It's a new week, peeps: happy Monday, everyone! How are you? How was your weekend? Did you get enough rest? Have you been taking care of yourselves? Did you talk to some loved ones? My past week has been very busy—I started a temp job, and it's full time, so my schedule has been cramped after factoring in all the pre-production notes, freelance work, familial obligations, and so on. In fact, I might end up lessening the frequency with which I post here because I'm planning to launch that Patreon soon, and I want to generate more exclusive content for it (though all of the free posts will be available here as well). But I made some time to write, and I've missed you all (even this guy), so today's topic is gonna be a fun one: it's the holiday season, and I've got some movie and television recommendations to really get you in the spooky spirit.
Now, I love me a good horror movie, but I actually don't watch movies that often, and when I do, they're usually more child-appropriate because I'll usually watch them with family. I love kids' movies and shows, especially the ones I grew up with, so if these recommendations tend toward the nostalgic, you'll understand why. Every once in a while, I do watch films with friends or on my own, but this list is gonna be more family-oriented, which means they'll tend toward the spooky or be Halloween-themed, but for the most part, they'll avoid being outright horrifying. I've included the ratings in case you do choose to watch with young ones!
Disclaimer: All of the streaming links are current as of October 23, 2017 and are subject to change as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, etc. cycle through the intellectual properties available to view online, and I only provide links to legal, licensed streaming services. Support the media you love!
Though we're all so busy nowadays, it's always fun to have movies and shows playing in the background while I work on other projects! So... what am I watching in preparation for Halloween 2017? Let's see...
Over the Garden Wall (TV-PG)
I already wrote a post regarding my love for this miniseries, but I just had to vouch for it once more. It's available to stream on Hulu (here's a two-week free trial!), to buy or stream on Amazon (DVD/Blu-ray), and to buy on iTunes.
A series very near and dear to my heart, Gravity Falls is a two-season Disney cartoon with 40 episodes, 17 shorts, 17 books (including comics, novelizations, and a defictionalized journal!), three TV specials, and one incredibly devoted fan base. Twin siblings from California, forced to spend their summer in a small forest town with a myriad of (supernatural?) secrets, a crotchety great-uncle who's not what he seems, a dilapidated tourist trap, and a host of strange characters who call themselves residents of the hidden Oregonian hamlet. Mysteries abound, but do friendship, family, and adventure! Various episodes will absolutely be on my TV as I work this week. It's been deeply comforting to be a part of the fandom and meet the wonderful people I now call friends.
This one will actually be a first for me! I've only seen snippets of the movie, despite loving the book ever since fifth grade, so I've made a point to add it to my queue and watch it as soon as possible. It's a stop-motion film that apparently takes a few liberties with the plot, including adding a whole new character as the companion of the titular protagonist. What I know from the book is that Coraline is a young girl adjusting to a move to a new home, a multi-family house, where she has eccentric neighbors. Everything seems very boring until she finds a mysterious locked door, and, against the advice of her tea-leaf-reading neighbors, unlocks it. If you have a fear of buttons or are trypophobic, you may wanna skip this flick.
From the same studio that animated Coraline, this Halloween film is another stop motion family picture that's both comedic and a little terrifying. Taking place in the fictional Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, ParaNorman follows the life of misunderstood medium Norman, an 11-year-old boy who still talks to the ghost of his grandmother and has only one other friend, another misfit named Neil. His parents and older sister don't share his gift and don't understand his idiosyncrasies. One day, Norman's strange elderly uncle confronts him one day, telling him he must take up the mantle of some ancient, town-protecting ritual, and he dies soon after, making Norman vow to complete the ceremony so his spirit can move on. Soon, Norman accidentally makes a fool of himself at the school play because he received a vision. His parents ground him, but he decides, with his grandma's encouragement, to go on a quest to learn more about the ritual, a mysterious witch, and the curse she laid on the town.
Those four are my absolute must-watches this year, but here are some other TV shows and movies that get me in the Halloween mood:
The Disney Channel Original Movie (affectionately referred to as "DCOM") Halloween Pantheon:
Casper Meets Wendy (PG)
*The Twitches series:*
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV-14)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (TV-Y7)
*My Babysitter's a Vampire*
*The movie (TV-PG)
Strange Days at Blake Holsey High (TV-Y7) (also known as Black Hole High in its home country, Canada)
That's it for this Halloween, so grab some friends and family, some popcorn (candy corn?), and the remote, and find some time to put on one of these recommendations. Let the spookiness consume you through osmosis....
There's more (there's always more...), but let's save those for next year, shall we? I hope you enjoy this list! Later this week, I'll have the perfect playlist for your Halloween bash, and trust me—it'll be more than just "The Monster Mash."