Family Movie Night

Can you tell that Halloween is just under two weeks away?

Picture by Cohdra

In my house, the kids are getting anxious for that big payoff of candy galore. I have to get pieces of masks, costume parts and the make-up. One wants to be a Zombie, another is going to be a clown. The last is going for the tried and true Robin.

I need to get pumpkins and copy the designs for cutting them into spooktacular decorations.

“What about talking about monster movies like you promised last week?”

Ok, enough about our Halloween plans. As we get closer to Halloween, I do want to talk about some of the best monsters in scary movies. When I think about them, my head keeps coming back to the infamous ‘Slasher’ movies from the late 70s and 80s. If I said the names Michael, Jason and Freddie, most people would recognize the bad guys from Halloween, Friday The 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. I have to admit that Friday The 13th took away my love for scary movies and this sub-genre in general.

I am not interested in watching new and amusing ways to gore people to death or decapitate or drown. It is frightening and a bit boring. There are a lot of things I want to think about at night when I go to sleep. Creative kills in horror films is not one of them.

The same goes for The Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, as well as the Saw and the Hostel series. It seems being gruesome is the order of the day in many of these movies. I can get that at the butcher shop.

 While things can get gruesome in the Hannibal Lecter series of movies, there is also a psychological thrill or fear that I cannot get over. Sir Anthony Hopkins has explored this character several times and manages to make us sympathetic to him despite his cannibal ways.

Bruce from Jaws, picture from

 Another monster I find interesting is the shark in Jaws. We do not see the monster for a good portion of the movie and yet we know about him. We know what it can do. But we do not know the size or the particular dangers. This movie defined summer blockbuster but Steven Spielberg also put together an incredible movie with characters that are interesting to watch.

 I debated on the last monster. Do I talk about Lon Chaney, one of the greatest scary actors with an enviable make-up box from the silent era or do I talk about The Abominable Dr. Phibes?

Chaney as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture from

 Chaney, known for his torturous disguises, was a great actor and very popular in his day. He is our first on-screen Phantom of the Opera. On the other hand, Dr. Phibes is a deranged, grief stricken man who kills the medical professionals involved in his late wife’s final surgery. I have not seen the movie for at least 30 years and I still remember scenes from it. Both can be found at Netflix if you cannot find them at your local store.

 Next week, I’ll talk about family friendly scary movies. Let me know which one is your family’s favorite.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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