Halloween-themed movies bring chills

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Horror movies are a staple at the box offices nearly all year long. Some become franchises, while others flop. Whether or not it was a commercial success, some movies just stick with us, especially around Halloween time. “Saw” just concluded its series with its seventh installment, and every few years a remake of “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween,” or “Friday the 13th” is guaranteed.

ABC Family runs its “13 Days of Halloween” movie marathon in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and every year for the last three years, Paranormal Activity has released“found footage” films just in time for the spooky holiday. Family friendly Halloween movies are available, with more emphasis on magic than gore. Disney has the movie series “Halloweentown” and its subsequent sequels. “Hocus Pocus” has been a mainstay on the cable networks for this time of year, and Tim Burtons “Nightmare before Christmas” with its setting in Halloween Town and its memorable characters Jack Skellington and Sally have practically amassed their own cult following. Movies are a great way to get in the mood for the season, by either scaring people silly or creating characters and storylines that keep people coming back.

Family Friendly Films

“Halloweentown”- the series follows Marnie and her magically-inclined family as they travel from our world to the magical Halloweentown, a place created for all the creatures we associate with Halloween, that was created during the Middle Ages when witches were being hunted with ferocity. The family saves Halloweentown and our world on numerous occasions with magic and the values of family and friendship.

“Hocus Pocus”- The Dennison’s have relocated to Salem around Halloween. The oldest of the family, Max, resurrects three witch sisters who were hanged during the witch trials in the 1600s. Max, along with his sister and a girl from his high school, must stop the sisters with the assistance of an immortal black cat, which was, in actuality, a man cursed by the sisters to this form. It’s a comical family movie with lots of magic and a few zombies thrown in.

Not so Family Friendly

“Paranormal Activity”- the “found footage” phenomenon, which started with the “Blair Witch Project,” has captivated the masses the last three Octobers. The series follows a single family in its haunting, although the story is told backwards. The first movie tells the story of Katie and Micah, of their haunting in their new suburban home. PA2 informs the audience, toward the end, how the entity arrived in Katie’s house. PA3 shows how the sisters first began experiencing the paranormal activity that followed them through their lives.

“Halloween”- the first film starts on October 31, 1963, where a six-year-old Mike Myers has murdered his older sister. After being institutionalized for 15 years, he breaks out the day before Halloween and heads to his hometown. He goes on a reign of terror there. The sequel follows, taking place the same night, as Michael hunts the girl that escaped him.


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