrow Man 2019
Avail. 11/19/19 Apple Tree Yard: Complete Season 1 Fremantle Margaret Atwood: A Word After a Word After a Word is Power 2019 The Quiet One 2019
Avail. 11/20/19 Some Kind of Beautiful 2015
Avail. 11/22/19 The Accident: Complete Season 1 Premiere Hulu Original Holly Hobbie : Complete Season 2 Premiere Hulu Original Vita & Virginia 2019
Avail. 11/24/19 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 2010
Avail. 11/25/19 Love & Mercy 2015
Avail. 11/26/19 NOS4A2: Complete Season 1 AMC Astronaut 2019
Avail. 11/27/19 Meeting Gorbachev 2019
Avail. 11/28/19 Mike Wallace is Here 2019
Available with the HBO premium add-on: His Dark Materials: Series Premiere 11/4 Daniel Sloss: X: Comedy Special 11/2
Available with the STARZ premium add-on: Dublin Murders: Series Premiere 11/10 Half Baked 1998 11/1 Hugo 2011 11/1 National Lampoon's Animal House 1978 11/1 Rollerball 2002 11/1 Sixteen Candles 1984 11/1 The Breakfast Club 1985 11/1 The Interpreter 2005 11/1 West Side Story 1961 11/1 The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters 2007 11/8 The Burbs 1989 11/14 Coneheads 1993 11/15 Date and Switch 2014 11/15 Devil in a Blue Dress 1995 11/15 Psycho 1998 11/15 Psycho II 1983 11/15 Psycho III 1986 11/15 Psycho IV: The Beginning 1990 11/15 Snake Eyes 1998 11/15 The Brady Bunch Movie 19955 11/15 The Mod Squad 1999 11/15 Away We Go 2009 11/16 Burn After Reading 2008 11/16 Mamma Mia! 2008 11/16 State of Play 2009 11/16 The Addams Family 1991 11/16 Jack and Jill 2011 11/21
Available with the SHOWTIME premium add-on: Back to Life: Series Premiere 11/10 Shameless: Season 10 Premiere 11/10 Ray Donovan: Season 7 Premiere 11/17
Here's what is leaving Hulu in November:
November 30 27 Dresses 2008 The Amityville Horror 1979 All Dogs go to Heaven 2 1996 Bigfoot County 2012 Blade 1998 Blade 2 2002 Blade Trinity 2004 Blue Jasmine 2013 Constantine 2005 The Chumscrubber 2005 The Cooler 2003 The Darker Half 1993 Das Boot 1981 Disturbing Behavior 1998 Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999 The Edge 1997 Emma 1996 Evil Dead II 1987 The Ghost and the Darkness 1996 Hoosiers 1986 Ingenious 2009 Juno 2007 The Last Exorcism 2010 Liar, Liar 1997 Lost in Space 1998 Man on a Ledge 2012 Max 2: White House Hero 2017 The Midnight Meat Train 2009 Mommie Dearest 1987 Mr. Mom 1983 The Object of Beauty 1991 Pretty in Pink 1986 Primal Fear 1996 Ravenous 1999 Secretary 2002 Set Up 2011 Shivers 1975 Snakes on a Plane 2006 Suicide Kings 1998 Throw Momma from the Train 1987
When it came to making the new Lion King movie, its creators knew that recapturing the musical magic of the animated movie was important. So, they brought on some familiar faces who worked on the original film, including Hans Zimmer and Elton John. The way John sees it, though, that wasn’t enough: In a new interview with GQ, he says that the remake and its Beyonce-led soundtrack were “a huge disappointment” to him.
When asked if he had seen the new film, he said he wasn’t keen on it, primarily because of the music, and that he wishes he was more involved:
“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up. Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success. I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”
The new Lion King soundtrack features performances from Beyonce, Donald Glover, Billie Eichner, Seth Rogen, and John himself. Aside from the soundtrack, Beyonce also curated an album inspired by the film, The Lion King: The Gift.
Also in the interview, John declared that the only “real star” today is Lady Gaga, saying, “The only real star at the moment is Lady Gaga. She could have a career like Barbra Streisand if she wanted to. She’s got the ambition, she’s got the talent coming out of every pore of her body, so it’s up to her whether she wants it and I think she does want it.”
Although Netflix definitely has the superior selection of Horror choices, Hulu has got you covered on some unique titles too. The streaming service built its reputation with its TV offerings, but it's quietly turned into a fine place to watch movies. We didn't have to look too hard to find some scary must-sees, from bona fide classics to cult favorites. So here are the 10 best horror movies on Hulu for Halloween
Related: The Best Horror Movies On Amazon Prime Right Now
Child's Play 1988 MGM/UA Communications Co.
