I recently posted about movies for adults for this Halloween season, now it is the kids turn.
I can see some people objecting to some of these movies I am presenting. While some are certainly made for a younger audience, others are for older children. Many of these movies I saw as a kid and found them fascinating and entertaining. I also must say these earlier horror movies, did show the heroes triumphing over evil, and that is a lesson any child should learn.
I would say the big difference in some of the adult movies, and my list, is when they were made. What we call “horror movies” of the 40’s and 50’s would not even be considered scary for broadcast television today. If you are concerned about some of these movies I would recommend researching them more, and determining if your child is capable of watching it. Remember, it is Halloween and it is the time for scares and frights.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)- Now this is on many people lists of children’s movies, but to be honest some of the characters there are very frightful looking. It is still a very fun movie.
Earnest Scared Stupid (1991) Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) saves the town from an onslaught of trolls, also stars Eartha Kitt.
Hotel Transylvania (2012) -One of my favorite new movies. It tells the tale of when monsters are afraid of humans. Characters are voiced by Adams Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez and other major stars.
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)- Based on the great author Richard Matheson’s book and screenplay. When a man shrinks and shrinks, to almost atomic level, he realizes no matter how small he becomes, he will still matter in the universe because, to God, "there is no zero."
Them! (1954) - Giant ants are created from radiation exposure in the desert. Once of the best of these types of movies from the 1950’s. Starring James Whitmore and James Arness.
Here is a bit of trivia of an effect used in the above movie. It features what is referred to as the “Wilhelm scream”; this is a stock sound effect first used in the movie Distant Drums (1951). It has been used in over 225 movies, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones. You have probably heard it yourself, it is the sound a man makes when he is shot or falls off a cliff or high building in a movie. It is named for Private Wilhelm in the film The Charge at Feather River (1953),even though this is the 3rd use of it film.
The Brides of Dracula (1960) actually, this movie has no Dracula, but does have vampires and a wonderful performance by Peter Cushing.
The Creature from the Black lagoon (1954) - You will see this in 2d on television, but originally it was filmed in 3d for the theatres. You will notice this as many scenes are of the creature walking toward the camera. The fantastic music in this picture is composed by the great Henry Mancini.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) This movie we see Dr. Frankenstein (Peter Cushing again) trying to do a brain transplant into a resurrected corpse. It has a wonderful performance by Veronica Carlson, read my post about meeting her.
Godzilla (original 1954) - Actually, any Godzilla movies (or giant monsters) are good. They go through a period when Godzilla is a terror of man, then savior, and defender of them. Although, the special effects seems to go down over a period of time (from the 1950’s to the 70’); they do rebound with more modern special effects. I would leave off the 1998 version starring Mathew Broderick.
Edgar Allen Poe movies (1960-1965) – A series of 8 movies directed by Roger Corman. The majority of the screenplays were done by Richard Matheson loosely (and I mean loosely) based on Edgar Allen Poe’s stories. Some are terrifying such as The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), others are funny such as The Raven (1863). One film The Haunted Palace (1963) is noted as a Poe adaption (because of the title), it is actually more based on The Case of Charles Dexter War a novella by H.P. Lovecraft.
Speaking of Vincent Price, try to view An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe (1970)- This is a movie which consists of Vincent Price reading several Edgar Allen Poe short stories and poems. The Pit and the Pendulum, as you can imagine is outstanding, but so are the rest of the collection.
Hocus Pocus (1993)- It did take me some time for this movie to grow on me, but it has. It is a very good movie for the kids, scary at times, but not terrifying. And who can resist witches running amok, amok, amok.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) - This is certainly tension filled, and there is a possibility that younger children will not get the message; however, viewing Gort the robot will fascinate and entertain them. This is another perfect example why remakes of classics should not be done.
Monsters Inc. (2001) – This is actually a gem of a movie, which features tenderness while delivering some thrills.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) It does have some slapstick violence but is an excellent movie, and I cannot resist recommending any movie with Wallace and Gromit in it.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) In the past, this has been on my kids movies list, and adult one. Based on a story by Ray Bradbury, it is a basic tale of good vs evil, and being able to face one’s fears.
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) - This is a Halloween treat of a movie starring Don Knotts. The music for the film was composed by Victor Mizzy, who had worked on numerous Don Knotts movies, but also wrote the themes for the TV shows Green Acres and The Addams Family.
I want to wish everyone a safe, and fun Halloween.
W.A.Rusho is an amateur historian, author and part time professional wrestler. You may contact him via email, or visit his homepage.