Halloween Movies
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It is sometimes difficult to select a good movie for viewing. Here are some that would be great for a Halloween evening at home or with friends. Use this list to rent a video at your local video store or click on a link to purchase the movie from "Amazon" at a discount. Don't forget to check your local library for any of these movies, they can be a great source for videos.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
All of the Peanuts gang dress up for the enchanting night of Halloween. All, that is, except for Linus, who firmly believes that this year the Great Pumpkin will finally visit his humble pumpkin patch.

Casper (Available in Spanish)
Steven Spielberg produced this live-action feature starring the friendly ghost created in 1940 by Joe Orolio. A ghost therapist and his daughter move into a haunted mansion to sweep out the ghosts so the greedy owners can get a hidden treasure. Casper, who only wants a friend, and his trio of ghastly uncles give everyone a run for their money.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton's stop-motion animated feature finds Pumpkin King Jack Skellington thinking the grass is greener over in Santa Claus's holiday. He marshalls all his goblins and ghouls to take over Christmas, but alas -- poor Jack belongs to Halloween. An amazing visual and musical feast that should be seen at least twice to catch all the kinks and quirks in the nooks and crannies. Academy Award Nominations: Best Visual Effects.

Dr. Seuss - It's Grinch Night!
One cold October night, the town of Whooville is awakened by the Grinch--a terrible apparition with detachable flying eyebrows, glowing yellow eyes, and a penchant for mischief. All of the townspeople are terrified into submission, all that is, except for young Eukariah. In confronting the Grinch, Eukariah learns several important lessons about facing unpleasant facts and fears. (Formerly released as "Halloween Is Grinch Night.")

Casper Meets Wendy (1998)
When evil warlock Desmond Spellman vows to destroy Wendy the Good Little Witch, she and her witless witch aunts hide out at Sunny Brite Resort, where the vacationing Ghostly Trio has been busy scaring up mega-mischief - and making Casper's afterlife miserable. Even though Casper and Wendy are told that ghosts and witches just don't get along, when these two kindred spirits meet, it's the beginning of a boo-tiful friendship. But Desmond is closing in...and time is running out. Now Casper and Wendy must prevent a supernatural showdown between their feuding families in order to defeat Desmond's dastardly plan.

The Witches (1990) (Available in Spanish)
A nine-year-old boy and his grandmother discover adventure when they encounter the Grand High Witch and her diabolical plot to turn all of England's children into mice. Based on the story by Roald Dahl. This was the great Jim Henson's last producer credit.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)
The classic 1961 story by Roald Dahl about a young boy who, by burrowing inside a magical giant peach, escapes from the tyranny of his aunts and travels to New York with his newfound insect friends. The stop-motion animation is supported by the voices of Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves, David Thewlis and Simon Callow. Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score.

Family - Kids over 12

Hocus Pocus (1993) Good, funny family movie.
The Sanderson Sisters are 17th century witches who were conjured up by unsuspecting pranksters in present-day Salem. The key to their immortality involves three children and a talking cat, who also turn out to be their biggest obstacles. Star: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker

Beetlejuice (1988)
The Topper-like ghosts of a young couple hire a sleazy and offensive "bio-exorcist" named Beetlejuice to scare away the obnoxious upscale family who have purchased their home in this delightfully quirky take on the afterlife. Academy Awards: Best Makeup. Star: Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Jones, Winona Ryder

Frankenstein (1931)
Karloff plays Dr. Frankenstein's monster in this early, very loose version of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel. The novel was alternately titled "The Modern Prometheus" and depicted "The Monster" as a Superman. The screenplay of this classic - albeit altered version - was written by Garrett Fort. Sequel: Bride of Frankenstein. Star: Boris Karloff


The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Director: James Whale Star: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Ernest Thesiger, Dwight Frye, O.P. Heggie ... Full Credits Description Related Categories VHS 75 Minutes | Universal Studios Home Video | HiFi Sound Rating: Not Rated Everyday Low Price Was: $14.98 NOW: $12.73 Laserdisc | Universal Studios Home Video Rating: Price: $34.99 Description: In this fine sequel to the classic Frankenstein film (and precursor to The House Of Frankenstein in 1944), Having escaped the fiery castle that threatened to engulf him at the end of the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein, the monster is back. And he's better than ever - more civilized and human. He's even learned to speak a few words. Now that things are finally calm once more, Henry Frankenstein, the monster's creator, tries to put his evil ways behind him. But Dr. Pretorious draws him back into the mad-scientist business by convincing Henry that he knows what the Monster really needs and so the demented doctor creates a mate (Elsa Lanchester) for the monster (Boris Karloff).

Dracula (1931) Rent this one Not easily available
This is the first screen version of Bram Stoker's famous tale based on the smash hit stage production. It launched Lugosi's career in horror movies and invited vampires across Hollywood's threshold forever. Star: Bela Lugosi

The Phantom of the Opera (1962)
Produced at the famed "Hammer Films," in England, this ultra-gothic version of the "Phantom" story features Herbert Lom in the title role. When inexplicable mishaps occur backstage at a London opera house, it is thought that evil spirits haunt the place. However, a tragic accident during an opening night performance reveals that a mad and hideous creature, the Phantom, is to blame. Then the Phantom violently drags the opera singer Christine backstage into his dank and underground shelter. The poor deformed creature falls in love with the beauty, and decides, with his exceptional musical talents, to make her a star. But when she falls into mortal danger, the Phantom can only save her life if he sacrifices his own.

The Uninvited (1944 )
One of the rare Hollywood ghost stories that does not cop out with a "logical" ending. In fact, the film has more in common with British ghost tales of the period, in that the characters calmly accept spectral visitations as though they were everyday occurrences. Ray Milland and his sister Ruth Hussey buy a house on the Cornish seacoast, never suspecting that it is a "bad" house, subject to haunting. Before long, Milland and Hussey are visited by Gail Russell, whose late mother, it is said, is the house ghost. It is further supposed that the ghost means to do Russell harm. Russell's grandfather Donald Crisp is close-mouthed on the issue, but it is clear he knows something that he isn't telling. Sure enough, there is a secret to the manor: it is inhabited by not one but two ghosts, one of whom is merely trying to shield Russell from harm. Once the film's Deep Dark Secret is revealed (courtesy of a virtuoso "mad speech" by supporting actress Cornelia Otis Skinner), Milland is able to single-handedly exorcise the estate and claim Gail as his bride. Based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle (with a few uncredited "lifts" from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca), The Uninvited remains one of the spookiest Old Dark House films ever made, even after years of inundation by computer-generated special effects. Less effective was the 1945 sequel The Unseen, which starts well but degenerates into a substandard murder mystery.

Alfred Hitchcock Classics

Psycho (1960)
Norman Bates, the tremulous manager of a dilapidated roadside hotel and an amateur taxidermist with a predilection for birds, suffers under the domination of his "mother," who rather savagely disapproves of fast women. Generally considered the progenitor of the horror genre, and an unmitigated masterpiece. Based on the eponymous novel by Robert Bloch. Director: Alfred Hitchcock Star: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

The Birds (1963)
Hitchcock, the master of suspense, ventures into the realm of horror with the depiction of a world in which nature can go suddenly, terrifyingly mad. When Hedren appears in the idyllic coastal village of Bodega Bay with two lovebirds in tow, the local birds inexplicably begin to wage an all-out war on humans. Hitchcock's follow-up to Psycho tops even that landmark for shock value. Loosely based on a Daphne du Maurier short story.

 

 

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