Horrors of Halloween Countdown,
By Ryan Pence
October 26, 2006 | Apart from the slasher films in
which a series of teens get served up to the slaughter
or the occasional Stephen King horror feast, what else
is there to sink our teeth into or allow or brains to
What if you're not in to the overtly graphic display
of severed limbs and other deaths displayed in today's
mainstream horror films? What if you just want a bunch
of movies suited for the Halloween season but don't
contain buckets of blood and super-intense scenes that
test patience and nerves?
Then this week's list is for you.
This week's bunch of movies may be comical, intense
or family friendly, but they all still have one thing
in common, they are all ghost stories -- well they at
least have ghosts in them. So without further ado, five
movies about ghosts that will uplift, scare and make
Ghostbusters. The story of three scientists.
Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler get kicked
out of a New York university for studying the paranormal.
After a brief spectral encounter at the New York public
library they move into an old, rundown fire station
where they form the ghost catching and containment service,
Ghost Busters. The movie picks up after their first
client, Dana Barrett, comes in with a story about seeing
apparitions in her refrigerator. Come to find out later
that the hotel in which she is residing is the gateway
to another world and a ghoul by the name of Gozer is
the keeper of the gate. The Ghostbusters are then called
in to take care of the problem. This movie is just as
much fun now to watch as when I first saw it. It's a
funny, witty, fast movie and spookily entertaining.
If you haven't seen this movie -- now is a good time.
Casper. Based on the comic book of the same
name. It starts with Carrigan Crittenden inheriting
her father's mansion. She proceeds to demolish it until
she learns there is a hidden treasure somewhere inside,
but when she tries to locate the treasure three ghosts,
Stretch, Fatso and Stinky, scare her away. Still determined
she hires a ghost psychiatrist, Dr. James Harvey, to
rid the mansion of the ghosts. Soon Dr. Harvey and his
daughter, Kat, move in. Dr. Harvey sets in to work on
the three ghosts while Kat befriends a fourth ghost,
Casper. This film is definitely family friendly and
although it's not the best film in the world it still
is a lot of fun to watch.
Beetlejuice. From director Tim Burton comes
a lot of crazy, weird and zany stuff, and for this movie
he is by no means any different. Beetlejuice
is a dark comedy about a couple that dies in a car accident
and continue to spend their afterlives in their house.
As time passes a new family moves into their house.
Upset by the new inhabitants, they call upon a people
exorcist, Beetlejuice, to rid the living from
their home. Morbid as it may sound it is actually quite
humorous. And if you liked this movie, here are some
other Tim Burton movies to check out: Sleepy Hollow,
The Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.
Poltergeist. This is the best of the best
of ghost movies. It was written and produced by Steven
Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper. The Freeling
family lived in a nice suburban neighborhood till one
night after the daily television programming ended and
the screen filled with static did the "TV people" enter
their house. At first the ghosts were playful poltergeists
doing tricks with chairs and sliding the youngest daughter,
Carol Ann, across the kitchen floor. The fun is shorted-lived
when the ghosts take a turn for the worst and possess
the house and eventually trap Carol Ann through the
means of her bedroom closet in a state of limbo between
the ghost world and the real world. Don't let the PG
rating on this movie fool you. This movie is plenty
scary and at one point has some pretty grotesque scenes.
Veer youngsters away.
The Sixth Sense. The modern-day horror film,
more drama than suspense though it does have a chilling
atmosphere. Cole Sear is a boy with a gift. He can see
and communicate with dead people, the dead people he
claims "don't know that they're dead." A child psychiatrist,
Malcolm Crowe, takes on the responsibility to handle
the boy's case in hopes that he might redeem himself
for not being able to help a former case, Vincent Gray,
who had similar problems as Cole. At first Malcolm doesn't
believe in the gift, but as the movie progresses he
starts to. The Sixth Sense was writer/director
M. Night Shyamalan's directorial debut and was very
well done and deserves all the praise that it received.