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  • Writer's pictureLaura Botten

Five Gritty Titles to Consume for Halloween


It's the time of year for creepy ghost stories, revealing the skeletons in your closet, and feeling the hair on the back of your neck stand up.


This collection of five movies, books, and TV series will send a chill down your spine just in time for Halloween. And? They're all Italy-themed!


Check out these gritty Italian titles... Let's all go to "Gritaly!"


1. My Brilliant Friend


Whether you pick up the book by Elena Ferrante or stream the HBO Max series, this story is set in the grittiest of Italian towns: Naples. It follows two childhood friends Elena and Lila, though really they're more "frenemies" at times. Violence, poverty, and fascism are in the bones of this story that will have you under its thumb from the very beginning.


2. The Talented Mr. Ripley


A book (by Patricia Highsmith) and a film (starring Matt Damon), fall under Tom Ripley's dangerous spell while his obsession with old friend Dickie takes him to a seaside Italian village where things quickly spiral out of control. Obsession, violence, and deceit will send a chill up your spine.


3. A Death in Italy


This book by John Follain covers the controversial Amanda Knox case, who, in 2007, was accused of the brutal murder of her roommate while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. This true crime case will haunt you for days to come.


4. The Last Paradiso


This Netflix film is set in 1950's Italy, when a forbidden love affair leads to a brutal murder. So brutal, in fact, I had to stop watching and resume the film a few days later. Needless to say, some scenes aren't for the faint of heart.


5. Beneath a Scarlet Sky


If historical fiction is more your speed, this book by Mark Sullivan set during World War Two is based on the true story of an Italian teenager who joins an underground railroad to help Jews escape to freedom.


Have you seen or read any of these? Would you add anything to this creepy "Gritaly" list? Share in the comments below!


Laura Botten is a voice actor and producer who is currently working on her first book, a novel set in Rome. Get a free "Taste of Italy" when you sign up for her monthly newsletter here.



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