Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top 13 Kids Movies for Halloween

13. Monster Squad (1987)PG-13
A group of kids in a club dedicated to movie monsters discover that Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein are real. They must stop them from getting their hands on a magic amulet that will give Dracula the power to rule the world. This movie is cute and has a few genuinely funny moments. Even better, it has all of the classic movie monsters in it.

12. Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966) G
"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" is a made for TV Peanuts cartoon. Blanket toting Linus is waiting for the great pumpkin to arrive and Charlie Brown goes to a Halloween party. This is a feel good Halloween kids movie that invokes the feelings of excitement and anticipation that a child experiences on the days leading up to Halloween.

11. The Dark Crystal (1982) PG
It is the age of chaos, and the planet is ruled by the evil Skeksis, who gained their power from a shard of the Dark Crystal. The gelfling orphan Jen is sent by the Mystics to steal the shard from the Skeksis and return it to the crystal, thus restoring order to the world.

This movie is dark, surprisingly so for a Jim Henson movie, with fantastic imagery and a wonderful detailed world.  It has some scary parts that might not be suitable for tottlers that frighten easy. But it's a great movie to show on Halloween.

10. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991) PG
Ernest P. Worrell is at it again Vern. This time, he mistakenly releases an evil child devouring troll from its resting place on Halloween. Good natured Ernest decides that its up to him to stop it, and unfortunately, this only makes things worse. A good comedic Halloween movie, it is suitable for all ages.

9. Gremlins (1984) PG
Looking back, I was surprised to find out that this movie is only rated PG. It is more suitable for Christmas, but the critters in this one are creepy enough to make it to the number 9 slot on this list. Billy Peltzer receives a cute little fuzzy creature called a mogwai from his bumbling inventor father for a Christmas present. Billy inadvertently disobeys the rules that his father gave him-- Don't get it wet; which causes the mogwai to reproduce like a tribble.  Don't feed it after midnight; which causes the mogwai to form cocoons and undergo metamorphosis to turn into nasty green gremlins. The gremlins wreak havoc all over Kingston Falls, and its up to Billy and his pet mogwai Gizmo to stop them.

8. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) PG
This movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Ray Bradbury. An evil circus run by a demon ring leader called Mr. Dark comes to a small American town, and claims that he can bring your deepest dreams and wishes come true, for a price... As the townsfolk start disappearing, its up to Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade to stop the devil.

7. The Witches (1990) PG
Based on a novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, this movie is about a boy named Luke who is vacationing at a hotel in Norway. He accidentally discovers that there is a witch's convention going on, and that they are plotting to get rid of all the children in the world. The Grand High Witch, played by Angelica Huston, spots him spying on them and turns him into a mouse. It's up to Luke and his grandmother Helga to thwart their evil plans and save the children of the world.

6. Beetlejuice (1988) PG
A newly wed couple Adam and Barbara buy a house, and get into a car accident that kills them. After realizing that they are dead, the couple tries to scare off the new owners of their home, the Deetzs, who are obnoxious yuppies with a terrible sense of style. When their efforts prove to be too timid, they summon Beetlejuice, the "bio-exorcist" to help them scare the people out of their home. Unfortunately, Beetlejuice's tactics aren't just to scare them away, he aims to kill them.

Beetlejuice was directed by Tim Burton. There are a lot of famous faces in this movie; Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin as Barbara and Adam,  Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice and Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz. Beetlejuice is full of gallows humor and crazy visuals that give this movie a Gothic style that could never be replicated. The soundtrack was composed by Danny Elfman and it is so unique that even today, you can hear it on Halloween CDs and movie trailers.

5. Ghostbusters (1984) PG
When Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler lose their jobs as parapsychologists at the local university, they decide to start a ghost busting business in New York City and call themselves the Ghostbusters.

They are busy stopping local hauntings by malevolent spirits they are contacted by Dana Barrett, played by Sigourney Weaver, who has a gateway to another dimension in her refrigerator. The Ghostbusters must act to save Dana and all of New York City when the gateway is fully opened and an evil entity called Gozer comes forth to destroy the world.

This movie is a fun comedic romp into the supernatural with ghosts that are just creepy enough to scare a little kid, but not so scary as to make them unable to sleep at night.

4. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) PG
Yes, I know it takes place during Christmas, but the majority of the movie takes place in Halloween Town.

This Tim Burton stop animation classic is about one holiday attempting to take over another. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is bored with doing the same old thing year after year on Halloween. When he comes across Christmas Town, he decides that he can do Christmas better than Santa Claus and has him kidnapped. Unfortunately, all of his Halloween Town minions know is how to make tricks or treats, not toys for good little girls and boys.

This movie is full of musical numbers, and catchy tunes that you may find yourself humming once it's over.

3. Coraline (2009) PG
Based off of a book written by Neil Gaiman, "Coraline" is about a girl who moves into an old house with parents that are too busy with work to pay attention to her. Coraline is an adventurous spirit and soon finds that there is a doorway in her house to another world, where seemingly perfect versions of her parents live. The only weird thing is; they have buttons for eyes.

Her Other Mother and Other Father soon reveal that something isn't quite right with them, and when the Other Mother invites her to stay and live with them, she reveals that she is going to replace her eyes with buttons. Coraline has to fight for her life and escape the other world before the Other Mother claims her body and soul. Eyes are the windows of the soul, and by taking her eyes, Other Mother would take her soul.

"Coraline" is a fairy tale, spun the way fairy tales are meant to be told, as horror stories.

2.Monster House (2006) PG
"Monster House" takes place during Halloween, where three pre-teen friends; DJ, Chowder and Jenny, who are "too old for trick-or-treating" stumble upon a monster house in their neighborhood that is eating children. It's up to them to discover the secret of the house and stop it before it devours all the kids in the neighborhood.

Listen to the music at the end of the trailer. It's the theme from "Beetlejuice."
See, I told you it's everywhere...

1. Poltergeist (1982) PG
This Steven Spielberg classic is the scariest PG horror movie you will ever see.

A family is terrorized by a poltergeist, an evil entity that can move things around the home. The poltergeist quickly turns from being an amusing attraction by moving chairs and stacking them up, to puppeteering the large looming tree outside young Robbie's window and attacking him. While Steve and Diane Freeling are rescuing their son, Carol Anne is sucked into her bedroom closet and disappears.

When her mother calls for her, Carol Anne's voice can be heard coming from a TV that is on and only displaying white static. Utterly freaked out, the Freelings call upon a team of parapsychologists to help them retrieve their little girl.

What happens next on-screen will haunt you for the rest of your life. (That clown doll still scares the crap out of me.)

If you have kids that don't scare easy, or really want a challenge of a "grown-up" monster movie, I highly recommend you let them watch it.

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