Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas For Women: Colorful Cartoon Characters

Cheetara and WilyKat 


This is a list of a few more creative Halloween costume ideas for women that will allow you to play dress up as some of your favorite childhood idols. None of these costumes are too difficult to create; they're all a lot of fun; and they'll get you a lot of attention:

Cheetara 

Cheetara is a great character for a Halloween costume, because her outfit really isn't too complicated. You just need a red one-piece swimsuit, some black fabric paint, a crazy blonde wig, orange tights, red face paint, and red boots. You can use the black fabric paint to paint the Thundercats logo in the center of the swimsuit, as well as to paint a few spots onto the blonde wig. If you can't find red boots, you can always buy a pair of boot covers to wear over a pair of high heels (a lot of Halloween costume stores sell these), or you can wear a pair of red high heels with red socks to get a similar effect. One of the most important things you need to do to achieve this look is to copy Cheetara's funky eye makeup to really complete this fun Halloween costume idea.

Tinkerbell
 
Tinkerbell is a great Disney character that is often overlooked when it comes to Halloween costumes. Her look is very simple, and everyone will definitely know who you are supposed to be. All you need is a simple green dress, green high heels or ballet flats, fairy wings, fake eyelashes, some big white poof balls from a craft store, a pony tail holder, and a blonde wig if you aren't already blonde. You can probably find a simple green dress at a thrift store or a department store, if you don't mind spending a little more. Then you need to cut the bottom of the dress into jagged edges like Tinkerbell's is. The big white puffs will be glued or safety-pinned onto your shoes. It's pretty easy to find a pair of fairy wings at Halloween costume stores, so you can purchase a pair or try to make your own if you're really crafty. Now all you have to do is apply your fake eyelashes and pull your hair up into a high ponytail, and you'll be the cutest pixie at your Halloween party.

Daphne 


Daphne and Thelma


The Daphne character from Scooby Doo is another great retro costume idea that is pretty simple to create. You just need a form-fitting long-sleeved purple dress (you can use a long-sleeved purple skirt and shirt if they are easier to find). Then all you need to complete your look are a pair of purple high-heels, light pink tights, a green scarf to tie around your neck, a sexy red wig, a purple headband, and, once again, fake eyelashes. This is definitely a Halloween costume that you can hit the thrift stores for, and if you carry a stuffed Scooby around with you, everyone will surely be able to tell who you're supposed to be.

Rainbow Brite
 
Rainbow Brite is another favorite childhood character that wore her hair in a high ponytail. For her look, you need a short blue dress, red heels, two pairs of rainbow striped socks, a plastic rainbow emblem, some white, furry trim, and a red belt or red strip of fabric. You can probably find a plastic rainbow emblem at a craft store, and if you can't, you can always make your own from sturdy cardboard and paint. This will be glued to the front of your red belt or onto the red peice of fabric, which will be tied around your waist. The furry white trim can be sewn or glued around the edges of the blue dress. You will then cut off the feet of one of the pairs of rainbow socks to wear on your arms and slip on your high heels over the other pair on your feet to create an older and sexier version of this popular character.

Betty Boop
 
            This classic sex symbol makes a great Halloween costume because her look is simple but sexy and very flirtatious. Look for a short, sexy red dress and a pair of red heels. Then all you'll need is a short, black curly wig, a white garter to wear on one leg, bright red lipstick, and some fake eyelashes. You may want to draw on some bottom eyelashes the way Betty's are, or just be sure to put plenty of mascara on your bottom lashes. This Halloween costume idea is great for a girl who wants to look sexy without having to do a lot of work on her costume.

I hope these Halloween costume ideas have inspired you to dress as one of your childhood cartoon character favorites this year! Classic cartoon characters make great Halloween costumes because they have a warm nostalgic feel to them and they'll definitely make everyone around you smile. So this Halloween, enjoy being sexy and fun with one of these creative costume ideas.

