When you think of Halloween movies you probably often think of buckets and buckets of blood, maybe the trope of having a woman in a state of undress fleeing an unrelenting killer. And that would be fair. However it is important to remember that children are often involved in Halloween, in fact many can be seen trick or treating on Halloween afternoon because their parents are afraid when will happen at night. While the older fanboy or girl may find that incredibly silly, or a damning state of the world today I think it is oddly appropriate to teach children to fear the night on Halloween. I’m willing to bet you can even think of a few movies with that tagline. So with the kids in mind, or perhaps an adult who wishes to avoid buckets and buckets of blood I’ve chosen four flicks to put you in the Halloween mood that are a tad more palatable to those with more sensitive tastes.
Coraline the 2009 stop motion animated flick based upon the terrific novel by Neil Gaiman is a masterpiece of dark fantasy. Director Henry Selick of Nightmare Before Christmas fame wrote the screenplay for this story of a young girl who stumbles into an alternative reality that seems to be a utopia, but soon turns into a nightmare. Many of the images from this flick are straight up creepy, and Gaiman’s novel is faithfully adapted including enough dead children to match Nightmare on Elm Street part 4.
Barry Sonnefeld’s Addam’s Family feels like a Tim Burton flick and with a screenplay by Burton veterans Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson there is a reason for this. These writers worked on Edward Scissorhands, Bealtejuice and the Corpse Bride among others. With dark creepy visuals, energetic camerawork and a nonstop barrage of dark puns this is a movie that is perfect for the Halloween Season. Any weakness the film’s script or director has is made up for by an A list cast willing to sink their teeth into their respective part with gusto.
BeetleJuice, BeetleJuice, BeetleJuice. Ah Tim Burton how I miss your creative peak. Michael Keaton steals the show here in a few scenes as the titular bio-exorcist in this mad cap comedy. While there aren’t many laugh out loud moments, the movie is just fun and works as a funhouse version of Burton’s mind. Revolting madcap ghost, spooks and specters jump out at you from around each corner, but we know we’re in no real danger.
The scariest movie on our list, It was a two part TV event that aired on network TV in 1990. Based on the 1986 tome by Stephen King, this sanitized for broadcast television version is a great movie for younger audiences, as well as those who are just looking to avoid more of the extreme gore that goes hand in hand with the season. There are many scenes that are genuinely frightening, while the climax is underwhelming and thus makes sure it is more appropriate for skittish audiences. Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the killer clown is astonishing, turning the figure in a TV movie into a cult horror icon for decades. In fact September’s Horror Block from Nerd Block had a very cool Pennywise T shirt.
So what do you think, what’s your favorite tame Halloween Flick
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