Halloween is something that gets celebrated by pretty much everyone these days, but unfortunately for parents and their children, many of the films on offer are not suitable for a younger audience. So, today I have drawn up a list of 5 films that kids can watch this Halloween.
Ghostbusters (1984), Ivan Reitman
While the CG effects are no doubt showing their age now, the practical effects still have the opportunity to scare those of a younger age. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer may have a certain cuteness about them which takes away from their fright appeal, but the terror dogs will surely have kids hiding behind their pillows at the sight of these huge red-eyed hounds coming to life.
Scariest Scene: Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) sits down to take a phone call from her mother, shortly before she is to go out on a date with Bill Murray’s Dr. Venkman, she then experiences strange noises coming from her kitchen, and before she knows it she is dragged, kicking & screaming, towards a frightening transformation.
Beetlejuice (1988), Tim Burton
Tim Burton has always made slightly odd and off-kilter movies, even his Batman movies have been accused of being more Burton than Batman, but one of his most fun and, at times, scary films has to be Beetlejuice. Featuring Michael Keaton as the titular character. Beetlejuice features an odd mix and of early CGI and great practical effect work. The tone is light, and features some musical numbers along the way, but there is an underlying darkness to proceedings that will still give little kids the creeps.
Scariest Scene: When Alec Baldwin finds out his character is dead, he attempts to leave his home, only to find that he and his also deceased wife, Geena Davis, are trapped and cannot leave, he encounters an otherworldly plane covered in sand and populated by giant worms. The scene looks like something from a bad acid trip, but will no doubt have kids freaking out at the vivid & eerie imagery.
The Witches (1990), Nicloas Roeg
The Witches is based upon the novel by Roald Dahl and follows a young boy (Jasen Fisher) who stumbles upon a group of witches at a local convention, who upon finding they have been rumbled, turn young Luke into a mouse. As the witches want to dispose of all the children in England, by also turning them into mice via the use of a special potion, Luke faces a race against time to stop them.
Scariest Scene: After entering the convention hall to address her fellow witches, the Grand High Witch herself (Anjelica Huston) unveils her true form to the audience, and what an awful sight it is. Jim Henson Productions provided the models and suits for the movie, which provide another level of chills to proceedings.
The Addams Family (1991), Barry Sonnenfeld
The Addams Family are (according to Wikipedia) a satirical inversion of the ideal American family, and take a certain delight in the bizarre and macabre. The film features a strong cast which is led by Anjelica Huston & Raul Julia as the heads of the family. The film works as both a black comedy and a family adventure, and has enough quality moments for both children and adults alike.
Scariest Scene: Maybe not the scariest, but definitely one of the darkest scenes comes towards the end of the movie when, after haranguing the Addams’s throughout the film, two lawyers get their comeuppance via a small hurricane and a lighting bolt which sends them flying into two graves which have already been dug. As Wednesday & Pugsley Addams begin to bury them, Pugsley remarks “are they alive?” to which Wednesday calmly replies “does it matter?”.
Monster House (2006), Gil Kenan
Monster House is an animated movie produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, who used the same motion capture technology seen in The Polar Express. Whereas The Polar Express looked creepy & sinister, and didn’t suit a Christmas movie aimed at children, the technology is more suited to this animated horror & adds to the overall ghoulish feel of the film.
Scariest Scene: The moment when the house literally comes alive and eats a Police Officer and his patrol car. Shocking, thrilling and darkly funny.