After so much blood and carnage. let’s not forget that there are also some movies suitable for minors, even though they can be a bit scary as well. Either way, here’s to some family-friendly Halloween themed movie fun… except for the last one, even if a family plays a major part in it.
Animated movie Monster House, comedy with ghosts and only one buster Casper plus sick and twisted Satan’s Little Helper will surely make this one hell of a ride to prepare for the season.
(USA 2006, director: Gil Kenan)
A group of school kids find out that a haunted house in their neighborhood eats people.
Despite the 6+ age classification in Germany, this is actually quite a scary movie when it comes to how the house is realized visually. Like most animated movies, the humor is sometimes hit or miss when characters are presented too cool or nerdy, but this doesn’t distract from the fact that it’s one hell of a fun movie with lots of action and scary scenes. The background story of the house is also quite tragic and shows that Robert Zemeckis as a producer is always good to have. The spirit of trick-or-treating during Halloween might only be seen in a few scenes, but it’s nevertheless a good alternative for the young and old crowd without any bloodshed.
(USA 1995, director: Brad Silberling)
A paranormal psychiatrist and his daughter encounter a friendly ghost and his not-so friendly uncles while two sinister figures try to get their hands on a treasure in the haunted house they live in.
Despite its family-friendly relationship/friendship message, this shouldn’t actually be considered a kiddie flick. There are quite a few scenes which are also touching for grown-ups and even if there’s nothing scary about the ghosts, the drama elements about loss and loneliness add to a more mature experience. Even if everything is simplified, it works pretty well, making the audience relate to the characters no matter of what age.
The humor is a bit too juvenile with the slapstick scenes of former Monty Python member Eric Idle, and the ghosts’ jokes don’t always work, but overall, the good outweighs the bad with some memorable scenes. Special effects are still good, and so is the soundtrack. It might not be a timeless classic for critics, but as a piece of fun entertainment it is surely one movie one can watch again and again without it getting old.
Satan’s Little Helper
(USA 2004, director: Jeff Lieberman)
A small boy plays a dangerous game with a man he thinks is the devil of his videogame.
A low budget, but in no way less effective little horror gem which is disturbing, sick and funny at the same time. The movie is so weird that it’s sometimes hard to figure out when to laugh and when to be shocked. Unlike many slasher movies which have the same old killer-stalks-teenage-girl-and-kills-off-her-friends formula, this one treads a much more terrifying path by showing a killer who doesn’t speak and who’s identity remains a mystery. The killing scenes are also quite brutal with blood spilled and guts ripped out.
There’s a certain do-whatever-you-want attitude to the movie, and even if it borders on the tasteless, this is what makes the movie stand out from the crowd of so many other movies set during Halloween. Although the effects look cheap (the videogame looking terrible in particular) and the acting isn’t always up to scratch, this is a nice chiller which might not be an instant Halloween classic, but after watching it more than once, it’s still fun to revisit again and again. It’s also kinda weird that only a Spanish trailer is available on Youtube, highlighting the fact that this is an unappreciated gem.
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