[Cheetara and Daphne Image credits: GabboT/Flickr]

Monday, September 28, 2015

10 Halloween Party Songs: Rock Tunes, Scary Music, and Even Some Disco



If you're looking for a fun mix of Halloween songs to play while you hand out your fun-size Halloween candy mix, try adding a few of these tunes to your playlist. There's a little bit of rock, some spooky tunes, and the scariest disco song that you'll ever hear.

Fear the Reaper 

Sure it mentions the Reaper, which is what makes it worthy of being a Halloween tune, but this rock song by Blue Oyster Cult is just great, period. And Christopher Walken thinks that your Halloween song playlist needs more cowbell!

Batman Theme Song

This instrumental masterpiece may not seem like it fits into the category of Halloween songs, but with all the Joker and Batman Halloween costumes that people will be wearing this year, this music will definitely be a big hit with many of your Halloween party guests.

Night on Disco Mountain


Even if you hate disco, you have to admit that this instrumental song is amazing! This tune from the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack has a very spooky sound, but it also has a great disco beat going for it that makes it perfect for 'stayin' alive' during the 'night of the living dead'.

Ghostbusters Theme Song 

This catchy tune is definitely one of the most popular Halloween jams that get radio play every year. Everyone loves to sing along with it and dance to it, so be sure that it gets added to your Halloween party playlist.

Black Magic Woman
 
This song is perfect for all of the bewitching ladies attending your Halloween bash, and it'll definitely bring out the devil in all of the men watching them dance.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia
 
Speaking of the Devil, this has to be the most upbeat, fun song ever written about him. There aren't many great Halloween tunes that have a country flavor to them, so this one is definitely a unique choice.

Psycho Theme Song
 
If you're looking for Halloween songs that have a haunting feel to them, this classic music is perfect. It's one of the most recognizable instrumentals in horror film history, and definitely one of the best. Just like the song above, it features violins, but the tunes have very different sounds.

X-Files theme song
 
This is another great theme song that everyone will recognize from the greatest television show about things that go bump in the night.

Paint it Black
 
This rock song makes a great companion piece for the other Rolling Stones tune that was on my other list of Halloween songs, 'Sympathy for the Devil'. The music is great, and the tune is all about one of the holiday's most popular colors.

Sweet Dreams (Marilyn Manson's version)
 
If you really want to scare the hell out of everyone at your Halloween party, play Marilyn Manson's creepy-sounding version of this classic song. It's probably one of only Halloween tunes on this list that truly sounds scary.

I hope this list has given you some great ideas for Halloween music. They'll definitely liven up your Halloween party and keep the monsters mashing all night long.

[Image credit: WxMom/Flickr]

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas for Women: Female Cartoon Characters



If you are a woman looking for fun and creative Halloween costume ideas, try dressing like a female cartoon character. You have a lot of options available; just think of who some of your favorite cartoon characters are and get creative! Here are just a few of my personal favorites that will get you plenty of attention this Halloween:

Harley Quinn
 
She may be the Joker's goofy sidekick in the Batman animated series, but Harley Quinn's skintight outfit would make a very sexy Halloween costume. All you need is a red catsuit, a small piece of white fabric, some white face paint, a simple black mask, some sexy black or red high heels, a red and black harlequin hat, and some black fabric paint. You can use the black fabric paint to paint sections of the catsuit off in a checkerboard pattern like Harley Quinn's costume is. Cut the white piece of fabric into the simple neckpiece that she wears (you can use an old pillowcase or T-shirt or any other piece of white fabric you having laying around the house to do this) and secure it to the catsuit with some safety pins or a few simple stitches with white thread. Now all you have to do is put on your white makeup on any area of your face and neck that will be exposed; tuck your hair under your hat; and put on your mask and high heels.

Luanne Platter 

If you're from Texas, Luanne Platter from the cartoon series 'King of the Hill' would make a great costume for you. All you need is a big blonde wig with bangs (Be sure to tease the back of it a bit to get that Texas height!), some orange, skintight biker shorts, a green sports bra, some cheap white tennis shoes, and white tube socks. Basically, you can buy everything you need for this costume at Wal-Mart. Just be sure to keep your makeup pretty simple and to push your tubesocks down so that they bunch up at the ankles. You may look like white trash, but at least you'll look like sexy white trash!

