Halloweekend is coming up soon. And for most people. it’s a time for the spooky and the scary. However, if you’re a Halloweenie like myself and need a from horror films, check out these non-scary seasonal movies!
Shaun of the Dead
Carefully calculated and choreographed comedy though the lens of a buddy comedy gone zombie apocalypse. This is an extremely rewatchable movie. Simon Pegg and Nicholas Frost have great chemistry as apathetic, loveable buds, who at the end of the day, just want to “go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over…” Which is a bit difficult when “this” is a plague of the living dead among their friends and family. Edgar Wright is probably the most skilled modern day comedy director and his first work might be one of his best.
There’s a secret society of people who hold this movie close to their heart. “Hocus Pocus” kids are an underrepresented group. I think we’re all still a little bit shocked as to why Bette Middler is in this and why she works so well. The “I Put a Spell On You” sequence is mindblowing.
An American Werewolf in London
I got to see a midnight showing of this at Coolidge Corner this past weekend. It had super great energy and the audience went crazy for it. Directed by Animal House Director John Landis, the movie takes the tropes of the werewolf genre and turns turns the camp up to 10. A The comic direction is very keen and Landis has an eye for visual comedy (Edgar Wright cites this movie as one of his biggest inspirations!)
DISCLAIMER: This may actually be a LITTLE scary for some people. It wasn’t for me. But it’s important and very good so your inner film major should suck it up give it two thumbs up through the tears.
This is not a good movie. THIS IS NOT A GOOD MOVIE. But it’s a joyride of awful line readings, overacting and a labyrinthine plot to rescue a baby brother. The Jim Henson puppets and production design is incredible. David Bowie’s “Magic Dance” makes me cringe. I think we should all take a moment and give thanks for the fact that the trope of dancing animals in kid’s movies is far less creepy than dancing David Bowie in tight pants in kids movies.
BEETLEJUICE is a blockbuster classic about a newlywed couple who accidentally dies and is forced to spook an intruding family out of their own house. Fun fact, the male lead is the principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! The titular character, BEETLEJUICE, is a scoundrel of a ghoul played by Michael Keaton (a less mopey Birdman). What happens when you say his name three times? I guess you’ll just have to watch BEETLEJUICE to fi–
Supposedly one of the worst movies ever made. I think it’s a gem. It’s hard to believe someone took this project seriously and thought it could ever be a compelling family scary movie. Travel to the mystical world of Nilbog, with a witch who can turn people into vegetables, goblins who thrive off green vegetable goo, and a middle class family just trying to have a fun weekend together.. It’s pretty weird. Highlights include when the writers decided the line, “You can’t pee on hospitality! I won’t allow it!” could pass as realistic dialogue.
The Nighmare Before Christmas
Full disclosure: as a kid, this one scared me too. But now I’ve grown into it. One of the few holiday movies that can double as another holiday movie.
THIS IS HALLOWEEN
THIS IS HALLOWEEN
That is all.
To be completely honest, I haven’t watched this movie in years. This movie helped Disney Channel Original Movie writers create a “Mad Libs” script for movies about kids discovering a supernatural ability (@ The Thirteenth Year, Luck of the Irish, Twitches [WHICH ALSO IS ABOUT A GIRL DISCOVERING WITCH POWERS!!!], . But I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. The scene with a skeleton taxi driver turning around and speaking to a group of frightened children is iconic. I bet that it would’ve been an Uber driver if the movie was made today…