Friday, October 28, 2011

Top 5 kiddie-friendly scary movies Mr. 7 and I are considering for our Halloween movie marathon

List by Tosca

"Any horror element is as much psychological as special effects."
- Christopher Eccleston (who is, incidentally, Mr. 7's 2nd most favourite Doctor Who)

Every Halloween I stage a scary movie marathon. This year I had tentatively planned a gore-nography fest with, well, probably very little in the way of plot but bucket loads of blood and guts splattered all over the screen. If there happens to be a little romance along the way then so much the better (because people fall in love over splattered brains, right?). And if there's no romance I'd at least like for there to be one or two survivors who walk away from their experience a little wiser, a little stronger, and probably somewhat traumatised for the rest of their cinematic lives. I've had to change my plans slightly to take Mr. 7's tastes into account because he'll be joining me for the first part of the journey and then, after his bedtime, I'll be finishing it on my own. I've got 5 movies lined up that he has never seen before and so, later this week, we'll haggle over which one (or two) he could/should watch. There's no rhyme or reason to my selection except that they're a combination of movies that I've enjoyed in previous years with the older nephews or that are more (or a little bit less) appropriate for his age. He's a Doctor Who fan (oh! the tears we cried together during Tennant's The End of Time) so he's seen quite an array of scary-ish creatures already, but by the same token I don't want to psychologically scar him with something like Sleepy Hollow, either (even though I *loved* that). I think I've settled on a good mix, although I won't know for sure until the actual movie night.

P.S. We've already seen Coraline (we loved it), Monster House (I don't mind admitting that even I found this a bit scary), Monsters Inc. (laughed ourselves silly - sillier?) and pretty much every other scary-ish animated movie.

Mostly ghostly [DVD videorecording] / directed by Richard Correll
Eleven-year-old Max thinks his life could not get any worse. He is teased by his classmates because he's smart. He meets nasty slime-producing demon Phears and finds himself protecting the sibling ghosts of the children who used to live in his house. Rated PG - Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers. Some scenes may scare very young children.

The witches [DVD videorecording] / based on the book by Roald Dahl and directed by Nicolas Roe
A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice. Starring Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher. Rated PG - Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers.

Anjelica Huston as the grand high witch was so fabulously creepy/scary. And that scene where the witches pull their human guises off and reveal themselves to be every grotesque nightmare a child could have about witches? AWE. SOME. Is it ghoulish to admit that I can't wait to see how Mr. 7 reacts...?

Scooby-Doo! and the goblin king [DVD videorecording] : original movie / written, produced and directed by Joe Sichta
What a predicament! The Amazing Krudsky, a failed carnival magician, steals the light magic from Princess Fairy Willow, and Scooby-Doo and Shaggy must stop him or everyone will be turned into horrible Halloween monsters! Our heroes board the Grim Reaper Railroad into the fantastic world of Halloween Land to retrieve the powerful Goblin Scepter from the Goblin King before midnight. Along the way, they encounter the infamous Headless Horseman, the helpful Jack O'Lantern and a frisky broomstick that takes them on the ride of their afterlives. Featuring the voices of Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Mindy Cohn, James Belushi, Lauren Bacall. Rated G - Suitable for general audiences.

Confession: This movie is here for selfish reasons. I'm a diehard Scooby fan from way back and I really want Mr. 7 to be one, too.

Tim Burton's The nightmare before Christmas [DVD videorecording] / based on a story and characters by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween -- but alas, they can't get it quite right. Rated PG: Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers.

Probably, at his age, Mr. 7 won't admire the visual impact of this film the way I want him to, and he may not appreciate Elfman's music and lyrics the way I wish he could, but I've got it on the list, anyway. I live in hope eternal.

Hocus pocus [DVD videorecording] / directed Kenny Ortega
Three outlandishly wild witches return from 17th century Salem for a night of zany fun and comic chaos. After they're accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters, the tricky 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth - but first they must outwit three feisty kids who are determined to foil their scheme! Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw.

LOVED this film the very first time I saw it way back in the early 1990s. I thought it was hilarious. Three generations of our family have enjoyed this film - my parents, my siblings, and the two older nephews - so I really hope this movie wins as Mr. 7's end choice. Really hope it does. Like, really.

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