Quintessentially Fall

Here’s a list of films, music, and books to bring you fall vibes

Simon McKean, Student Life Editor

With the first tumbling leaves in the past, autumn is well on its way. As the scent of cinnamon and clove fills the air and the year draws to a close, many are looking for festive ways to kick off their fall experience. 

Below is a list of media to keep the average autumnal admirer busy through the season.


Movies often seek to capture the essence of fall on the silver screen, and yet successes are rare to find.

One such fall flick is Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009). The all-ages film is a beautiful claymation collage of autumn tones, full of quirky characters, Andersons’ famous muted tones and a laid-back track to match. 

The cult classic was given a 93% by Rotten tomatoes, and features a wholly loaded cast to boot. The lineup features George Clooney (Mr. Fox), Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson and more.

And if a series is more to taste, Cartoon Network’s “Over The Garden Wall” matches the pure fall vibes and charming characters of “Mr. Fox” while adding a level of foreboding and dread impressive for a TV-PG show.

The less family-friendly side of autumnal film, horror, can be equally tricky to find when hankering for falling leaves and cozy scenes.

Steven King’s “Pet Sematary” (2019) is that perfect culmination of the two tropes. The film takes place around a cozy cabin in Maine, featuring chilly hues and outdoorsy settings alongside its horrifying twists.

The horror of the novel’s film-adaptation is firstly psychological, focusing on the trauma of death, with a smattering of thrilling jump scares thrown in. 

But make no mistake, this lack of stereotype isn’t a reason to discount Steven King’s terror nor existential dread.


A surefire way to usher in the chilly weather will always be throwing on a festive record but, with the limitless options, finding that perfect playlist is no small task.

One seasonal stand-by is Nat King Cole. Whether listening to his aptly titled “Autumn Leaves” or ever-popular “The Very Thought of You”, the mid-century jazzist’s soothing voice and smooth piano never cease to bring the warm and cozy feelings associated with the genre and season alike.

What’s more, his extensive discography is available on Spotify, and is more than enough to fulfill your melodic needs until winter comes.

If jazz isn’t your thing, folk can capture the essence of the season just as well.

Artists Simon and Garfunkel and Hozier are two solid choices, with laid-back, husky vocals and fantastic acoustic guitar that evoke the simple festivity of this time of year.


For those looking to solidly settle into the fall feels, a good book to read while watching the falling leaves is the perfect pick-up.

The quintessential autumn novel is Terry Pratchett’s “Wee Free Men”, which calls upon Gaelic folktale to create a ghoulish fable situated in a whimsical woodland.

Similar in tone to Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book”, the novel also boasts its relatively short length and clear style for those busy this fall.

But as part of the 41 book “Discworld” series, “Wee Free Men”’s brevity doesn’t equate to shallow writing.

For those seeking a longer read, the world of “It” by King, features not only a few great movies but also a riveting book series, at least for those undisturbed by their 1,000+ pages.

The fall season is often fleeting. 

So while the pleasant weather, cozy decor and nostalgic scents remain, leaning into the festivity however possible might not be such a bad idea. Regardless of your avenue of choice, any of the above autumnal examples are perfect to do just that.