Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
In a previous article, I bemoaned the lack of animated horror movies that are just for adults. Admittedly, it is a silly thing to ask for, but that does not make it any less true. One thing there is plenty of are family friendly horror movies. Here are some of the best and lesser know scary flicks the entire family can enjoy.
I am going to start with a bit of a cheat. Every year, each holiday season sees a bunch of movies attempt to be a “must see” for that time of year. This Halloween sees Adam Sandler enter the mix with Hubie Halloween. Laugh all you want at Sandler, but he has a track record of making fun holiday movies. Kids also seem to like his routine and when he is on, he will even have adults laughing out loud. Don’t be surprised if this story of a man child (probably) trying to protect the residents of Salem on Halloween becomes a yearly ritual.
Little Shop of Horrors
This overlooked musical from the 1980s is not traditional Halloween fare. But it has elements of horror that fit into the time of year. Its story of manipulative flesh eating Venus flytrap is a rom com that has some great scares. And we can always use some more scares in our scary stories.
Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Wallace and Gromit franchise is a beloved series. They have been critical and commercial successes. Which makes it surprising Curse of the Were-Rabbit is not more of a Halloween staple. This homage to Hammer horror and classic creature features was not overlooked when it was first released – it is the second highest grossing stop motion film of all time. For whatever reason, it has not had the same long lasting appeal of other animated horror despite its iconic characters and fun story.
The Canterville Ghost
Based on a story by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost is the tale of Sir Simon de Canterville, an English lord doomed to haunt his ancestral home. He moves beds, appears headless at the dinner table, it’s a very fun and spooky haunt situation he has created. His plans are thwarted when a young girl, played by Alyssa Milano, moves in her with dad (Ted Wass) and his new wife. Sir Simon’s friendship with the girl throws a wrench in his poltergeist plans. It has some very silly jokes, and some pretty creepy imagery. Light-hearted and touching, The Canterville Ghost is a film the whole family can enjoy.
The Halloween Tree
The Halloween Tree is the animated version of Ray Bradbury’s book of the same name. A group of friends cannot wait to go trick or treating, but their best friend Pipkin falls ill. The kids follow Pipkin to the Halloween Tree where he disappears. Mr. Moundshround appears offering to help the children find Pipkin. Great for the family, scary for the kids, and pretty educational as the children learn the origins of Halloween all over the world. This definitely borders on the dark side, but teaches kids a great lesson about the value of friendship and life.