Ten Halloween films for gentler souls
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media October 25, 2012 10:22AM
Linus (from left), Sally and Snoopy star in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
Updated: March 22, 2013 5:25PM
When I told Wendy Fox Weber that my favorite scary movie was “Halloweentown,” I thought she was going to fire me.
She didn’t. But she did bar me from writing any scary-movie related story, ever. But since I wanted in on the fun, I decided to put together a list of suggestions for us ‘fraidy cats who want to watch a Halloween movie to get into the “spirit” of the holiday, but don’t necessarily want to spend two hours hiding behind our fingers singing “la la la” while the evil clown bludgeons the hapless teenagers.
So here’s 10 suggestions for some movies to check out that are light on the frights but heavy on the fun. I’m going to go watch “Halloweentown.”
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1969): The season isn’t complete until Linus waits up for the Great Pumpkin. Sally also teaches us an important lesson in consumerism: “Trick or treats come only once a year, and I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!”
“The Addams Family” (1991): The family that slays (with laughter) together stays together, as proved by this all-star cast. Known for the line, “Are they made with real Girl Scouts?”
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001): Halloween has never looked as magical as it did at Hogwarts. Admit it — you’d trade in your kid’s trick-or-treat candy for a goblet of pumpkin juice in the Great Hall, too.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993): Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town. It’s the best of both holidays with some catchy songs thrown in.
“Hocus Pocus” (1993): Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as three witches brought back to life on Halloween night after 300 years. Three kids and a talking cat have to put a stop to them.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1949): This Disney classic cartoon, narrated by Bing Crosby, is both funny and spooky — what really did happen to that ladies’ man, Ichabod Crane?
“Monster House” (2006): Everyone knows of an Old Creepy House that they won’t go near. Three friends find out on Halloween night why you REALLY don’t want to mess with the one in their neighborhood. (Even though this film is animated, it barely made the cut because it is actually pretty scary.)
“Beetlejuice” (1988): A happily dead couple have their dream home fixed up — and then humans move in and can’t be scared off. So they hire Beetlejuice, “the ghost with the most.”
“Twitches”: (2005) Tia and Tamera Mowry star as twin witches who meet for the first time on their 21st birthday, and are charged with saving the dimension in which their mother still lives.
“Ghostbusters” (1984): “Shh! Do you smell that?”