Jessica Rabbit
 
Jessica Rabbit is definitely one the sexiest cartoon characters ever! All you need to pull her look off is a long red dress, boobs, a red wig, boobs, purple gloves, boobs, red high heels, and more boobs. You can check out thrift stores for sleeveless skintight red gowns or try stores that sell prom dresses. Sometimes department stores have good sales on these types of dresses, so you could also look there. If you go for a more demure, less-exposing red dress that you can actually wear a strapless bra with, don't be afraid to stuff it with plenty of toilet paper! If you have any shapewear that will whittle your waist down, that can also give your body more of a cartoonish look. Also be sure to wear plenty of blue eyeshadow, fake eyelashes, and red lipstick.

Jem


This is definitely a very fun and sexy Halloween costume, and it's one of the more original ideas here. You just need a big pink wig, a short, hot pink dress, pink tights, pink heels, and plenty of pink eyeshadow to pull off Jem's outrageous look. You can also use temporary pink spray-on hair color to achieve her 80's style, just be sure to also use lots of hairspray to keep your 'do big and full! Add some pink oversized earrings (big, pink stars would look fantastic!), a plastic pink pearl necklace, and a pink belt to really make your look stand out. If you're afraid that people still won't know who you are, you can also try carrying around a plastic microphone. This costume idea is definitely one of my favorites, because I'm a very big fan of the color pink and cool, retro styles.

Smurfette
 
This is another look with a very loud color that will definitely get you a lot of attention. If you can stand the thought of covering most of your body with blue face paint, then you can go for this look. You'll also need a tiny, white lacy dress (you can look for this at thrift stores, or you can even purchase a white slip to use as the dress), white high heels, and a floppy white hat (just look for an oversized white toboggan). If you're not a natural blonde, then you'll also want to get a blonde wig. An option for avoiding using so much blue paint would be to look for blue leggings or stockings, so then you could at least avoid having to paint that area of your body. It probably would be a good idea to paint yourself outside with the help of a friend and to make sure you've allowed yourself to dry before getting into your costume. It also wouldn't hurt to do a test run with the blue paint to see how badly it rubs off. Be sure to also wear fake lashes and bright pink lipstick to offset the blue. It's a very messy Halloween costume idea, but the result will get you a lot of attention.

These are just a few of the many great female cartoon characters that can be turned into sexy Halloween costumes, and I've got a lot more ideas, so stay tuned for more!

Image credits: Gaviin Nansoong/Wikimedia, Pat Loika/Wikimedia


Top 10 Songs For A Halloween Party

    Whether you're throwing a Halloween party or just want something fun to listen to on the way to one, these 10 songs should surely be on your playlist. They're all spooky in their own special way, and from ghosts to witches and even Frankenstein, they've got the Halloween holiday covered and will get you pumped up for a very fun, frightful night:

Witchy Woman
 
This classic by the Eagles is all about a woman whose so bewitching it almost seems supernatural. It's one of the only songs out there about witches, so if you're dressing up in a sexy witch costume for your Halloween party, then this definitely needs to be your theme song.

I Put a Spell on You
 
This is a song by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (even the artist's name sounds spooky!). He's a very talented singer, and his deep, mysterious voice will definitely send chills up your spine. The music in this song is also amazing, but the best part has to be when Screamin' Jay breaks into an incredibly wicked laugh and attempts to put a spell on his listeners with some very crazy voodoo talk. (I just have to add that this is one of my favorite songs of all time, period.)

Black Sabbath 

This song by the band of the same name was one of the first real heavy metal songs to grab the attention of rock audiences. It contains a series of chords that were banned in medieval times because they were considered to be the Devil's music, and the song is all about the Devil and his "chosen one". So you know it sounds incredibly evil, which makes it perfect for playing on Halloween.

Thriller
 
You can't have a list of Halloween songs without Thriller! Michael Jackson has become quite scary himself these days, but back when he was truly the King of Pop, this song about the undead and a night of fright topped the charts. It mentions corpses, grizzly ghouls, and demons, so this spooky song has to be on your Halloween party playlist.

