By Robin E. Simmons

With Halloween upon us this weekend, what better way to enjoy the spooky holiday than with a great selection of movies, courtesy of Digital Entertainment Guide’s DEG’s “Watched at Home Top 20” list.

Debuting on this week’s chart is the Friday the 13th Collection (12-Film) at No. 1, along with Hocus Pocus at no. 4, Beetlejuice at no. 13 and The Nightmare Before Christmas at no. 20.

Home theater fans interest in collections is also rising with the holiday shopping and a lingering lack of new releases.

Below is the full list for the current ‘Watched at Home Top 20’ titles:

  1. The Friday the 13th Collection (Paramount, 12-film)
  2. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  3. Ava (Vertical Entertainment, 2020)
  4. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  5. The Office: The Complete Series 1-9 (Universal)
  6. Yellowstone: S3 (Paramount)
  7. Yellowstone: S1 (Paramount)
  8. Yellowstone: S2 (Paramount)
  9. Middle Earth 6-Film Collection: Theatrical (Warner)
  10. Trolls World Tour (Universal)
  11. Friends: The Complete Series 1-10 (Universal)
  12. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  13. Beetlejuice (Warner)
  14. Batman: Death in the Family (Warner)
  15. Game of Thrones: The Complete Series 1-8 (Warner)
  16. The Phenomenon (1091)
  17. Star Trek: Picard: S1 (Paramount)
  18. Alone (Magnolia Pictures, 2020)
  19. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  20. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney)
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NEW FOR THE HOME THEATER:

TRAIN TO BUSAN

Writer-director Sang ho Yeon’s terrific scary-funny and very smart Korean zombie flick is my top Halloween horror pick.  You won’t be disappointed riding along with a man (Gong Yoo), his estranged daughter and other passengers when they become trapped in a speeding bullet train during a zombie outbreak in South Korea.  This intense action and emotion packed movie is unquestionably among the best of the zombie genre.  WELL GO USA.  Blu-ray

FATIMA

Inspired by real-life (?) events in 1917, outside the parish of Fatima, Portugal, a 10-year old girl and her two younger cousins witness multiple “visitations” of the Virgin Mary, who tells them that only prayer and suffering will bring an end to WWI.  Word spreads across the country, inspiring religious pilgrims to flock to the site in hopes of witnessing a miracle.

Written and directed by Marco Pontecorvo (“Game of Thrones”) the film has been hailed by some critics as a beautiful and uplifting story about the power of faith.  The film stars Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga and features an all-new original song performed by Andrea Bocelli.  DVD.  Universal.

COOL STREAMS TO CONSIDER:

REBECCA

Ben Wheatley’s great looking remake (Hitchcock did it first in 1940) of Daphne du Maurier’s popular novel is eye candy to be sure. Although perfectly cast, it slightly mutes the dark source material, but otherwise delivers a satisfying romantic suspense movie.

A young newlywed (Lily James) arrives at Manderlay, her husband’s (Armie Hammer) imposing family estate on a windswept English coast (Is there any other kind?) and finds herself confronting the shadow – or ghost — of his first wife, Rebecca, whose presence lives on in the house long after her death.  Netflix

ROALD DAHL’S WITCHES

Set in1967, a young orphan boy goes to live with his sweet grandmother in rural Demopolis, Alabama.  When the boy and his grandmother encounter some glamorous but devilish witches, granny whisks him away to a seaside resort.

As luck would have it, they arrive at the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch is meeting her fellow cronies from around the globe — under cover — to carry out her nefarious plans.

Anne Hathaway’s literally bewitching performance makes this one worth the time.  HBO Max

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm brings back Sacha Baron Cohen’s blissfully and shockingly ignorant third world reporter who naively (?) exposes the ugliest pockets of American culture in a weirdly relevant and intermittently funny farce that’s difficult to turn away from.  Amazon Prime

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Timely in so many ways, writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s powerful recreation of the1969 trail of seven people charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from their antiwar protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  Netflix

robin@coachellavalleyweekly.com