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Friday, 20 October 2017

6 Halloween Films For Those Who Don't Like Horror

I am a massive wimp when it comes to horror films. I scare so so easily, the stories play on my mind for about a million years afterwards and I simply don't get any enjoyment from them. I can understand the appeal of them, but horror films are not for me.

It seems to be a modern tradition now that when Halloween rolls and you're not at a party, you stick a scary movie on. So what happens when you want to get into the spirit of things, but you don't like horror films? I've put together a list of films suitable for watching at Halloween, but not likely to scare you out of your pants.

THE 'BURBS (1989)

This is probably in my list of top 10 films of all time. Starring Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher, they play a couple who live in your stereotypical white picket fence Americana suburban neighbourhood. The Klopeks move into the street, and are deemed as odd by the neighbours as they very much keep to themselves and at night odd noises come out of the basement of their suitably creepy looking house. When their elderly neighbour Walt goes missing, Tom Hanks and two of his friends suspect the Klopeks have something to do with it and of course antics and shenanigans ensue. I find this film just the right amount of over-the-top and very funny, and the ending is absolutely brilliant. Everyone should watch this film at least once.


OF COURSE HOCUS POCUS IS ON THIS LIST. This absolute classic is my own personal Halloween tradition. Put on my cosiest comfy clothes, stick Hocus Pocus on and eat the leftover sweets from the trick-or-treat bowl. For those who haven't seen the film, the Sanderson sisters (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Njimi) are witches living in 1693 Salem, Massachusetts whose intention is to suck the souls out of young children in order to remain young forever. They get caught and are executed for practising witchcraft. Fast forward 300 years and Max (Omri Katz) inadvertently resurrects the Sandersons whilst attempting to impress his crush, Alison, on Halloween, of course. Antics and shenanigans ensue (dontcha just love antics and shenanigans?). It's a great film that you can watch with kids about and will get you into the Halloween spirit whether you like it or not.


1993 was a good year for Halloween films wasn't it? When talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas the question always seems to pop up: do you watch it at Halloween? Or Christmas? The answer is both!  The stories revolves around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who finds himself uninspired by the same Halloween celebrations his townfolk hold year after year. He accidently stumbles upon Christmas Town, and falls in love with the idea of bringing Christmas to Halloween Town. But, of course, they struggle to get it quite right. Although it's somewhat darker than your typical animation, it's still quite magical and the score to this film is simply outstanding. Once you've heard "What's This?" you will sing along with it every time thereafter.


In Scary Movie you're essentially learning the plots to Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer without spooking yourself. This style of comedy may not be for everyone - it can get very crude at time - but it's certainly a lot of fun watching the cast work through the tropes of late 90s/early 00s teenage slasher flicks. From the typically dumb teenage characters, to the victims blatantly making stupid decisions that in turn cause their demise, they play on every trope going. I haven't watched this for some years, and there is part of me that wonders if maybe it's a product of its time given all the pop culture references that are in there, but I have fond memories of watching it and I think if you're aged 25+ you'll likely appreciate what they're getting at.


An animation much in the same vein as The Nightmare Before Christmas, although it is slightly more creepy. Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved into an old, rickety house with her parents and like many kids, she is less than pleased about the move. Whilst exploring the house, she finds a passageway to an alternative world in which her parents pay her more attention and everything seems perfect. However, not everything is as it seems. The animation in this film is excellent and Teri Hatcher does a fantastic job voicing the "Other Mother" in the alternate world. Kids might get a little spooked by this in parts, but overall it's a lot of fun and tells a nice story about appreciating what you have.


Ok, I'll admit, I did actually used to be terrified of the terror dogs in this film as a kid. Thankfully, the 80's CGI makes it a lot easier to watch these days. Ghostbusters is basically a group of University professors (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) who go into business as the Ghostbusters, using their knowledge of the paranormal to rid the city of New York of ghosts and ghouls on request. Little do they know that the cause of all the paranormal activity is down to one particular apartment building... This movie is an iconic piece of 1980's pop culture, as is the theme by Ray Parker Jr. I feel like I've said this about most of the films on this list, but it really is a lot of fun. AND Bill Murray's in it. Who doesn't love Bill Murray?

Those are my picks for non-scary Halloween films, what are yours?

Stacey Rose xx

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