Halloween Theme Song
 
Well, it doesn't get any more obvious than this tune. Play this simple retro music from the beginning of the Horror Flick "Halloween", and it immediately will invoke thoughts of the most horrifying holiday ever.

Monster Mash
 
This very fun, family-friendly Halloween song from the sixties is all about a group of monsters that get together and perform a special version of a popular dance craze of the time, the mashed potato. Bobby Pickett does the song with a perfect imitation of the voice of horror film king Boris Kaloff, and this hit has just become one of the few seasonal, truly Halloween songs that get radio play every year.

Hotel California
 
I guess there really aren't too many ghost songs out there, but there's never been a better ghost song than this one by the Eagles. It's all about a man who gets trapped in a very spooky motel with some residents that have been staying there a little too long. The song has a mysterious, eerie feel to it, and it is definitely an American classic that's great to listen to any time of year.

Sympathy for the Devil
 
Well, this holiday is all about evil, so why not have a little sympathy for the devil for once with this rock song by the Rolling Stones? It's a very fun song, and it will make any good boy or girl wish they were as suave and as cool as Satan is made out to be.

Clap for the Wolfman 

This classic song by The Guess Who isn't really about the Wolfman monster (it's really about legendary DJ Wolfman Jack), but it still works for Halloween and is a lot of fun to listen to.

Feed My Frankenstein
 
Alice Cooper is one frightening character on stage, and this is one of the more frightening songs on this list. I'm guessing in this rock tune Alice isn't talking about a classic movie monster, but it still definitely has the right feel for Halloween.

So whether you like fun Halloween songs or songs that have a bit of a dark edge to them, there's sure to be some songs on this list that you can add to your iPod especially for the holiday. Music can make anything better, and it can definitely add a bit of frightening fun to your Halloween holiday.

Top 10 Funny Halloween Movies



This is a list of funny horror movies. As odd as it may seem to put the words "funny" and "horror" together and as impossible as it may seem to mix the comedy and horror genres of films, a few directors have managed to do it very successfully (or, in some cases, they've just created such a bad horror film that it has become a comedy). Whether they meant for these films about the undead to be funny or not, these are some great films to watch around Halloween for those who don't like to be scared to the point where they're up all night terrified by the sound of a tree branch tapping their window:

Plan 9 from Outer Space
 
This definitely qualifies as a horror film that tried to be frightening but failed miserably. However, director Ed Wood did succeed in making what is often referred to as the worst movie of all time with his tale of aliens who use zombies and vampires to try to stop humans from creating a deadly bomb. Ed Wood definitely succeeded in creating a bomb of a film, but it has since become a cult classic. You've got to love the spliced-in archive footage of Bela Lugosi, the small part of horror host Vampira, and the horrible special effects and writing. It's just one of the few films ever made that's so bad it makes it fun to watch.

Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein 

This is a favorite of many Abbott and Costello fans, and it's also great for those who love classic movie monsters. Abbott and Costello are up to their usual gags, but in this film, they have very unusual costars: Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein's monster all make appearances with hilarious results. The film is very tame when it comes to the "horror" aspect, so it's great for family viewing. It's also a great choice if you're like me: you love Halloween, but hate horror films that focus so much on guts and gore. So if you enjoy the lighter, more fun side of the holiday, you'll definitely enjoy a film like this one.

Young Frankenstein
 
Here's another great gore-free comedy. This film is a spoof of the classic Frankenstein films from the 1930's, and it is definitely director Mel Brooks' masterpiece, often being acclaimed as one of the best comedies of all time. Brooks' staple star Gene Wilder is excellent as always, and the late, great Peter Boyle is the perfect Frankenstein monster. The all-star cast also includes many other amazing talents: Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman. So if that list doesn't convince you it's great, well, watch the film.

Shaun of the Dead
 
This film is very gory, but also rather funny. It was a big hit in the U.K., and it became incredibly popular with American audiences, as well. The movie was released around the same time as the remake of 'Dawn of the Dead', but I really prefer my zombie film with a little bit of comic relief. What I also love about the film is that, in the end, zombies and humans manage to live together in a somewhat peaceful way. It may be a little bit of a cheesy ending, but at least it's unique.

