By W.T. Bane
I don’t like Halloween. There I said it! I’m going to get that out of the way. People get excited about costumes, candy and parties and I get all of that, but that’s what cosplay, candy stores and parties are for. I’ve just never been a fan of the Horror related aspect of Halloween. I don’t see the appeal of haunted houses, running through corn mazes being chased by a guy with a chain saw or watching movies where there is no plot or characters and just a cast of cardboard caricatures lined up for some over-produced visual effect centric death scenes because no one in production had the talent to direct, write or act in a manner that created characters I cared about seeing live through the end. Yeah, there are a few good ones. Trevor wrote a piece recently about 6 good horror movies and I enjoy Alien, Exorcist, Scream and Evil Dead myself, but for the most part I hate the genre, most notably Saw for the reason given above.
With all the said, lets talk about some enjoyable season-appropriate non horror Halloween Movies.
I remember watching this one as a kid and thoroughly enjoying it, and from the many conversations I’ve had with white college-age women who were unknowingly dressed as Han Solo with miniature Chewbacca dogs in their non-Millenium Falcon purses, this movie goes right up there with Uggs and pumpkin spice anything girls can consume during this time of the year. It’s got some classic Halloween tropes with witches, magic, undead guys walking around like a zombie and black cat that talks. It’s fun for the whole family or basic bitches everywhere.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The goth kid classic. Growing up someone on the “alternative” side of culture in High School, it was impossible to escape this movie, in either Halloween or Christmas seasons, and justifiably so. It has a mystique all to its own. It’s undeniably Burton inspired, who produced and wrote the original story, but many people mistakenly believe he directed, and Danny Elfman’s score is truly phenomenal. It has just the right mix of weird artistry, instantly recognizably unique characters, wonderful music and an endearing story of someone who is disillusioned and struggling with their own self purpose. It may be centered on Christmas, but everything about it screams Halloween.
Ernest Scared Stupid
Ok. This is not a quality movie by any means and is more of a guilty pleasure of mine than anything else. It’s in the title. It’s stupid, like really stupid, but if you’re in the mood to have a few drinks and chuckle at some less than sophomoric humor, then throw this on and behold what is the great redneck hope.
Cabin In The Woods
Ok. This is more of a parody and satire than an actual horror movie so I’m throwing it in here. Everything that happens in it is a commentary on the stupidity of the horror genre itself. From why people decide to split up from the group to why there is always the required tit shot, everything is subjected to the postmodern breakdown examination. In the same way Scream broke down the genre then became that genre exemplified, Cabin In The Woods breaks down the ideas and then mocks them and comes up with stupid reasons for why they always exists in the genre. It’s wonderfully entertaining and is really a must see.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil
This is similar to the one above. There are so many films that fall into the contrived plot of some teens stumbling upon some woodland rednecks who – of course – turn out to be murderous cannibals or serial killers or something else of that nature. Well, Tucker and Dale vs Evil takes the opposite approach. Tucker and Dale are two rednecks just trying to outfit their new dream vacation home in the woods and some kids show up thinking that our two hapless mains are the centerpiece of evil and make every attempt to end the lives of the two witless heroes. It’s a very enjoyable turn on an old trope and it’s hilarious through and through.
Army of Darkness
The first two entries in the Evil Dead franchise really fall into the slasher/horror/funny-but-not-sure-if-it’s-supposed-to-be-funny-but-still-completely-horror-too kind of film. However, part 3 is a whole different breed. Army of Darkness is much more a fantasy film but continues the story of the great one-arms Ash Williams as he triumphantly takes on an army of well… darkness and she-bitches and anyone who would stand before his boomstick. This is another example of just a ridiculous film outdoing its ridiculous premise in all the right ways. Sally forward and watch this, then bow to the king! Ash Williams is just groovy!
This Is The End
Do post apocalyptic movies count? Well since it’s my post they do! What better way to go through the end of times than by watching Seth Rogen and friends hang out and wait for it all to end … and running away from a giant well-endowed demon and a cannibalisitc Danny McBride. It may be the end of the world, but at least these guys go through the zombies and demons and great tragedy of it all with some of the funniest guys in movies lately.
Thriller – As far as I’m concerned, this is the greatest Halloween movie ever! Just shut up and watch it!
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