Happy Halloween, everybody! I want to share all my special spooky posts with you to maximize this madcap holiday of frightening fun. I don’t want you to miss a thing! You can check out all my latest Halloween fun posts here. Below you’ll find some spooky posts from Halloween’s past, several recommendations for your family movie night, and more!
The fruity eyeball snack recipe can be found here.
FAMILY FILM FRIGHT NIGHT FEATURES
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: This fun animated kids’ film is an affectionate tribute to campy B-grade horror films, starring such monster favorites as the Invisible Man (who goes by Griffin, the voice of David Spade), Frankenstein’s Monster (who goes by Frank, the voice of Kevin James), and of course Dracula (nicknamed “Drac,” a Transylvania-accented Adam Sandler). Dracula has set up an exclusive secret monsters-only castle resort to protect his friends, himself, and his daughter Mavis (the voice of Selena Gomez) from the lynch-mob-prone world of humans. But Mavis has come of age. She longs to visit the wide world of humans and (gasp!) even falls in love with one when he accidentally stumbles upon the castle. Hilarious fright-laden chaos ensues. Reel Mama’s recommendation: Age 6 and up.
THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS: Now on DVD. On occasion Disney creates a film in a very unique genre: family horror. These films aren’t easy to find, but they make great slumber party movies. “The Watcher in the Woods” is one of its more successful efforts, with enough thrills and chills to tingle the spines of 8- to 12-year-olds. In the film the Curtis family moves into the residence owned by the eccentric Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis) whose daughter Karen tragically disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The Curtis’ teenage daughter Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson) wants to find out the truth before it’s too late.
The film builds an engaging mystery and taps into kids’ fascination with the supernatural with a light tone of gothic horror. Even parents might feel the hair being raised on their arms. Reel Mama’s recommendation: 8 and up. A few scenes may be too intense for younger viewers.
DARK SHADOWS: Now on DVD. Tim Burton’s trippy tribute to the 1970s campy classic TV show of the same title. Johnny Depp plays Barnabas, who, cursed to an existence as a vampire, breaks free from his coffin after 200 years to return to his family, once wealthy from the fishing trade, now a dark shadow of its former self. The year is 1972, and Barnabas must set about rebuilding the family fortune while acclimating himself to the “sorcery” of the 1970s, such as lava lamps, games like Operation, and Karen Carpenter crooning on TV. Tim Burton is at his best with what I like to term “popcorn Gothic.” This movie is not his best work, and it gets downright weird at times, but it’s obvious that he and Johnny Depp had a blast making it. They’ve worked together so much by now that they almost have a secret language on set. The worlds Burton and Depp create are kooky, out there, but always entertaining. Reel Mama’s recommendation: 15 and up, due to mature content (the movie is rated PG13 — see review for details).
How to make Halloween Owl Cupcakes: You’ll feel like you’ve scarfed down a whole bag of Halloween candy after eating just one of these!
A little “gross-out” humor in “Grossology,” a “Fright Night in the Fitting Room” as I tried to find the perfect Halloween costume last year, and “The Wig Snafu” (how did my Alice in Wonderland wig end up looking like Cousin It?)
Have a great Halloween, everybody!