Unfortunately, at this point there are no Halloween movie marathons being advertised in the Fort Smith, Arkansas, area. I have checked the schedules on the websites of the local movie theaters and the newspaper’s upcoming Events section. Oh, well, since the economy is not exactly booming right now, I thought I would share my ideas for where a person should watch Halloween movies in the area. My idea for an excellent movie extravaganza is the living room of your home. At least, at home, you can pause the movie for bathroom breaks and not pay an exorbitant amount of money for popcorn, candy and soda. Also on the positive side, there is less fear of being exposed to any of the nasty viruses carried by the man in the row behind you who is coughing. Those are the pros, and I have some ideas on appropriate Halloween movies for all ages and a time-line for them that fits every bedtime.
When the kids get home from trick-or-treating, or whatever activity you choose for them, they are usually hyped on the fun of the evening, as well as sugar. In order to settle them after they have sorted and checked their candy, I would suggest setting up comfy pillows, beanbags or small chairs in front of the television. Issue tickets to each child, and put a snack with their name on the container beside it. You can make them a snack of popcorn, or a nice healthy snack like a caramel apple. It is easier for some to disguise nutrition, but that will depend on your children. Also, avoid sugary drinks in favor of some punch made with minimal sugar or sucralose. When it is time for the movie, ask for their tickets, show them to their seats and start the movie. I would recommend It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter movies, E.T. or any combination of them depending on bedtime. There is also the handy double-holiday duty movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, since it deals with both Halloween and Christmas, and the songs are terrific. When the movie is over, send them to bed, after removing all traces of their costumes.
Now that the children are in bed, the tweens and teens will want to have their turn with the television. They will undoubtedly be too cool to watch the movies that their siblings like. Twilight, and the sequels are now well-liked by this age group. There are also funny movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gremlins is reasonably scary with its PG rating. Granted, the movie is not as good as the television series, but it is hilarious to imagine a butt-kicking, vampire slayer with the name Buffy. If your tweens/teens are not quite to the “too cool” point, they may watch Scooby Doo. Most likely, Scooby will be relegated to the younger children. Since these kids are older, you can still go with the comfortable places to sit and make healthier snacks to counteract the candy. When their one or two movies are over, since they won’t want to go to bed on Halloween. That is why I would recommend two movies and letting them fall asleep. Then I would wake them and send them to bed.
If you do not have children, or if you are lucky enough that your kids are asleep before it gets too late, you can then settle down with a movie yourself. Adults get to watch the movies of their choice. My personal choices would include, the Resident Evil series, Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Amityville Horror, the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, or any number of scary 1980’s movies that were remade. I loved Freddy vs. Jason. Rob Zombie’s movies are fun, too. I have yet to see his version of Halloween, but as the owner of the old one, I think I would like what Zombie does with this tale. By the time the kids are in bed, though, I imagine it would be all I could do to remain awake, but I would fight valiantly. Being the grown-up means I can stay up later and choose from the scariest to the silliest.
Basically, I am more interested in staying home and watching the horror flicks on Halloween night. For one thing, if you do not own your own set of scary movies, remember, you can rent them for a reasonable price at your local video store or one of the Red Boxes where the rental is inexpensive. You can get them from Netflix for a reasonable price and keep them as long as you want them. There are usually television specials on certain channels that will play various Halloween movies with edited parts for the younger set. There is pay-per-view, so you do not have to wait for it to be available on dvd. Popcorn is not expensive, and popping it in the microwave is a snap. There are also snacks that look and taste like buttered popcorn, but they are really popcorn-shaped Cheetos with butter or cheese flavor. They are huge hit with my kids, and I like the taste of movie popcorn without the price or need for dental floss and a toothpick. You can have just as good of a time watching movies at home. Especially if you live in an area like this one.
I find it amazing that there are no advertisements about at least one of our theaters having a Halloween event, yet. However, I think it is simply better for my peace of mind to do the scary movies in my home. It feels so good to sit down after tramping through the neighborhood, herding a bunch of ghouls, action figures, witches and princesses. Does that not make sense? I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween.
Schultz, Charles. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966.)
Kirschner, David, et al. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter movies. (2001-2009)
Matheson, Melissa. E.T. (1982)
Whedon, Joss. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Anderson, Paul. Resident Evil series. (2002-2007)
Anson, Jay. Amityville Horror. (2005)
Burton, Tim, et al. The Nightmare Before Christmas. (1993)
Columbus, Chris. Gremlins. (1984)
Gunn, James, et al. Scooby Doo (2002)
Meyer, Stephanie, et al. Twilight. (2008)
Pegg, Simon, et al. Shaun of the Dead. (2004)
Romero, George. Dawn of the Dead. (2004)
Craven, Wes, et al. Nightmare on Elm Street & Freddy vs. Jason. (1984-2003)
Zombie, Rob. Halloween. (2007)
Information on writers and dates from IMDB.com.