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Fall In Love With NM State’s Fall Essentials / Naomi Tercero

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Welcome to October! The weather is changing, and our moods and way of living are changing with it! Here at Krux, we wanted to raise the questions: what fall necessities do you pull out for the changing of the season? What makes fall feel like fall? fall artists? Movies? Scents? What makes a Halloween movie a Halloween movie? And is a Halloween movie the best kind of movie to watch during October?

We’re going to tackle each of these questions based on what NMSU students had to say, and as your humble guide, of course, you’re going to get my opinion! We went and asked students what their thoughts were on these questions and compiled some data that was then analyzed.

Maybe you’re the type to decorate for Halloween mid to early September and think about your costume in June. Or perhaps you’re the type to start preparing for Christmas in September, and October is the countdown to the holidays. No matter where you fall (no pun intended) on the spectrum, you have something that makes this season unique and atmospheric to you, and we wanted to know what those things were.


So, you’re spending the night in. The question of the night is: what to watch? We broke up the cold-October-night movie selections into four categories:

  • · Fall comfort
  • · Fall horror
  • · Halloween comfort
  • · Halloween horror


Fall: Fall weather or aesthetics but don’t take place during or around Halloween.

Halloween: Take place around or on Halloween, complete with costumes, a party, trick-or-treating, etc.

Comfort: Any movie with a sense of nostalgia or that brings comfort to the soul.

Horror: Any movie that aims to scare. This category includes horror, thriller, psychological horror, or psychological thrillers.


Fall Comfort

Dead Poets Society (1989)

The first category is fall comfort. These movies have the fall atmosphere that makes you want to pull out your sweaters and coffee mugs but isn’t meant to scare you. They have a sense of nostalgia, and if your go-to fall comfort movie is a coming-of-age film, you’re probably looking for a sense of realism. These films can obviously vary from person to person, but ultimately the goal is the fall aesthetics mixed with comfort. Some examples include:

· Fantastic Mr. Fox

· Little Women

· Pride and Prejudice

· Gilmore Girls

· Dead Poets Society

· The Perks of Being a Wallflower

· almost any coming-of-age film

· etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Fall Horror

Next is fall horror movies. This is broader than just your classic “Halloween Horror” movies. These films may have absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, but again, they have that classic fall aesthetic or weather that makes it atmospheric. The goal is to be scared or at least have some sort of horror elements like a monster or creature, like zombie movies, or something paranormal. In this category, you’ll have your straight-up horror movies like The Exorcist, thrillers, and psychological horror, or psychological thrillers.

· Zombieland

· The Conjuring

· The Craft

· Scream

· Nightmare on Elm Street

· Jennifer’s Body

· etc.



Next is the Halloween comfort and horror categories. I like these categories because they leave room for interpretation and taste regarding which films fall into each category. We wanted to know what makes a Halloween movie a Halloween movie. You all said it has to be scary or have a scary element, i.e., something paranormal, magic, or a creature of some sort. You also said it has to have the Fall/Halloween set design and costumes, i.e., Halloween costumes, houses decorated for Halloween, mention of Halloween, etc.


Halloween Comfort

Halloweentown (1998)

With those criteria in mind, our following categories must have a “scary” element and an obvious mention of Halloween. In Halloween Comfort, you’ll find most of the Disney Halloween movies. These movies have a nostalgic vibe and a rewatchable quality that brings you back every year. I like to think movies like Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Lemonade Mouth are absolutely in this category, though neither of them includes a mystical element. Other accepted movies are:

· Halloweentown

· Nightmare Before Christmas

· Hocus Pocus

· Casper

· The Adams Family

· Twitches

· etc.

Halloweentown and Nightmare Before Christmas were the most popular movie suggestions from the students at NMSU, but Halloween Comfort was not the most popular category.


Halloween Horror

Halloween (1978)

Halloween Horror was the most popular movie category on campus, which is interesting when you start to think about how few true Halloween Horror Movies there are. Halloween is absolutely the first to come to mind in this category, and it was the top Halloween Horror suggestion from students, but what other movies fall into this category?

· Halloween

· Trick-r-treat

· Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

The list is concise, but again, this category is up for interpretation. You could say movies like Scary Movie and Scream reference enough Halloween movies to be considered Halloween Horror films, but they don’t take place during Halloween themselves.





Apart from the movies we watch in the autumn season, we switch up what music we listen to fit the atmosphere better. We asked NMSU students who their go-to artist or song is that they listen to in the fall. Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and Fleetwood Mac were all tied for first. While I have to agree that Taylor Swift is the queen of autumn music, there are other fantastic options for getting in the fall spirit. We made a playlist including NMSU students’ favorites and our personal favorites here at Krux.

The playlist features NMSU’s top artists, Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, and J. Cole. You can check it out below!

Listen while walking to class, driving to campus, running errands, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and getting your favorite fall latte!

Everything Else…

We also wanted to know what things make fall feel like fall, i.e., scents, foods, clothing items, experiences, etc. The top three things NMSU students said were pumpkin spice, and pumpkin scent flavored everything, from lattes to candles, sweaters, warm clothing, and hot drinks like teas, hot chocolate, and coffee.

Some more niche examples that people said include Ballon Fiesta, the smell of firewood (being from Santa Fe, I agree entirely!), and more Target runs than usual. Funnel cake, cinnamon, nutmeg, overalls, wearing less makeup, darker lipsticks, muskier scents mixed with vanilla perfume, homemade chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin and apple pie, boots, scarfs, books, and classical music.

Fall is absolutely my favorite season for so many reasons, including the ones above.

For me, fall comfort and fall horror are what I tend to gravitate to. I like that I can start watching them in late August into November, so I’m definitely one of those people who try to extend the season as far as possible. I look forward to Thanksgiving meals with my family and my oldies playlist playing in the kitchen as we cook and bake. My birthday just so happens to be in the fall as well, October, to be more specific. Maybe that makes me biased, but it’s the best season.

I love the weather and how my nose and cheeks get cold. I love bringing out heavier outerwear like jeans, leather jackets, and heavy wool sweaters. I get to wear more muted colors like maroon, this specific mix between sage green and forest green, navy blue, and browns. I typically wear more blush and darker lipsticks in the fall, and because I’m not the biggest fan of tea or coffee, I’ll drink some hot chocolate from my favorite mug.

Other things specific to me: old movies on VHS, crocheting a new project, reading more poetry, making lots of playlists, baking, dim lighting in my room, eating more pastries, I love the smell of vanilla, more time out with friends, and journaling more often.

So, NMSU, what do you all think? Did we cover everything? What else makes fall feel like fall to you? Let us know…