Lily's Halloween Filmfest - the two-week variation. Check RottenTomatoes.com first for parental advise. Asterisked films are family-friendly.
*Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983): screenplay and original story written by Ray Bradbury; directed by Jack Clayton and starring Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce. A creepy circus arrives in a small American town for an extended stay…and its demonic owner preys on the townsfolk. Too scary for really little ones.
The Others (2001): written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar; starring Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flannagan. A young widowed mother in post-war Britain tries to shield her children from unseen evil. Old-fashioned suspense cleverly nailed down with a terrific performance from Kidman.
What Lies Beneath (2000): Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Amber Valletta. The empty-nest wife of a university professor thinks their Vermont home is inhabited by a ghost. It’s a great autumnal prelude to Halloween with foliage and fog. You’ll probably guess how it all breaks down before the actual end, but it’s got its jumps and starts.
*The Addams Family (1991): Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci. A comic Gothic horror tale with no end of sight gags…and sometimes just plain gags. Awesome one-liners. A rollicking swordfight. Medieval torture devices as well. What more could a person want?
*Hocus Pocus (1993): Directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Nijimy. Three sister witches are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween Night, and it’s up to a motley crew of kids plus a cat to put a stop to them. You can’t beat The Divine Miss M in a witch costume.
From Hell (2001): Directed by Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes (yes, twins) and starring Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, and Ian Holm. Depp is first-rate as the opium-addicted, grieving constable assigned to collar Jack the Ripper. Miss Graham’s Cockney accent aside, the flick is great. Color-saturated and thus visceral, the film also poses a very interesting subplot and theory regarding English royalty.
*Beetlejuice (1988): Directed by Tim Burton and starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winonna Ryder, and Michael Keaton. Freshly-minted ghosts Davis and Baldwin hire an exorcist to rid themselves of the obnoxious new owners of their home. You’ll be exhausted after watching Keaton, but the whole film is worth it.
The Village (2004): written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan; starring Bryce Dallas Howard, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix, and Sigourney Weaver. Ole Shamalamadingdong tells a good story. You might see the ending coming, but the road there is interesting with a spazzed-out Adrian Brody along for the ride.
*Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992): Written by Joss Whedon; directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and starring Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland. A Valley Girl in the Lite Ages (read: early ‘90s) learns she’s her generation’s designated vampire slayer – but all she wants to do is “graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die.” Cameos by Rutger Hauer and Paul Reubens. Don’t miss this one.
The Haunting (1999): Based upon the book by Shirley Jackson; directed by Jan De Bont and starring Lili Taylor, Owen Wilson, and Liam Neeson. Participants in a sleep study arrive at an uninhabited mansion where things do more than go bump in the night. Beautiful special effects.
‘Salem’s Lot (1994): Based upon the book by you-know-who; directed by Mikael Solomon and starring Rob Lowe, James Cromwell, Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer. TV mini-series that improved tremendously on the lame 1979 film. Vampires galore who don’t sparkle.
*The Witches of Eastwick (1987): Based upon the book by John Updike; directed by George Miller and starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon. Three single women in a New England town are seduced by a flamboyant newcomer. Veronica Cartwright has a hilarious supporting role as the uptight town prisspot. Funny, but rather adult for younger ones.
Wolf (1994): Directed by Mike Nichols and starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and James Spader. Nicholson and Pfeiffer re-team for an interpretation of the werewolf legend.
Practical Magic (1998): Based upon the book by Alice Hoffman; directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Two sisters deal with their sorcery talents in different ways. It’s a piece of fluff with eye candy (Goran Visnjic and Aiden Quinn are also in it), and Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest show up to steal scenes. Awesome soundtrack.
*The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad (1949): Disney magic for the kids based upon The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Wind in the Willows. Basil Rathbone narrates Mr. Toad and Bing Crosby croons Ichabod. Included is a vintage cartoon called “Lonesome Ghosts”, quite possibly the inspiration for a little move released in 1984 called Ghostbusters. The little ones will love it all.
Sleepy Hollow (1999): Based upon a short story by Washington Irving; directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, and Christopher Walken. Depp is Ichabod Crane, who has been transformed from the schoolteacher in Irving’s story into a constable sent from New York City to investigate skullduggery upstate in the Catskills. Heads roll, illicit relations are conducted, bodies are exhumed, and the woods near Tarreytown are the stuff of nightmares…a perfect way to end the Halloween season for adults.
April Jones, 5-years old, was abducted on Monday evening. A huge investigation was implemented to find her, and a man--good friends with her family--has been arrested and questioned. Earlier he was charged with "suspicion of murder". If he has done it I pray he will reveal where her body is soon, it must be absolute torture for her family not knowing where she is and whether she is dead or alive.
I hope she is returned home soon, preferably alive, but that looks doubtful now. A friend of mine was kidnapped/murdered when I was a child so situations like this really upset me. That poor child, my heart breaks for her.
I am soooo tired, wish I could sleep for a week. Or just sleep for even eight hours, like normal people. Yawn.
I know what you mean. A normal person schedule would be very nice. I actually had three weekends off in a row earlier this month (two of them were three-day weekends at that), and it was absolutely incredible. I could get used to that, but sadly, it's come to an end.
Urgh, I feel rough...think I have the equivalent to man-flu. Does anybody have any tried and tested cures that will make me feel better? I've been taking the regular pain pills but my temperature is still raging, my head is pounding and my body is aching. Sigh.