Ghostbusters
 
You can't have list of funny movies about the undead without the Ghostbusters! This motley crew of proton-pack wielding ghost exterminators are some of America's greatest heroes because they go after dark forces that are definitely not easy to get rid of (and also rather messy; ghosts are a lot slimier than you would think). The Marshmallow Man is one of the greatest movie characters ever, and you've got to love all of the actors involved in this film who aren't "afraid of no ghosts": Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Oh yeah, Slimer definitely steals the show more than once. This movie is a fun family film, and it's definitely become a unique American classic ghost tale.

Beetlejuice
 
And this is another great American ghost tale. It centers on a ghostly couple that have just become members of the afterlife and are haunting their previous home when a couple and their daughter moves in and begins to redecorate the place with a horrible modern motif. This greatly annoys the ghosts, who call upon a "bio-exorcist" to rid their home of the pesky living. But Beetlejuice isn't about to pass up an opportunity to return to the land of the living and has his sights set on marrying the daughter of the living couple, and his methods of trying to scare the family out of the house are dangerous but ineffective. This is a very funny and original film, and one of many of Tim Burton's masterpieces about the undead.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 
I guess there just weren't enough films about preppy teen girl vampire slayers when this movie came out. Buffy is very cheesy, but it's a fun vampire flick that was original during its time. While this film was basically a teen comedy with a twist- the Valley girl cheerleader is a vampire slayer who is always saving her love interest and the big dance at the end of the film turns into a battle royale against a bunch of vampires- it was supposed to have a feel to it more like the popular television series that followed. But while the film is nowhere near as popular as the series, it did pave the way for future vampire slayer flicks and was ahead of its time when it comes to the teen vampire craze.

Scream
 
Scream was a bit of a spoof of the hundreds of teen horror flicks that have been made over the years. It was really supposed to be a dark comedy, but young fans took the film very seriously, and it is now known more for just being another great slasher flick. It does have its funny and frightening moments, but what has definitely stood the test of time with this film is the killer's screaming mask and black robe, now a very popular Halloween costume. This spoof was spoofed itself with the film 'Scary Movie', a funny, in-your-face farce that isn't afraid to go anywhere, and which, unfortunately, spawned a new type of film: incredibly bad spoofs of every genre of film that exists that rely on horrible gags and very bad pop culture jokes.

Evil Dead
 
This horror film (as well as the other two in the trilogy by Sam Raimi) has become a cult classic. It is definitely very, very bloody (it was hard to find a distributor of the film when it was first released), so if you don't like a lot of violence like me, you may not want to watch this film. It follows a bunch of college students that are staying at a cabin in the woods where they find the Book of the Dead and a tape of incantations from the book. They play the tape; it awakens a bunch of evil demons; and the students are all possessed one by one (one is even raped by a tree!). The part of the film that really makes it entertaining is that the characters are so annoying you almost want something horrible to happen to all of them, but the bad, gory special effects may be too much for some.

An American Werewolf in London
 
This is another bloody film that has a cult following and that's about college students. In the film, two college friends are wandering the moors of London when they are attacked by a werewolf. One of them dies, but returns from the grave in the form of a rotting corpse and tells his still-living friend that he is a werewolf and must commit suicide to prevent himself from killing more people. He doesn't do this, however, and goes on multiple killing sprees. It's just a modern spin on the classic tale of the Wolfman with a few funny moments, but if you aren't so into blood and gore, you can also try the film 'Teen Wolf' starring Michael J. Fox for a lighter, less-violent werewolf tale.

If you hate to be completely scared and freaked out like me, perhaps you can enjoy some of these movies with a funny bite to take the spooky edge of off the usual Halloween horror flick. After all, being scared is fun for a little while, but you really do need a few laughs to get out of that scared stiff state of mind.

