Family Law Halloween Horror Classics

John Winchester (from Supernatural)

This is the time for Halloween Horror classics. TCM’s running about 36 straight hours of horror movies; Showtime has a Penny Dreadful marathon (Rory Kinnear and Eva Green are awesome); Frankenstein, Dracula, Friday the 13th, and, of course Halloween, I through CXLII (kidding, but not by much) on so many channels and services at once you won’t be able to miss them.

This got us thinking. There’s a lot of great horror movies out there – Hereditary, anyone? – but how many of them involve family law matters and/or relationships? 

The result – our list of the seven best ‘Family Law Halloween Horror’ movies. A few of these are fairly new, to avoid spoilers (and there’s at least one really, really great one in the pile) we’ll skimp on a few descriptions. Though you can bank on us writing about them as soon as their spoiler status changes.

Here’s the list (no particular order):

Train to Busan: just a divorced dad trying to spend a day with his estranged daughter doing what she wants to do – go to her mother’s place in Busan. He’s a workaholic, absentee father who’s pretty much put off that he has to waste a day of work going to see his ex. Then . . . well, let’s just say his priorities change along the way. He puts down his cell phone and learns how to deal with very nasty, very creative zombies. By the way, Korean zombies make the ones in The Walking Dead look like slugs. 

Rosemary’s Baby: a narcissistic husband who puts his career above everything. Everything here includes the future of mankind. The wife’s a bit passive and doesn’t quite see it . . . until it’s too late. Way too late. Side note:  Frank Sinatra had divorce papers served on Mia Farrow in the middle of filming. On set. Question the movie didn’t answer: if Mia and John Cassavetes divorce does the baby’s real father get partial custody?

USif you think your family vacations are hell . . .

The Brood: a marriage, mental illness, a child, psychology, therapy, a grandparent, custody, murder, horror, science fiction, and way more. Watch it, cringe, jump, yell, scream, and know this – the entire film is really about director David Cronenberg’s very fresh divorce. He was disgusted by every aspect of it, especially the process, and he’s kinda twisted and unbelievably talented so, yeah, he nailed it.

Mother!: a wife who works night and day on fixing up an old Victorian that shows absolutely no improvement. Oh, and it’s in the middle of nowhere. A husband who is eloquent, witty, and loquacious only when he talks about his favorite subject: himself. Strangers drop in, there’s an estate fight. Literally. Then there’s a child. Then it gets weird. Long story short, the guy rips her heart out. 

MIdsommar: Passive aggressive. Everyone is passive aggressive. Every relationship, romantic and professional, oozes with passive aggressiveness. The passive aggressiveness is passive aggressive. The pagan cult the group of grad student passive aggressively visit are weird and unsettling . . . but at least they tell it like it is. 

The Birds: a lawyer and a socialite meet cute, sparks fly, they obviously have a beautiful future ahead of them. It’s all blown away by forces far beyond their control.