October is the month of scary movies. There was the release of Carrie and of course all the marathons on TV. However, I’m just not into it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a huge fan of scary movies. I’ve never seen Saw, Paranormal Activity, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or any of the sequels. Of course, there are plenty of other films that are appropriate for October. ABC Family had marathons all weekend of non-scary Halloween movies like Teen Wolf (the original) and The Addams Family. Last year, I listed some Not-So-Typical Halloween Movies and I might as well keep up the tradition. We all know the cliche flicks you can watch on or around Halloween (all those movies I haven’t seen.) So while others are marathoning the scariest films known to mankind, I’ll be over here with my non-scary Halloween flicks. Grab some candy and a blanket for this fun non-fright fest.
In the 90s, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were building their child star empire and in 1993 their Halloween flick, Double, Double, Toil and Trouble premiered on TV. When I was a kid, I loved Mary-Kate and Ashley; I had all their movies, read all their books, and–of course–watched all of The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley (in which they’d solve any crime by dinner time.) Double, Double, Toil and Trouble was one of my favorite Mary-Kate and Ashley movies although it’s a little creepy. The Olsen’s star as Kelly and Lynn, two girls who are sick of being twins. They find out that their evil Great Aunt Agatha may have trapped her twin sister, their nice Great Aunt Sophia, in a mirror world and if they don’t save Sophia, she’ll be stuck there forever. With help from a cast of strange characters, the girls manage to save their aunt and their family. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, but I still love it. Plus the whole movie is available on YouTube.
I doubt a movie could get more stereotypical 80s than Teen Witch, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you like characters breaking into musical numbers in this non-musical film, spouting lyrics to funky rap songs, and woefully 80s fashion, then this is the movie for you. There’s also that whole plot in which Louise, a 16-year-old girl, receives witch powers on her birthday. She uses them to become popular and loved by the captain of the football team (named Brad, obviously.) Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the plot (I never understood high school social-climbers) and I don’t like the way Louise treats her best friend Polly after she becomes popular, but it’s still a fun flick. Besides, how can you not love this movie after watching the “Top That!” scene? (It’s iconic.)
Although Beetlejuice isn’t necessarily scary (unless you’re an easily-terrified child,) it’s certainly morbid in the way it makes fun of death. Still, it’s a Tim Burton movie–one of his best–so that’s to be expected. There are far too many humorous moments for Beetlejuice to be scary, the Banana Boat Song dinner scene for instance. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are adorable as inept ghosts trying to scare the Deetz’s out of their former home. Then, of course, there’s Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse the “bio-exorcist,” who certainly steals the show with his hilariously awful quirks. The scariest part of Beetlejuice isn’t the ghosts or the snake or the sandworms, it’s the part where Betelgeuse almost forces Lydia Deetz to marry him. Now that’s horrifying.
Casper originated as a character in the 1939 children’s book The Friendly Ghost, and became a cartoon in 1945. However, he captured the hearts of our generation in the 1995 flick starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci as Dr. James Harvey and his daughter Kat; the corporeal version of Casper was played by a young Devon Sawa in the final scenes of the movie. Casper is probably the least scary ghost story ever written and that’s why I love it. Just because ghosts are dead doesn’t mean they’re evil! That’s stereotyping! Ghosts are people, too! Or they were. Anyway, Casper is a family movie so of course it isn’t scary. Casper’s uncles are a little obnoxious–and reckless. They’re pretty much at fault for James’s death. But everything turns out okay in the end. Plus there was the cute (or creepy if you really think about it) moment when Casper and Kat are dancing at her party. (Just don’t tweet that famous line at Devon Sawa.)
Let’s be honest, this whole list could be comprised solely of Scooby Doo movies–except the live-action films, we don’t talk about those–and I wouldn’t mind watching Scooby and the gang all day long. I had some trouble picking which Scooby Doo movie to include because they’re all so good (I own Scooby Doo on Zombie Island on DVD because I found it in the $5 movie bin at Wal-Mart.) In the end, Scooby Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost made the most sense since the gang heads to Oakhaven, Massachusetts to investigate a ghost sighting of a long-dead witch. It’s the second full-length animated Scooby Doo movie and also the second time the gang faces off against an actual supernatural being (rather than a person in a costume.) Plus The Witch’s Ghost has the Hex Girls–remember how awesome the Hex Girls are? They save the day in the end and are the real heroes of this story. Who wants to dress up as the Hex Girls with me this Halloween?
I don’t remember the first time I watched Hocus Pocus, all I know is that I was very young and I had a super-crush on Thackery Binx (as a human, not as a cat, duh.) It has become one of those movies I will always love because is has a certain amount of nostalgia attached to it. Plus, c’mon, it’s the greatest Halloween movie of all time (way better than Halloween, even.) Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy had the roles of their lifetimes in Winnie, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson–three witches who come back to life in 1993 Salem, Massachusetts. Everything about Hocus Pocus is perfect and if you haven’t seen it, shame on you! It even teaches you French. Plus, Winnie puts the whole town under a spell by singing “I Put A Spell On You” in one of the best scenes of all time. Seriously, Hocus Pocus is the greatest Halloween movie and I watch it every single year.