It’s that time of year — spooky season! October is the best month to bust out a warm blanket, mix up an infused apple cider, burn that cardamom nut muffin candle, and light up with our horror movie inspired cannabis pairings! Our curated selection will have you screaming, laughing or just straight up vibing to some truly frightening flicks!
These are the movies we kind of all know, even if we haven’t seen them. They play on our most basic and universally-shared fears— a haunted house, an inescapable terror, or a questioning of reality.
Stephen King hated Kubrick’s take on his story. Nonetheless, it became Kubrick’s horror masterpiece— brilliant cinematography and directing that pushed actors to their absolute limit. And wouldn’t Lloyd the Bartender make an excellent budtender?!
Don’t Look Now
This 1973 film, starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie is adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier which explores the intersection of grief and madness set in a very creepy iteration of Venice. It’s more art-y than your standard horror film— but it’s deeply strange and European.
Released as Ringu in Japan in 1998 and later adapted for US audiences in 2002, the images and tropes of The Ring spawned hundreds, if not thousands, of imitations and nightmares across the globe. A true classic of the modern era.
The Ring (2002)
What to Smoke With Classics
Let’s go with classic strains for this category—landraces, legacy strains, and the ones you’ve tried and should try again. They’re classics for a reason.
Try: Blue Dream from Sky High Gardens or Lazy Bee Gardens, AK-47 from Puffin Farm, Granddaddy Purple preroll from Dipped. Honorable mention is Red Runtz from Legit, but only for The Shining. Because c’mon.
New Favorite Horror
As our tastes in horror mature and effects become more sophisticated, so do our tastes in cannabis. It’s possible to enjoy the below movies with a wide variety of effect profiles and genetics, reflecting what’s new and great in both horror and cannabis.
After Get Out and before Nope, Jordan Peele made Us. Full of jump scares, menacing silhouettes, flickering fluorescent lighting, and a twist that gets to the core of one of our most fundamental fears— ourselves. Us explores what we’re truly capable of doing.
Michael Myers is only partly scary because he murders people. What makes him terrifying is his pace. He never runs. He just keeps coming— just like the “villain” in It Follows. With a modern take on STI communicability and a constant demand to keep scanning the background, this flick will keep your eyes wide open.
The Taking of Deborah Logan
What starts as a run-of-the-mill, found-footage horror film with turbulent ensemble scenes and characters whose only volume is YELLING eventually descends into one of the scariest possession films of the last 20 years. Be prepared for a freakishly disturbing conclusion that might haunt you for longer than you expect.
The Final Girl takes on a whole new meaning in The Descent, a monster movie that takes place in an unexplored Appalachian cave system. But the cave system isn’t really unexplored, and the monsters are part of the colony that explored them first and never left.
What to Smoke with New Favorites:
Try: Garlotti from Hella Loud, Dutchberry from Artizen (also the winner of the 2022 Dockside Cup!), or a Princess Bubblegum vape cart from Treehaus. Honorable mentions include CBD-rich items like Cinderella 99 from Walden, the CBG blend vape cart from Heylo, or some Green Revolution 2:1 Chill Marionberry Doozies with CBN, especially if you need to calm down after some of the bigger scares.
The Descent (2005)
Not all horror is scary! Horror already keeps us on alert for the next scare, which is why comedy horror is so much fun. The stakes are lower, the stunts are more enjoyable and there are still enough scares to keep them in the horror genre.
The Cabin in the Woods
Aka “What Else You Got?” No sub-genre is missed and no runestone unturned, in this delightfully noisy, chaotic ode to horror. Scholars and enthusiasts can unite and blaze together for this new classic that features just about every kind of gory death you can imagine.
A monster movie that takes place on an idyllic Irish isle sporting not much besides a pub, a lab, and a police station. Oh, and a bunch of alien tentacle monster eggs that are activated by water and allergic to alcohol and drunk people.
This New Zealand film isn’t widely popular, but it’s a wryly funny movie built upon the premise of “something is very wrong here” with some family tension and house arrest thrown in for kicks.
What to Smoke With Funny Horror:
Strains for comedy horror films run the gamut, but mostly they’re great for kicking back and enjoying your time on the couch with one of your favorite horror movies.
Try: Laughing Gas from Sweetwater Farms, Mimosa from Saints, Alien Apple Cookies from Royal Tree, or Strawberry Banana Haze from Fire Bros. Honorable mention is Humboldt Royal Kush from LuvIt Farms, which is perfect for the stuck-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere vibes of the Cabin in the Woods.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Ok, it can be difficult to keep track of subtitles while you’re enjoying cannabis. But foreign horror is a great way to understand the cultural and societal fears in other countries, and some of the finest horror in the last ten years has come from overseas.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Not technically foreign, but this American-produced, Persian-language film is set in Iran and shot in black and white, making starkly beautiful work of light and shadow. A vampire flick in the vein of the original Let the Right One In, this progresses almost like a dream and focuses on the titular Girl’s movements through the city and its inhabitants at night.
Train to Busan
One of the greatest action horror and one of the greatest zombie films of all time, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan never stops moving or slows down to offer the viewer respite. A zombie outbreak on a high-speed train paired with complex human dynamics and themes of self-sacrifice? Thank you, Korea!
Shot mockumentary-style in Norway, where a group of students meets a hunter whose prey is a little bigger than the bears they think they’re tracking. Ancient Norse myths meet found footage and result in a dark, and darkly funny, option.
What to Smoke With Foreign Horror:
When selecting cannabis to pair with a foreign film, it’s important to choose strains that allow you to focus on the story, even if you don’t speak the language.
Try: Whistling Moon Traveler from Cascadia Gardens, Angela from K Savage, Powderhound from Lazy Bee Gardens or Dutch Haze from Raven Grass. Honorable mention is MAC 1 from Constellation Cannabis to match the dreamlike sequences of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
Not every great horror film has to have a huge budget, and I’m not just talking about cheap slashers overflowing with corn syrup blood and latex limbs. Much like the production cost of the below films, you can choose cannabis that’s easier on your wallet.
If you’ve ever experienced sleep paralysis, you’ll know exactly what The Nightmare is about. If you haven’t, you’ll get to discover it in this documentary, featuring interviews with real humans (not actors) who have experienced multiple types of the condition that appears across the world in various cultural guises. Enjoy your smoke sesh with the Hat Man!
An Argentinian import, Terrified is…well, we aren’t actually sure, and that’s probably why it’s so scary. Suffering, loneliness, and the unknown act as magnets for fear. Also, there might be a parallel universe involved.
For introverts, dinner parties— especially dinner parties thrown by your ex— are scary enough. But throw in some weird interpersonal dynamics and a doomsday cult and this contained mystery unravels in some highly disturbing ways.
What to Smoke With Independent Horror
Try: Slymer from Walden, Gelato from Natural Mystic Farms, or a Zkittlez distillate vape cart from Double Delicious.
The Nightmare (2015)
Writing Credit: Erin Elliot 2022