Halloween Movies

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When I was a very little kid, I had a nightmare after a scary movie. I don’t remember the movie, but I remember the feeling of waking up scared. I think that was the moment I decided not to watch scary movies. For Halloween, I like movies with a little bit of scariness balanced by a lot of humor, like Monsters Inc. Many families have family movie nights during the Halloween season when several generations enjoy good scary times together. Ask your parents about their memories of Halloween movies they watched. Most of all, remember: if there is something on the screen that is truly scaring or bothering you, tell your nearby grownup! You can leave the room, turn on a light, close your eyes. Halloween is about fun.         

Harry Potter movies are good for a Halloween movie gathering with tales of wizards and magic. Some of my year-round favorites are fun for the Halloween season, including the work of one of my favorite movie geniuses, Hayao Miyazaki. There are supernatural themes to several movies from Miyazaki. Spirits and witches and demons are common figures in Miyazaki films. His films are also full of imaginative fascinating flying machines. For Halloween, my favorites are:

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989): 13 year-old trainee witch Kiki takes her black cat Jiji with her to study her craft for a year, as is the custom. She opens a delivery business for a kind baker who is expecting a baby. This beautifully photographed film is perfect for younger ones.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004): The Witch of the Waste casts a spell on young Sophie, making an old woman. She takes a job as housekeeper for the mysterious wizard Howl who lives with his apprentice Markl and the fire demon Calcifer. This is a tale of magic, family, and the stupidity of war. It’s wonderful.

Some families have adopted the tradition of watching Hocus Pocus for Halloween. I love this tale of three witch sisters who return to life on Halloween and cause havoc in a small American town. After you’ve watched Hocus Pocus, check out a Revolutionary War ghost story starring Abbott & Costello:

The Time of Their Lives (1946): In 1780, Horatio Prim has a letter from George Washington granting him permission to marry his true love, the maid of a rich man. He and a young woman overhear a plot by traitorous Benedict Arnold, but before they are able to reveal the plot, they are mistakenly killed by colonial soldiers and their spirits are doomed to roam the land where they died. That’s where this tale of history and ghosts begins. Where it ends is modern times (in 1946) and the quest for Washington’s lost letter.

I am a sucker for a talking cat, and my favorite talking cat movie is perfect for Halloween.

Coraline(2009): Young Coraline Jones and her parents move to the mysterious Pink Palace Apartments in rainy Ashland, Oregon. She receives a doll that resembles her and discovers an alternate reality to her unhappy life with her distracted parents. There are some graphic scenes of monstrous bug-like characters around “The Other Mother.” 

The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993): This favorite of the Kids Corner staff is the animated tale of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town. Despite its title, this movie revolves around Halloween.


 Some family favorite movies include Halloween scenes linking them to this time of year.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944): My favorite family movie includes a trick or treat scene where youngest sister Tootie declares “I’m the most horrible!!” She is.

ET: the Extra Terrestrial (1982): Halloween becomes a plot point in this tale of Elliot, his siblings and the unusual creature they try to return to his home. Look for a kid dressed as Yoda!

Read 736 times Last modified on Tuesday, 02 October 2018 20:29
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