Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spooktacular Movies

If you have children in your home or you would prefer to forego all the blood, gore and fear factor of most horror flicks, I have put together a list of 15 Halloween worthy movies that are more likely to make you laugh, smile, or sing along than scream and there's something for most age groups.  I have tried to pick a good balance of movies that contain a Halloween theme, - witches, monsters, ghosts, all things spooky and evil.

So, here's my list of family friendly Spooktacular movies for your Halloween viewing pleasure, in no particular order. - Keep in mind that not all of these movies are suitable for very young children.

Monsters, Inc [G] 2001

Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley find his world disrupted.

Corpse Bride [PG] 2005

When an arranged marriage between Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglot reaches the rehearsals, Victor starts to worry. Spending time alone in the forest, Victor decides to practice on his own. Everything seems to go well, until he accidentally puts the ring upon the hand of a corpse. Before he knows it, Victor is in the land of dead and now has a corpse bride. While everyone worries about who Victoria will marry in the land of the living, Victor desperately tries to find a way to get back.

Ghostbusters [PG] 1984

Three odd-ball scientists get kicked out of their cushy positions at a university in New York City where they studied the occult. They decide to set up shop in an old firehouse and become Ghostbusters, trapping  ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through the city, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters are called on to save the Big Apple. This film is a timeless cult classic.

Hocus Pocus [PG] 1993

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play three sisters who are brought back to life 300 years after being convicted of witchcraft at the Salem witch trials. Their plans to take revenge on society and achieve immortality are thwarted by a group of teens and a 300 year old cat.

The Monster Squad [PG-13] 1987

A group of adolescent monster movie enthusiasts form a club that meets in a treehouse. When Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman are joined by Gill-Man in the search for a magic amulet, the boys form the Monster Squad to battle the forces of evil. The boys get unexpected help from Frankenstein when the monster grows tired of being continually bossed around by Dracula

Sleepy Hollow [R] 1999

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.  Another Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. (Note:  This one has a R rating for its violence content - people are beheaded you know - and for some sexual references.)

Beetlejuice [PG] 1988

After Barbara and Adam are killed in a car crash, they find themselves trapped as ghosts in their beautiful New England farmhouse. Their peace is disrupted when a yuppie family, the Deetzs, buy their house. They are too nice and harmless as ghosts and all their efforts to scare the Deetzs away were unsuccessful. They eventually turn to another ghost ‘Beetlejuice’ for help. Another Tim Burton film starring Geena Davis and Michael Keaton. (Note: Just as a warning, Beetlejuice drops the "F" bomb in this movie so you may not want your young children to watch.)

Something Wicked This Way Comes [PG] 1983

In a small anywhere town in any state in America, two young boys- quiet Will Halloway and somewhat rebellious Jim Nightshade enjoy the ever-shortening days of autumn. When the boys hear about a strange traveling carnival from a lightning rod salesman, they decide to see what it is all about-but Will is fearful, as most carnivals end their tours after Labor Day. When the ominous Mr. Dark, the Illustrated Man, rides into town on a dark midnight, setting up his massive carnival in a matter of seconds, the boys are both thrilled and terrified. A great film by Ray Bradbury.

The Witches [PG] 1990

A young boy, recently orphaned, is taken to England by his grandmother. At a hotel in which they are staying, a group of witches have gathered to prepare a plot to rid the world of all children. This movie is based on the wonderful book by Roald Dahl and stars Anjelica Huston and Rown Atkinson. This is a film that the kids will definitely love. This film was produced by Jim Henson.

Nightmare Before Christmas [PG] 1993

Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween — but alas, they can’t get it quite right.  (Note: I know, it says Christmas right there in the title, but it's Tim Burton, the king of spooky, plus its Jack Skellington the pumpkin king of Halloween Town.)

The Wizard of Oz [G] 1939

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home, along the way she encounters witches, flying monkeys, little people, plus a singing and dancing menagerie made up of a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion… it’s a classic that seems pretty fitting for Halloween.

Labyrinth [PG] 1986

15-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth within the set time frame.  Stars David Bowie as the Goblin King and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah.

Monster House [PG] 2006

Although no adults will believe them, three children realize a neighbor's house is really a monster. They must find a way to stop the house and save the neighborhood.  (Note: Even though this is an animated film, it may not be suitable for very young children.)

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown [G] 1966

This classic "Peanuts" tale focuses on the thumb-sucking, blanket-holding Linus, and his touching faith in the "Great Pumpkin." When Linus discovers that no one else believes in the creature, he sets out to prove that the Pumpkin's no myth by spending the night alone in a pumpkin patch.

Gremlins [PG] 1984

When a man brings home an adorable creature from Chinatown as a Christmas present for his son Billy, the shopkeeper's sage advice -- no midnight snacks, no water, mood lighting only -- goes unheeded. As a result, devilish green creatures with a million vices take over the small town on Christmas Eve.  (Note: Even though this is set during the Christmas season, it has plenty of monsters to make it Halloween worthy.)

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