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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

10 films to satisfy the spirit this Halloween

It’s that time of year again to dress up, carve pumpkins, bake spiced goods and trick-or-treat, but don’t forget this list of perfect Halloween-time films to make the season all that spookier – and fun of course!

1. “Hocus Pocus” (1993) – IMDB 6.7/10

We’ve waited a whole year for a virgin to light a candle. At least it’s better than waiting 300 years like the Sanderson sisters. “Hocus Pocus” marks number one on the list for the top 10 Halloween movies to watch this season. Sister witches, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, returned after three centuries to once again pull the souls from children in hopes for immortal life. What’s better than Bette Midler singing “I put a spell on you”, a black cat that talks, a zombie who keeps losing his head, the growing relationship between a brother and sister, and the brother’s crush all fighting spirit against the evil trio of Salem, Massachusetts? Carrie Rickey from the Philadelphia Inquirer said “Hocus Pocus” is “silly, but irresistible.” If you didn’t see this as a child, you just simply won’t understand.

2. “Young Frankenstein” (1974) – IMDB rating 8.1/10

Anything directed by Mel Brooks is wonderful. In “Young Frankenstein”, the grandson of a famous scientist travels to Transylvania to witness a monster come to life. This comedic parody on the ancient tale of Frankenstein offers much more than a doctor’s scientific experiment. There’s the frequent whinny of horses and endless laughter due to a combination of Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman. Don’t even try to keep track of what side Eegore’s hump is on. This is a light-hearted comedy that is perfect family fun.

3. “Halloween” (1978) – IMDB rating 7.9/10

You can’t miss this Halloween horror – it’s even named after the holiday. In this chilling production by director John Carpenter, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital after stabbing his sister to death and returns to Haddonfield. Roger Ebert said “Halloween” is an “absolutely merciless thriller, a

Charlie Brown
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Photo credit: IMDb

movie so violent and scary that, yes, some would compare it to “Psycho”.”

4. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” (1966) – IMDB rating 8.2/10

Charlie Brown is almost a household name during the holidays. Audiences of all ages can appreciate the classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” from Charles Shultz. Charlie Brown is excited to be invited to his first Halloween party and Linus is awaiting the moment he gets to meet the Great Pumpkin. This is a most suitable choice for family fun and bonding.

5. “Halloweentown” (1998) – IMDB rating 6.8/10

In this 90’s Disney flick, Aggie Cromwell, portrayed by Debbie Reynolds, is a witch who lives in the city of Halloweentown. She visits her daughter and three grandchildren on Halloween night. Their mother is also a witch and fully aware of it, but she’s kept her children out of the loop. Though, the eldest daughter Marnie, who’s played by Kimberley J. Brown, has a hunch that something is up and decides to follow her grandmother with her two younger siblings tagging along to a secret bus to Halloweentown. Creatures of many shapes, sizes and forms grace this hidden world in its ever-so-happy state. However, Marnie and her sister, along with the help of their grandmother, must defeat the evil force that’s lurking in the shadows.

6. “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) IMDB rating 7.5/10

Nightmare on Elm Street
The promo poster for the 1983 “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Photo credit:

What’s worse than not getting enough sleep? How about not getting enough sleep because you will be murdered in your dreams? Yeah, that doesn’t sound too inviting. In this teenage-oriented slasher film, teenagers of Springwood, Ohio must figure out a way that they can to stay awake or be killed by Freddy Krueger.

7. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) – IMDB rating 8/10

Leave the candy to the side, there will be enough chewing in this black and white psychological thriller. Movies don’t always need violence to have an impact on their audience. The cult classic “Night off the Living Dead” leaves a lot to the imagination. As the dead come back to life and begin feasting on the living, people must fight for survival by locking themselves up in a farmhouse. Do you like zombies? Well, this is where it all began.

8. “The Conjuring” (2013) – IMDB rating 7.5/10

The Conjuring
“The Conjuring” scared audiences in 2013. Photo credit:

“Saw” director, James Wan, brought this spooky story based on true events to life. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, are called upon by two new owners of a Rhode Island home because it’s causing them immense trouble. Malevolent creatures that go bump in the night are definitely at work and there are many moments in the film that will cause you to jump in your seat. The New York Post describes the movie as a “classy old-school horror, James Wan’s “The Conjuring’’ depends more on its excellent cast and atmospheric direction than cheap gimmicks to raise hairs on the back of your neck. Which it does, quite frequently.”

9. “The Shining” (1980) – IMDB rating 8.4/10

“Heeeeeere’s Johnny!” Stephen King’s horror novel is gracefully placed on the screen in this creative, violent and shocking production. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” centers on a family that heads to an extravagant hotel in the winter, not expecting the most strange and unlikely things to happen. The father, played by Jack Nicholson, slowly succumbs to the imminent threat that is awaiting anyone who steps foot into this hotel. As he witnesses the dark deeds that at one time showered the place, he soon becomes a threat himself, his wife (Shelley Duvall) and their son. The mother-son duo have to fight to stay alive and as far away from him as possible. As you watch this, you will see how difficult that task is for them.

10. “Poltergeist” (1983) – IMDB rating 7.4/10

This house was built on an old burial ground. Photo credit: IMDb

Next time you go to purchase a new home, make sure it’s not on an old burial ground. Weird things start happening to a family after moving into their new home. At first, these things seem harmless, but things take a turn for the worst quick when spirits who were once there want nothing less than to cause mayhem for their guests. Directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Steven Spielberg, “Poltergeist” is a must-see, petrifying film. It may have a slow start, but it gains momentum quick. Don’t leave the screen, because you never know what will happen next.

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