Tag Archive: witch

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Recently at a job interview, I learned an interesting tidbit of information.


At stores that sell DVDs and BluRAY, it is horror movies that are flying off the shelves. And then the interviewer told me that horror movies sell in greater volume in rural areas than in urban areas.


Image from Fishmuffinsofdoom.blogspot.com

Image from Fishmuffinsofdoom.blogspot.com

I thought about that when I was picking out a movie the other week for our movie night at home. The racks were filled with horror movies. Even a lot of the family movies had a horror element to them. ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie. Each one of these movies involve ghosts, zombies, vampires or some other element that we might expect from some old campy horror movie from the 30s or 40s.


It makes me wonder what are we so afraid that we have to explore it in our entertainment. I understand why zombie movies might be so popular. With the sluggish economy, people with jobs are being asked to do the work of three people and are so tired they might wish they were dead. Or people are afraid that they will become shells of the people they once were.


While that might be a mid-life crisis issue, I can see how people would think that. They wonder what happened to their passion for life, their joy in the everyday when it has been beaten down by the routine of daily life of going to work and coming home to deal with the family only to do it again the next day.


How can one find a passion for life when they are eating the same fried eggs (over easy) with the same raisin toast and the same green tea that they have had for breakfast for the last 20 years. Where is the joy when you are yelling at the kids or the husband for the clothes that hit the bathroom floor but not the hamper less than a foot away for umpteen years?


We need to see how to fight against it, how to rage against the dying of the light. No matter what our age, people want to see how a person fights against demons and other evil entities in order to survive. We want that secret.


Or maybe people just like watching gory movies and getting scared silly. I like my explanation better but I am sure some one out there reading this is saying “that chick thinks too much.”


Now this weekend, we did watch ParaNorman.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

The story is about an 11-year-old boy who sees ghosts everywhere. Even his grandmother visits with him because she promised to always watch over him. He is seen as weird and different, including by his own family although his mother tries to make life easier for her son.


Unfortunately, the anniversary of the witch approaches. The undead bodies of the seven men who tried and sentenced the witch will roam the town until the sun rises. To make things more tense, it has been left to Norman to settle the witch and help her find peace for one more year.


It is a family movie with some PG swearing that is dark and brooding. Norman is relentlessly bullied and tries to keep a low profile in order to be a part of the scene and not the center. When another bullied kid tries to befriend him, he brushes off the other kid, choosing to remain alone to protect himself.


I find it is a movie about regrets, of a past that needs to be fixed to solve the present.


The kids like it and I found it interesting to watch. I might watch it again just to see the little bits of good stop-action animation that I missed. Are there greater lessons to be taken away from this movie for the kids? Well, yes there are. But I will leave that to you to ponder.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Are You Brave?

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Ever since the ads for Brave began showing up, my daughter wanted to see it.

With every sneak peak of different scenes, with every extended commercial my daughter made it clear we were going to see this movie on the first night. She even wrote it on our calendar.

We were going to do that right up until we noticed that soft ball practice was at the same time as when we needed to leave for the drive-in theater.

So we changed our plans and went the following night to Harvest Moon Drive-In Theater all the way in GibsonCity.

Poster image from IMDb.com

The movie tells of a young Scottish princess who has come of age during the middle ages. Her father (Billy Connelly) is the king and must preside over her betrothal to one of the sons of the three lords. Each man must participate in a skill test of the princess’ choosing to see if he is worthy of her hand. Along the way, her mother, the Queen (Emma Thompson), has been trying to teach her daughter decorum and the ways of royalty.

Unhappy at the turn of events, angry at her mother, and wanting to find an easy way out of her dilemma, Merida(Kelly MacDonald) seeks the local witch to create a spell to change her mother about the idea of marriage. But like many spells in fairy tales, this one has unforeseen consequences and Merida must clean up the mess she has made before it is too late.

What I loved about this movie was the stunning animation that reminds me of the quality of hand-drawn anime from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.  I also appreciated the dead-on casting of voice actors. Billy Connelly was great as the king while Emma Thompsonis sitting in her rightful place. Kelly Macdonald was excellent as Merida.

While this may go down as one of the weaker movies by Pixar, I still find it a strong tale about a girl who finds she has to fix a problem she created. She has to learn to take responsibility for her actions, which can be hard for a teenager as those of you with teenagers know very well. In that sense it is like many Pixar movies which forces the lead character to confront their own worst traits.

There are parts that might be scarier than pre-schoolers want to see. We took along our 7-year-old who loved the movie but, then again, he was sitting next to Dad. I could see how some of the fight scenes could be especially daunting for the youngest members of the family. Otherwise it is a fun action-filled movie suitable for the whole family.

As for the bear thing, I never saw it coming although when you think about it, the storyline fits with the first part of the movie. Would I go see Brave again?


And I would definitely get another funnel cake sundae from the concession stand.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.