[Image via Wikimedia]

10 Great Halloween Movies for Kids



Grown-ups love their scary Halloween movies, but they definitely don't want their children walking in on a Netflix horror movie marathon that will give them nightmares for weeks (and leave them wanting to hide in their parents' beds at night). So if you're a mom or dad looking for a some great Halloween movies for kids that won't bore or annoy you to death, try a few of these fun films:

Monster House
 
This fun CGI animated film is about a haunted house. I'm not talking a house full of ghosts, here; the house itself is literally haunted and 'alive' (or 'undead'?), and it seems to have an appetite for neighborhood children. I won't reveal too much about what happens, because if you haven't seen it, the ending will probably surprise you a little. I will say that it is a creative, cute film that the whole family will enjoy, and it's one of the few horror films I've ever seen aimed at kids.

Mad Monster Party?
 
This crazy Halloween movie was an inspiration for another film on this list (see if you can guess which one!). The film is a Rankin/Bass stop motion animation masterpiece from the late 60's that features a lot of Halloween creatures. Frankenstein, the Werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and the Mummy are just a few of the many colorful characters in this camp classic. It's a spoof of many classic horror films, so it fittingly features the voice talent of horror film king Boris Karloff, as well as that of comedienne Phyllis Diller. The script was written by the creator of Mad Magazine, so it does have its risqué moments (that kids definitely won't get), making it just as for adults as it is for children.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit

This claymation duo from England have brought smiles to the faces of many American children with their animated shorts. In their first full-length feature film, they find themselves in a very lucrative business: providing security for vegetables at a vegetable competition. But when Wallace tries to use one of his wacky inventions to control hungry rabbits, something goes horribly wrong. A frightening, monstrous rabbit begins preying upon any vegetable it can get its hands on, and Wallace and Gromit must do everything they can to stop it (which results in many hilarious moments). This is a very charming film, and it's very hard not to love these two characters, no matter how old you are.

The Harry Potter Films
 
If you really want to keep your kids occupied for a long time around Halloween, rent all of the Harry Potter films and treat them to a Harry Potter film marathon. America's favorite wizard may bewitch you, too, however, so you may end up wasting a good chunk of time yourself. J.K. Rowling's books about the adventures of the young wizard and his friends at Hogwart's have become some of the most popular children's books of all time, and they're just as beloved by adults. The films are no exception to the Harry Potter magic, so munch on some real Halloween candy, like chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans, and enjoy.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
 
This film is a true Halloween classic, so you have to love it for the memories! When this special came on when I was a child, I knew it was almost candy time. I always felt sorry for Linus, who was persecuted for his belief in the Great Pumpkin, and Charlie Brown, who got rocks when he went trick-or-treating instead of candy. Through the gang's Halloween ups and downs, you can't help but relate to them and remember your own experiences as a kid, and the great thing about the Peanuts is that they're always honest and don't sugar-coat childhood. This film is also great for young audiences with a short attention span because it's only 25 minutes long.

Monsters, Inc.
 
This is a great animated film for kids who are afraid of monsters. The monster town of Monstropolis is powered by the screams of children (what monsters use for electricity), so they have to teleport to children's rooms at night to scare screams out of them. However, when a child happens to wander into the monsters' world, havoc ensues, and one monster's diabolical plot to kidnap children and forcefully extract their screams is revealed. The ending of the film is incredibly cute, and it might help kids get over their fears of monsters in the closet or under their beds.

Hocus Pocus
 
Before she starred in 'Sex in the City', Sarah Jessica Parker played one of three evil but dimwitted witches in this film, alongside Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy. The witches are originally from the 17th century and have been resurrected in the 20th, so there are a few funny "wow, the future is weird" moments, and the witches fly around on vacuum cleaners instead of brooms, but mostly the film goes for the exciting suspense of kids trying to outsmart adults (the witches need the soul of a child so they won't disappear forever). It's not the best film in the world, but kids will like all the action and the Halloween theme.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 

