Halloween films for children, little or big (Pt.2)

by Lally Pollen

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Coraline (2009) PG
Beautifully animated stop motion feature based on the book by Neil Gaiman, about a young girl thrown into an idealized replica of her world, which is more sinister than at first it seems.

***

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Frankenweenie (2012) PG
Animated feature film based on the short by director Tim Burton.  A young boy, victor, conducts experiments to bring his dog back to life. As the monster dog wreaks havoc in the town the boy must convince them of the loyalty and good nature of his best friend.

***

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The Black Cauldron (1985) U certificate
One of Disney’s lesser known animations, Black Cauldron was the first to be released that was not a musical and was with held from video release due to its dark content. Its tells the story of a young boy and his companions who go on a quest to get hold of a powerful object before the evil Horned King gets his mitts on it.

***

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Labyrinth (1986) U certificate + Dark Crystal (1982) PG
Written and directed by Jim Henson, the characters of both these films were based on the designs by Brian Froud. Labyrinth stars David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Sarah (Connelly) must rescue her baby brother from The goblin kings, by completing his Labyrinth with in 13 hours. Dark Crystal is an animation using puppets. Jen a young orphan raised by peaceful wizards must embark on a quest to find the missing piece of the dark crystal to restore the balance of the universe.

***

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Paranorman (2012) PG
An animated comedy adventure from first time director Chris Butler. Norman has the ability to see and talk to the dead, yet most people do not believe his ability is real. The town of Blithe Hollow (a nod to Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow) is under threat from a curse cast by a witch condemned centuries ago. Norman is the only one who can save them.

***

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Dracula (1931) PG
Although black and white films may not interest some children, Bela Legosi gives one of the most iconic performances of the count in this beautifully creepy version of the classic novel.

***

*****DON’T FORGET: 2 FOR 1 RENTALS ON ALL HORROR FILMS ALL DAY THURSDAY!!!*****

HAPPY FRIGHT FEST!

Halloween films for children, little or big (Pt.1)

By Lally Pollen

monster-houseMonster House (2006) PG
Animated horror-comedy about three teens exploring the haunted house across the street, only to discover the house itself is a living, breathing monster.

***

l_121164_4116ace5Corpse Bride (2005) PG
Stop-motion animation from director Tim Burton, featuring voices of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Michael Gough. A young groom inadvertently marries a dead woman whist practicing his wedding vows.  Despite
the sinister tone of the plot and title, Corpse Bride blends musical numbers, comedy and charm with a gothic aesthetic.

***

the-nightmare-before-christmas-movie-poster-3607Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) PG
Based on a poem by Tim Burton, this stop-motion musical follows Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween, on his quest to understand the nature of Christmas. Music composed by, and featuring the voice of, Danny Elfman.

***

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addams_family_values_ver1Addams Family (1991)  PG + Addams Family Values (1993) PG
The first directorial feature from Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty, Men in Black), The Addams Family is based on the characters created by Charles Addams and stars Raul Julia and Angelica Huston. Charming gothic family comedies.

***

600full-the-witches-posterThe Witches (1990) PG
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, The Witches is part adventure, part fantasy horror, about a little boy who after stumbling upon a witch convention and being turned in a mouse, must try to stop their sinister plans. Angelica Huston plays the head witch, who may be a little scary for very young children.

***

Young-Frankenstein-PosterYoung Frankenstein (1974) PG
A Mel Brooks comedy starring Gene Wilder about the grandson of the famous scientist inheriting the castle and continuing Dr Frankenstein’s experiments, after years of trying to live down the family reputation. A few of the jokes and innuendos may well go over the heads of the very young.

***

hocus-pocus-movie-poster-1619Hocus Pocus (1993) PG
Goofy and flamboyant Disney comedy celebrating all things Halloween.  This comedy-adventure stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and a very young Thora Birch. Three sister witches are resurrected 300 years after their initial demise in Salem, Massachusetts. It is up to two teenagers, a little girl and an immortal cat to stop them once and for all!

***

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HAPPY FRIGHT FEST!

HALLOWEEN OFFER: 2 for 1 Rentals on all Horror (including staff…)

ARE YOU A HORROR GUZZLER?

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OR MORE OF AN OCCASSIONAL SNACKER?

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EITHER WAY, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR HALLOWEEN OFFER OF 2 FOR 1 RENTALS ON ALL HORROR FILMS. ALL DAY THURSDAY 31ST OCTOBER.

