It’s that spooky time of year again, and are you having trouble deciding what movies to watch with your family and loved ones during Halloween? There’s fun, wacky, happy (sometimes even magical) Halloween films out there that make us feel good about the holiday season. But then there are some films that are just filled with too much terror, death, and are way too gross to watch for the young ones. Here are five must watch movies on the list, as well as five movies to avoid viewing with your children, listed in no particular order.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie really proves that any demonic entity (witches, goblins, ghouls etc.) can be portrayed as lovable protagonists.There isn't too much violence, and the witches' magic that takes place is more mischievous and good natured than it is malicious or diabolical. This film is not too creepy for the scaredy cat of the family. Fire this movie up, and cast a magical spell on the little ones with this enthralling tale.
Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
Ernest is about as goofy as it gets. This movie is so vanilla, even grandma can watch it without being offended by any of Ernest's eccentric antics. This movie is a good tool to get hyperactive children to sit down and watch a character who is more spazzed out than they are.
The Monster Squad (1987)
This 80's film captures what it really was like to grow up during Dracula's rise back into power, which was easily thwarted by a group of Goonies wannabes. The whole family can enjoy this film, especially when the fat kid kicks the Wolfman in the "nards". Nards was probably the first slang word some people learned that described a certain part of the human anatomy. This film was as educational as it was entertaining. Try to watch it at least once with a little brother or cousin!
Casper: The Friendly Ghost (1995)
Casper: the Friendly Ghost. What could possibly be scary in this film, knowing that Casper is friendly right off the bat? Ghosts usually are pretty angry over something they can’t let go of, but not Casper! I don't know, but that fact alone makes this an easy watch with the rest of the family. The audience probably won't remember the plot of it a week later, but it is good harmless fun for the viewers during the month of October.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
If you can't trust Disney to get a family cartoon about Halloween right, who can you trust?Jack Skellington is as lovable as Rocky Balboa, and I really can't think of a character who has cleanly gotten away with ruining Christmas for everyone around him besides the Grinch. There is no reason why families shouldn't watch this with their loved ones. Even if all the clay monsters makes them feel a bit uneasy at first.
Five Not So Family Friendly Halloween Films
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
This movie seems cute and cuddly at first, but it takes a very dark turn when the clowns decide to exterminate all the earthlings. One of the most traumatic moments had to be the cotton candy cocoons the Clowns were trapping their victims inside. Films like this are the reasons why parents and their children develop severe cases of clown phobia.
“Hellraiser” is one of those movies that one friend tricks another friend into viewing, just to watch them squirm. Nothing is creepier than intergalactic demons whose sadistic intentions are equally as disturbing as the cinematography and set design. The weird zombie husband protagonist is absolutely morbid. Pinhead might look funny, but there is nothing to laugh about in this film at all.
Halloween - Rob Zombie Remake (2007)
John Carpenter’s original film, "Halloween" was scary, but there was something about mega rockstar/director Rob Zombie's vision of a troubled child's mind was just really unsettling. Malcolm McDowell plays Michael Myers' criminal psychiatrist, and his character added the unusual element that even the protagonists in the film are creepy as hell. Go watch “Friday the 13th” instead.
The Thing (1982)
The fact that a shapeshifter was killing the entire cast in the Antarctic tundra wasn't the part that was disturbing about this film. It was the high quality animatronics which makes this film almost unbearable to watch for small, impressionable children. The human-spider head that runs around like a chicken on fire is a good enough reason to pass on this horror flick. It’s no doubt the most horrible scene in a film ever created with muppets.
This movie really did mess up my head growing up. The best way to describe "Cube" to those unaware is a futuristic version of the horror flick "Saw", but very little questions are answered about it. Usually films like this give some sort of closure at the end, but just thinking about it makes me feel as uneasy as the first time I remember watching it. “Cube” is a movie about a death trap filled labyrinth, which random acts of violence happen, underlined by the feeling of no hope of escaping. Family members should not watch "Cube" unless there was something more comfortable to view, like "Hostel" or "The Human Centipede". This film was more mentally exhausting than both those films combined. Don’t even think about watching it.