I have always loved Halloween. Dressing up as a character/creature and chasing the treats of the neighborhoods of my childhood still brings warm feelings and chilling memories. I have never been into the morbid, bloody, evil, demonic side of Halloween creatures; but rather, I see the monsters and villains more Disney-ish, and Groovie Goolies-esk.
Pretending to be someone or something I probably could never be has sparked my imagination and given me a wonderful world of make-believe. For the past 26 years of being a teacher, I still get to live in the land of “I am the dread pirate Roberts,” or “an Air Force fighter pilot” or “a piggy-back-rider.” What to be this year?
This time of the year I start seeing lists such as: “Best Halloween Costumes”, “Best Halloween Candy”, and “Best Halloween Movies”. I look at these lists to see if I agree with the post. I never like the bloody, evil, looking costumes. I love chocolate, and Nerds. (As a kid, the wax skeletons with the juice inside were pretty cool.) And then there are the Halloween Movies: The list is long and full of scary, creepy, and just yuckkkkky movies. I don’t like yucky. I haven’t seen many of these (R rated) movies and will avoid them. One I didn’t avoid was The Omen. (I don’t like satanic movies). In The Omen, every time a character died, a raven was present. The next morning as I cleaned a swimming pool, there, sitting on the back fence, a raven. I didn’t have the best day.
So, I tend to like the less gruesome; a bit scary, suspenseful, and a lot of funny in my Halloween movies. I love Hocus Pocus, but it is on every Halloween movie list. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, isn’t a movie, but it looks, feels, sounds, and even smells like Halloween and is on everyone’s list. Monsters, Inc, Casper Meets Wendy, all the Harry Potter movies, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, make for a safe, fun-filled night of Halloween Movie party watching.
But, there are many other creepy-crawly movies that seem to be hidden, waiting to jump out and scare the heebie-jeebies out of the peaceful, popcorn-eating, couch dweller; and, without the R rating. I don’t find these on many lists if at all.
The Lost Spooky Halloween Thrillers, (Creepy music begins here.)
The number one Halloween movie that no one has heard of is “When Good Ghouls Go Bad.” Written by spooky writer R.L. Stine and with the great Christopher “Doc Brown” Lloyd playing the main zombie character Uncle Fred, this movie is great for all ages. Fire up the popcorn popper, put ice in the cups, dim the lights and enjoy.
The number two Halloween movie no one is talking about is “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” Especially with all the Clown sightings, one would think this movie would be referenced on more movie lists. This is not a serious movie, which the title infers. But, not too bad for the Halloween movie seeker able to not take things too seriously. (How to get rid of the Evil Clowns? Punch ’em in the nose.)
Number three: “Maggie.” I just saw this movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a gentle dad caring for his daughter that becomes a cannibalistic zombie after being infected by a global disease. This is not a funny movie; neither, a World War Z; but rather, an emotional character study, the sad side of the zombie apocalypse.
Number four: “Tremors.” Get your laugh on and run for your life. The “wormoirds” are here.
Number five: “Something Wicked this Way Comes.” The darkest of dark Disney movies…good acting, good story (Ray Bradbury), mysterious, ominous, and intense. A good spooky story for kids but not too scary. Thought provoking for adults. And what a great title…Listen for it being sung in the Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban, Double Trouble. I wonder if Shakespeare would have liked this movie?
Number Six: “The Watcher in The Woods.” Yep! another well done spooky Disney film. Watch out for the girl in the mirror…many chills from this movie. And is there any one creepier than Betty Davis…something about her eyes.
Number Seven: “Duel.” How can a movie with only one actor, unless one counts the crazy never-seen truck driver, be so on-the-edge-of-the-seat suspenseful? Mann vs. Machine? One of Steven Spielberg’s first films.
Number Eight: “The Night Stalker.” A 1970s made for TV movie, about vampires in Las Vegas. This became a TV series that scared me to death as a kid growing up in Arizona.
Number Nine: “The Ghost and Mr.Chicken.” A 1966 Don Knotts’ movie, in fact, his first after leaving Mayberry, USA. Not gruesome, hardly scary, a bit suspenseful, and very funny.
Number 10: I am not sure yet. I want to watch the following five movies that I haven’t seen, but look like some winners. I can’t wait. Cold drink, chips and dip, (maybe popcorn) and let me see what brings the goosebumps.