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BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT…

posted by Dixie Turner

Recent Additions (Films We Should Have Had Before But Didn’t):

A70-204ADDAM’S FAMILY (1991)

Unless you missed our (various) announcements on the matter, The Addams Family has finally been released on DVD (the sequel, Addam’s Family Values, having been already released years ago). We can all now enjoy fighting over who gets to have the Hallowe’en of their dreams by watching an Addam’s double bill… Book early to avoid (beautifully bitter) disappointment. Starring Anjelica Houston, the late Roul Julia, the wonderful Christopher Lloyd and the wee Christina Ricci.

***

vrxVON RYAN’S EXPRESS (1965)

Ol’ blue eyes (Frank Sinatra), unable to stick to crooning and rubbing shoulders with hoodlums and wise guys, insisted on making movies so that his fragile ego wouldn’t crack. This one is a World War II American-hero pic where he leads a bunch of mostly British prisoners of war to freedom from their German captors. Entertaining Sunday-afternoon fare, and good for kids eager a bit of war/action, but not yet old enough to enjoy the news…

***

brother_sun_sister_moon_xlgBROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON (1972)

Franco Zeffirelli’s first film after the immense success of his Romeo and Juliet was this tale of the early life (and love) of St. Francis of Assisi.

***

41GcYBhFGRL._SY300_COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (1998)

At just over 6 and a half hours, this 4 part TV mini series promises the die-hard Monte Cristo fan something closer to the epic novel than the myriad other versions on offer. In French with English subs, starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Rochefort.

posted by Dixie Turner

The Beasts From The City Spread The Word, And The Word Is HORROR!

Out from the vaults of the City: the undead; the hags; the sharp-toothed, forked-tongued, poison-spitting, flesh-eating, carrion-picking ghouls step out. You’re thinking: just another night with the regular staff at Video City. But, wait! For one night only, the teeth are extra sharp! The poison reaches the heart that little bit faster and the flesh is devoured with greater frenzy. From their fetid feast a few VC beasts look your way, their gleaming eyes meet yours – will they sink their pointy teeth into your veins? No, they wish only to share their horrid knowledge (thank Beezlebub for that):

Tom Moore says:

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1932)

This is pre-code; this is Hollywood before the original censors lock down in all it’s depraved and grizzly glory. A classic tale dealing with surprisingly contemporary themes of  identity, repressed appetites  drugs and lust. Loaded with sexual menace, the  intensely aggressive performance of the lead Fredric March will shock and startle. The chaos and terror that lurks swirling and ominous beneath any smooth exterior has rarely been depicted with such frightening clarity. Gothic and nightmarish photography is matched by some of the most psychedelic and affecting special cinematography found from the far side of the 1960’s underground.

Some other recommended classics:

Freaks (1932) – Carnival uprising

Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The birth of the modern zombie

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) – Expressionist and oh so stylish

The Innocents (1961) – Atmospheric British ghost tale

The Haunting (1963) – Nail biting creep house spectacular

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

Not your traditional horror movie, more a revenge thriller, but it still made me twitchy long after the credits rolled.
Paddy Considine stars as Richard an ex-soldier returning to his home town. What starts out as a knockabout drama with Shane Meadows trademark humour quickly spirals into a tale of retribution driven by Considine’s charismatic performance and the brilliant support of Toby Kebbell as his brother.

The moral of this story? – Don’t mess with Paddy, he’ll give you nightmares.

Another favourite:
Peeping Tom (1960) – Michael Powell’s perverse love letter to the all-consuming power of cinema.
The Descent (2005)
Given that going caving already sounds horrific, The Descent is a winner from the word go. A group of friends clamber down into the bowels of the earth, squeezing themselves through impossible spaces only to become stuck when the ceiling caves in. The trouble is, THEY’RE NOT ALONE (cue heavy organ).  Even though the theme music to Jaws sends me flying behind the sofa, this is – even by the standards of those with bowels of steel – one to watch with a spare pair of drawers to hand… A claustrophobic, nerve-wracking monster movie with a pretty good twist at the end.
Also reccommended:
The Descent 2 (2009): a perfectly decent follow-up where a sole survivor must return to the bowels of the earth to help authorities discover what happened to her missing friends.
Switchblade Romance (2003): Freaky French Psycho-horror with Cecile De France
Wolf Creek (2005): Based on true events of a group of friends stuck in the Australian outback – mental note: never visit the Australian outback