This has to be one of the best Halloween films ever made (if not the best), and it can even work as a Christmas film, as well. I don't know of any other movie that can claim that! Jack Skellington is a resident of Halloween Town who stumbles upon the idea of Christmas. He then decides to kidnap 'Sandy Claws' and make Christmas all his own, but the combination of such a creepy holiday and one that's all about giving creates a very unforgettable, terrifying Christmas. Tim Burton's tale is very original, and his dark backdrops and creepy characters all have a very unique, stylized look that creates for an incredibly spooky atmosphere. So if there could be a perfect Halloween film, this one is it.                                                            

The Worst Witch
 
This film is great for kids who just can't get enough Harry Potter! Like Harry Potter, Mildred is attending a school for witches, but she's, unfortunately, not as talented as he is. The film takes a more comedic approach to attending such a school, and although Mildred is the most untalented witch at her academy, it is ultimately up to her to save the day from the headmistress's evil twin sister. This is a very fun film with a lot of funny moments and bad special effects, so it won't impress as much as the Harry Potter films do, but kids will love it for the similarities.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride 

This is another Tim Burton tale based on an old legend about a bride that just doesn't want to miss her wedding day no matter what; even if it means overcoming death. A young groom is practicing his wedding vows when he places his bride-to-be's ring on what seems to be a wooden branch resembling a human hand. To his horror, the branch really is a human hand, and it belongs to a jilted, deceased bride. Her corpse springs to life and whisks him away to the Land of the Dead, where she believes they will be wed and live happily ever after. But this twisted love story is not so simple, since the groom already has a living love. This film might be a little spooky and disturbing to some younger viewers, but it's a lot of creepy fun all the same.

These films may not be spooky enough to satisfy the desire to be scared of most adults, but they are a lot of fun to watch and are great choices for family viewing on the spookiest day of the year.

[Image credit: Touchstone Pictures]

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Films for Halloween: 10 Great Ghost Movies



                                                           
There have been many movies made about what kind of life exists beyond this one that we know. Some films portray those who inhabit the spirit world as tortured souls that love to torment the living; some make them caring and helpful to those of us still alive; and some even envision them as wise-cracking ghouls just out to have a good time. The films on this list are all very different takes on ghosts, from the funny to the frightening, and they all make us wonder if there really are beings from other lives out there that could possibly reach out and touch our own:

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
 
This film is a very bizarre but touching love story between a young widow and a salty sailor that takes place in a charming cottage by the sea. The only problem with this couple's love life is that the sailor is deceased and is haunting his old home. The ghostly sailor helps the poor widow by dictating his memoir for her, which she sells so that she may keep the cottage that they share. Although their love seems hopeless and sad, the film still manages to have a happy ending.

Poltergeist
 
This film is definitely no love story, and is all about trying to terrify audiences. Many fans of the film believe that there is a Poltergeist curse due to the death of two stars of the film and the fact that real skeletons were used in some scenes. Regardless of if this is true or not, the film itself is rather frightening, and the young star of the film who died at the age of 12, Heather O'Rourke, gives an outstanding performance as one of the family members living in a haunted house. Although many films have focused on haunted houses, this one is pretty creative and one of the best.

Ringu
 
This Japanese horror film is a modernized version of a Japanese folk tale about a girl who is thrown down a well by a jilted lover. In this tale, a haunted videotape that kills those who watch it is added to the ancient story. Americans have taken this wonderfully stylized, unique vision and twisted into their own version of the film, which was very popular, though not near as good. 'Ringu' is notable for ushering in a new horror genre in Japan of similar films, most of which have been remade for American consumption. So while the rehashing of these films is a bit of a travesty, the responsibility of this film for bringing about a whole new movement in horror cinema is a testament to how good it really is.

Ugetsu Monogatari
 
This is another Japanese film that centers on an ancient ghost tale, but this one really does take place centuries ago. It is about two ambitious young men: one a potmaker who dreams of being rich, and the other, his helper, a somewhat inept man with dreams of becoming a samurai. The potmaker soon finds himself attracted to a mysterious, beautiful and wealthy woman who he abandons his wife and family for, as his friend leaves his loved ones to pursue honor as a great hero. On the sidelines of this film that mixes the supernatural and the harsh realities of life are the long-suffering wives of these ambitious men, left to fend for themselves in a time of war and destruction. The spirit in this film is evil, but not in the way of modern ghost films, and I won't reveal here who or what it is for those who have not seen the film. This film is a beautiful, artistic masterpiece that is much more a human story than a ghost story, however, and it is most definitely my favorite film on this list.