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Tom Holland's '80s horror flick managed to take a benign children's toy and transform it into a waking nightmare. The film stars Catherine Hicks as Karen Barclay, a single mother who gifts her son Andy a doll he's been wanting. Unfortunately for Andy, that doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer and very quickly, Chucky then begins to wreak havoc on the family.
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The Evil Dead 1981 New Line Cinema
Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Another '80s flick, this Sam Raimi creation launched the director's career and has since become a cult classic. The story follows a group of college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a remote wooded area when they find an audio tape that somehow releases a legion of demons and spirits. Most of the group suffer varying degrees of possession which leads to gory mayhem hence the film's NC-17 rating.
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Evil Dead II 1987 Embassy Communications/De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Sam Raimi's follow-up to his cult classic picks up where the first film left off as the lone survivor of that cabin mayhem holes up in the same remote spot with a new group of strangers as the demons continue their assault. The poor guy just can't catch a break. The poor guy being Ash, who miraculously survived the first film and whose job it is now to slay the demons, send the spirits back to hell, and never go camping again.
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The Babadook 2014 requires Showtime Screen Australia
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Starring Essie Davis Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery and directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is a bracing psychological horror film grounded in the terrors and frustration of parenthood. Davis plays a mother who lost her husband in a car accident on their way to the delivery room. She loves and resents her troubled 6-year-old son, feelings that seem to take supernatural form when a creepy pop-up book, Mister Babadook, mysteriously shows up on his shelf. Kent's stylish film makes excellent uses of its creepy interiors. but it's Davis' committed performance that drives the horror home.
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The Amityville Horror 1979 American International Pictures
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
James Brolin stars in the original horror film though Ryan Reynolds' version is also available on Hulu about a couple of newlyweds who move into an old house where a mass murder took place years earlier. As the hauntings ramp up and possessions take hold, the couple has to work together to survive the house, and eventually escape it. Good luck ever getting excited about house hunting again.
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Rosemary's Baby 1968 Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 137 min | IMDb: 8/10
Mia Farrow stars in this iconic horror classic that's probably influenced every other film on this list. The movie follows Rosemary Woodhouse Farrow and her husband, Guy — a pair of newlyweds who move to a new apartment where they're quickly surrounded by strange neighbors and even more worrisome happenings. When Rosemary mysteriously becomes pregnant, she becomes paranoid that the people around her, including her husband, are out to get her.
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Children Of The Corn 1984 New World
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 5.7/10
Based on the short story by Stephen King, Children Of The Corn is set in the fictitious town of Gatlin, Nebraska, where children are drawn to ritualistically murder both the local adults and hapless passers-by to ensure a plentiful corn harvest. They act on the whims of “He who walks behind the rows,” a mysterious, bloodthirsty deity. The film's become something of a cult classic, spawning eight sequels, as well as a TV remake in 2009 that more closely followed King's original story.
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A Quiet Place 2018 Paramount
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
John Krasinski's breakout horror flick has made its way to Hulu. The film stars Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt, as a couple trying their best to raise their family in the middle of an apocalypse where the slightest sound might attract other-worldly creatures intent on hunting them down and killing them. It's a thrilling turn for both actors, with twists you don't see coming and a satisfying ending.
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28 Weeks Later 2007 requires Starz 20th Century Fox
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7/10
Jeremy Renner and Rose Byrne star in the sequel to Danny Boyle's British horror flick. The first film followed a pretty unlucky bike courier who wakes up from a coma and finds his city not only deserted but filled with the undead. This time around, the US Army is trying to secure an area of London for survivors to escape the zombie horde but, of course, things don't go as planned.
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Hellraiser 1987 New World
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7/10
Clive Barker became one of the leading voices of horror in the 1980s thanks to the graphic, bloody, sexually frank stories found in his Books of Blood collections. For his directorial debut, Barker turned to his novella The Hellbound Heart, the story of a mysterious puzzle box and the demonic creature it unleashes. It remains an effective combination of scares and kinkiness, filled with creepy images and the unforgettable Cenobites, the strangely reasonable sounding monsters who've lost any distinction between pain and pleasure.
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Little Monsters 2019 Hulu
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o stars in this darkly comedic zombie flick, playing a plucky schoolteacher charged with keeping her class safe amidst a surprise zombie outbreak. Josh Gad joins her as Teddy, an obnoxious television personality who hosts the class on the field trip gone wrong and, with the help of a washed-up musician, the three try to fight off the undead — and not kill each other in the process. It's a nice change of pace to see Nyong'o flexing her comedy muscles and there's enough gore and thrills to keep horror fans on the edge of their seats.
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Removed: Paranormal Activity, The Shining, Shutter Island, Let The Right One In, The Silence Of The Lambs, Friday The 13th, Tragedy Girls Added: Child's Play, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, The Babadook, The Amityville Horror, Rosemary's Baby, Little Monsters