Image by Mark Miller

It’s Halloween, It’s Halloween.

The Shaggs singing \”It\’s Halloween.\”

Or close enough.

Slowly, it is getting darker earlier than a month or two before. The winds are blowing more and it is getting chilly at night and during the day.

But what I am thinking about are scary movies that are appropriate for various age groups. I have many age groups in my house along with some people who want full-bore scares and others who would rather watch mild scares (me).

I am a ‘fraidy cat which makes me more understanding towards others who might be afflicted in the same manner. If you get nightmares easily, well, I understand completely.

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There are some movies that I love but can never watch again because they give me nightmares. Hands down, the best scary movie ever is Psycho. Hitchcock directed a masterpiece I can never watch again. Another movie I can no longer watch is 28 Days Later by director Danny Boyle along with the wonderful zombie spoof, Shaun of the Dead, because I will get nightmares. Had them already, do not want a repeat performance.

Of the zombie movies, these two might be the best only after the great Night of the Living Dead from the sixties. Each one has a different back story for the zombies coming into being and each has its own horrors and funny points. All lie somewhere on the edge of reality and that is what makes them scary.

I would not allow my younger children to watch these movies because that would lead us to nightmare alley.

Next on my list are many horror movie series. Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Scream, Saw, The Hostel. (By the way, for the most part the first movie in these series is the best one.) Those are not on my list for viewing with the kids, even the older ones. I realize my teens can – and will – watch these movies. They will do so without me or my ten-year-old or my six-year-old.

At some point, you have to understand that younger kids cannot handle these scary situations, bloody gory scenes or the abduct-and-torture storylines. They cannot distinguish between fact and fiction quite yet which is why the younger members of the family are not allowed to watch the above mentioned films in my home.

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What I allow the kids to watch are movies that might show up on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel or Nickelodean. For them, something scary might be a show that has fantastical elements – such as Halloweentown – which are so out there that the scary parts are not so scary.

That is the reason why I love the animated Scooby Doo movies for kids as well. Even the ones with a ‘real’ ghost resolves itself easily enough that the scares are not so scary. This is true for the first three Harry Potter movies as well although these fit more into the action/adventure genre.

I know that some people will disagree with me and say I am baby-ing my kids. I know that some of you have different rules and would never allow their kids to watch some of what I would.

You are certainly welcomed to drop a note below to let me know how we differ. What are your movies of choice for Halloween?

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.