Ghostbusters 

This campy classic has become of the most beloved ghost movies ever, even though it is far from your ordinary film about haunting. It's definitely one of the more creative films on this list, with characters like Slimer, the Marshmallow Man, and, of course, the four Ghostbusters themselves. Their crazy ghost-sucking gadgets, cool cartoon ghost logo, awesome 'Ecto-1' Cadillac, and the film's obsession with slime (as well as the four great ghost-busting actors, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) have made this funny film an American favorite, and there is even a new installment to the series in the works right now with all four of the original Ghostbusters on board for the project.

Beetlejuice
 
This is another great ghostly comedy that is very unique. Before Tim Burton directed Michael Keaton as the best actor to portray Batman ever, he directed him as the wacky exorcist of the living, Beetlejuice. The film's premise is very interesting, taking the exorcism of a house and reversing it: a ghostly couple hire a bizarre, striped-suit wearing, wise-cracking ghost to scare away the new owners of the home they are confined to as ghosts (mostly because they can't stand their modern decoration theme). He, however, has other plans, intending to wed the live daughter of the intruding couple so that he can return to the land of living. This film frightened me as a child, but now I appreciate its hilarity, B-movie campiness, and that special Tim Burton twisted touch that makes all of this films so unique and fun to watch.

The Shining
 
Stephen King may have hated Stanley Kubrick's version of his tale of an alcoholic writer, but Kubrick fans and horror fans alike agree that this film is one of the best horror flicks of all time. There's a river of blood, a boy with an invisible friend who isn't just part of his imagination, ghosts with furry fetishes, and a very sexy naked woman who is not all she seems to be. The downward spiral of Jack Nicholson is great, as well, and his acting is superb. This film is definitely one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and is a testament to Kubrick's capability to take any film genre and master it.

Sixth Sense 

This film is another that features a young boy as a main character, and it is, unfortunately, director M. Night Shyamalan's only great film. It's also unfortunate that the film really loses its power after you've seen it once, but that first time around, it really does get you. Haley Joel Osment does a great job for such a young actor, and there are plenty of frightening moments where he 'sees dead people'. The film was the start of a series of 'what a twist!' endings for director M. Night Shymalan that has made him into a bit of joke with audiences, but this method really does work perfectly in this disturbing film.

The Others
 
'The Others' has a combination of some of the elements of 'Beetlejuice', 'The Sixth Sense', and 'The Turn of the Screw'. (If you've seen it, you know what I mean). It is compared a lot to 'The Sixth Sense' because of its ghostly twist, but I actually prefer this film. It has a great, spooky atmosphere to it with wonderful cinematography and art direction, and it's still a great film to watch even after you know how it ends. If you haven't seen it, however, it's best, because the film really pulls you into the story of the mother played by Nicole Kidman who is trying to protect her sunlight-sensitive children from an unknown presence in their house and is dealing with seemingly conspiring, manipulative servants. I will reveal no more in case you haven't seen it, and, if you haven't, you definitely should.

The Entity
 
There are a lot of ghost films that are based on true stories, but this is definitely one of the most bizarre. It's the only film I've ever seen that deals with rape by an unseen 'entity' that spends its afterlife undressing and sexually molesting the female inhabitant of a haunted house. I love how every time the entity is raping Barbara Hershey's character this horrible track of music plays, and I'm still trying to figure out how they made it appear that an invisible hand was grabbing her breasts in one scene. The movie is a bit silly, but the thought that this really has happened to someone does make it rather frightening.

So if you're looking for ghostly movies to watch around Halloween, no matter what kind of ghosts you like - loveable, scary, frightening, or funny - there's sure to be an interesting supernatural film for you on this list. Contemplating the afterlife is something we all do, but the creators of these films have done it in ways that are very entertaining and a lot of fun to watch.