Paranormal Activity 2 opens in theaters tomorrow, and that got us thinking about all the movies that use first-person footage to add realism to horror. When done well, it turns a movie that wouldn’t have been all that scary into something that makes you jump out of your seat. But not me. I’m too manly for that.
Posts tagged ‘Halloween’
Because we love Halloween so much around here, it’s become a longstanding (two-year) tradition to have at least one horror-related post each week of October. To kick it off, I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects: THE LIIIIIVIIIING DEEEAAADDDD!
I think about zombies only a little bit more around Halloween than I do the rest of the year. And much of that thinking revolves around how I will not only survive, but thrive, in the zombie-dominated future to come. Here’s why: Read More
I was extremely impressed by the awesomeness of the costumes submitted by you, America. Turns out you people are pretty crafty. Alas, we could only pick four winners. Here they are:
Thanks to everyone who submitted pictures! Don’t forget to check out the whole album. Stay tuned for more contests and other chances to win desirable goods and services.
We’ve been talking a lot about scary movies and games for Halloween, but I haven’t really talked about stuff you can watch with the whole family. Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly movies for this time of year. I’ve divided them up into things appropriate for younger children, and those you should probably save until they’re a little older.
Appropriate For All
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I think this is as good as it gets when looking for things to watch with your kids around Halloween. I grew up watching this every year, and still try to catch it whenever I can. In fact, it’s on this very night, at 8pm Eastern Time on ABC.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
I hesitated to put this on my list, only because I didn’t want to get that “What’s This?” song in my head. Since just thinking about the song lodged it in my head, I guess it doesn’t matter.
Ernest Scared Stupid
Yeah, that’s right, I’m a fan of Ernest P Worrell. And while other Ernest aficionados will tell you this is not the best of Jim Varney’s oeuvre, it’s still good watching. Know what I mean?
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
This scared me as a kid, but not so much that I didn’t watch it all the time.
Fun fact: we used to have a giant (I wanted to say “life-sized”, but that doesn’t make much sense when discussing a cartoon character) statue of Sully in our lobby. It was awesome. Then, one day, it disappeared, to the dismay of all. Especially to the dismay of me, because I wanted to steal him and make him the centerpiece of my cubicle.
Appropriate for Older Kids
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
If you have a child of a certain age, you probably own this movie already. And the other movies. And the costumes. And the toys. And the cookbooks. But it still bears mentioning, because it really is great to watch with the family.
The Monster Squad
I alluded to this in my Top 10 Movie Monsters post. It’s a fun movie, and if your child happens to pick up some valuable lessons to help defend your home against the inevitable zombie uprising, then so much the better.
This is not just a good movie to watch with the family — it also happens to be one of my favorite movies, period. I’m extremely excited that Ghostbusters 3 is in the works.
This movie has Anjelica Huston as a villain, creatures by Jim Henson, and is based on a Roald Dahl novel. What more could you ask for?
I loved this movie when I was younger, and it still holds up now that I’m an adult. It’s a perfect mixture of humor for (older) kids and adults.
Obviously, all our scary movies are very popular this month. Flicks featuring ghosts, ghouls, slashers and assorted monsters are flying off the shelves. But those aren’t the movies that scare me. I’m not going to be kept up at night worrying about being haunted by spirits or attacked by a mask-wearing psycho.
No, the only two things that really scare me in movies are clowns (also in real life, because clowns are just plain terrifying) and creepy little kids. Since there are a lot more movies with creepy children, let’s talk about those.
I love children, so there’s no reason kids should scare me in movies. But you put a little girl in an old timey dress and have her talk in a distant voice in a horror movie, and you’ve freaked me out. It doesn’t make much sense, but there it is.
Here are some of the creepy little kid movies I’m talking about:
Offending Creepy Kid: Samara Morgan
Offending Creepy Kid: Anne
Offending Creepy Kid: Carol Anne Freeling
Offending Creepy Kid: Ghost twins (twins are also kind of creepy in general, even the non-ghost kind)
The Sixth Sense
Offending Creepy Kid: Cole Sear
Offending Creepy Kid: Regan MacNeil
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Offending Creepy Kid: Girls singing the Freddy song
Offending Creepy Kid: That evil boy spirit thing
Offending Creepy Kid: Damien
Children of the Corn
Offending Creepy Kid: All of them
Village of the Damned
Offending Creepy Kid: Demon children
The Good Son
Offending Creepy Kid: Henry Evans
Offending Creepy Kid: The Olsen twins
So what scares you? Tell us by taking our Halloween Poll.
Since it’s October, and Zombieland just released in theaters (haven’t seen it yet, but really want to), I decided to go through my top ten movie monsters. I’ve also included some favorite movies for each monster. I’m counting down this time, because that always adds to the suspense.
This guy doesn’t really scare me all that much, but I’m including him because of his appearance in The Monster Squad, which is a fantastic movie.
Favorite examples: Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the
Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us
9) Giant Ape
If people would quit bringing enormous, powerful apes back from the darkest jungles, giant ape shenanigans would pretty much dry up altogether. Think about that the next time you want to bring back a massive gorilla on your next trip abroad.
8) Oversized, Often Radioactive Things
The fear of atomic doom in the 40s and 50s led to some great giant-things-running-amok movies, including the Japanese kaiju films.
7) Various Sea Beasts
The ocean is already pretty scary on account of its vastness and tempestuousness. Then there are the sometimes-vicious sea beasts we know about, like sharks and giant squids. And dolphins. I know everyone loves them because they are cute and friendly, but they are too cunning — I smell a trap. Then, of course, there are all the creatures we don’t know about yet, like Abyss aliens. That’s why I pass on swimming in the ocean.
Favorite examples: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Abyss (bonus: they’re also aliens), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Jaws, Behemoth, The Sea Monster (also an Oversized, Radioactive Thing), It Came from Beneath the Sea
I’m thinking more about alien invasion movies on this one, rather than movies set in space. But I’m including Alien and Aliens because they are awesome movies and the aliens are fierce (although I tend to be more of a Predator man, myself).
5) Frankenstein-type Monster
Sure, they’re reanimated corpses that possess preternatural strength, but I find them to be the least cool of the “major” movie monsters. I think I could take one.
For centuries, philosophers and other great thinkers have pondered and debated this question: why are mummies not as cool as zombies? They’re similar, after all. I’m no Kant, but I think it’s because there’s no danger of mummification spreading like there is with zombification. It’s usually just the one mummy you’ve got to deal with.
I didn’t realize how many great werewolf movies there were until I started working on this post. I mean, Teen Wolf alone puts werewolves in the top 5.
Like many people, I’m getting a little tired of the current vampire craze sweeping the nation. Especially in light of the fact that those things in Twilight are totally not vampires. But vampires are undeniably cool — they live forever, they can sometimes fly, they have superhuman strength and speed, they’re popular with the ladies, and they often have sweet accents.
Favorite examples: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Salem’s Lot, From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade, The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Underworld, Fright Night, Dracula, Nosferatu
Zombies, to me, are the ultimate movie monster. Some of it has to do with how awesomely, gratuitously gory zombie movies can be. But I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that while the idea of fighting against a world-ravaging plague of flesh-eating zombies can be a little scary, it’s pretty cool at the same time.
I’m not saying that I wouldn’t be a little sad about the destruction of life as we know it; I’m just saying that when the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes, you could do worse than having me on your team. If video games are any indication (and we all know they are), I’m a zombie-killing machine.
Favorite examples: Night of the Living Dead, The Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombie, Re-Animator, Planet Terror, Lifeforce (also features space vampires!), Dead Snow, Dead Alive, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, I Was a Zombie for the FBI