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Monday, May 27, 2024

Halloween films that prompt laughter instead of screams of terror

Whatcha gonna watch?

Halloween is a time for people to enjoy horror films, dress up in costumes and eat tons of candy. Although many enjoy being scared, there are also others who prefer celebrating the holiday without the fear factor. The ’80s and ’90s seem to serve as the peak time for hilarious Halloween movies, so for those who are in need of a laugh, here are a few movies to watch. 

“Hocus Pocus” (1993)

A classic Halloween movie that is a must-watch during the season is “Hocus Pocus.” These three wacky witches have a special place in our childhood memories. In the city of Salem, the Sanderson sisters come back to life after they are summoned by an unsuspecting teenager. Their main goal is to suck out the souls of the children to remain young and beautiful. Max Dennison, the teen virgin who was unaware of the dangers of lighting a witches’ candle, has to now find a way to save his little sister Dani and the rest of the children of Salem from the witches. Viewers watching the 17th-century witches try to adapt to the 20th century can’t help but laugh at the comical sight.  

“The Addams Family” (1991)

Even though there is a new animated version in theaters, please refer to the older movie “The Addams Family” with Angelica Huston as Morticia and Christina Ricci as Wednesday for all your Addams Family needs. This cast was made for the roles of the Addams Family, displaying  apathetic attitudes toward the dangers around them and finding humor in risking each others’ lives. Their cavalier views on death make audiences a bit uneasy while watching the Addams Family, but they are just so strange that we can’t help but laugh at their eccentric ways.  

“Casper” (1995)

This friendly ghost graced our screens as a cartoon and eventually came to life in this 1995 film version. Casper just wants to make friends, but due to his ghostly state, people tend to run away in fear. In a large house, Casper is left with his menacing ghost uncles, who constantly haunt the house to ensure no one is willing to stay. When Dr. Harvey, a therapist for the paranormal, comes along, however, he is the first person to not run away. Alongside his daughter Kat (also played by Cristina Ricci), the two move into the house to help the ghost uncles move on to the afterlife and allow the ominous heiress to inherit the house without any problems. The uncles, although a holy terror, volley dismissive and sarcastic comments. Casper is finally given the chance to befriend someone who isn’t afraid of him and watching Casper and Kat’s friendship grow brings happiness to the viewers. 

“Beetlejuice” (1988)

One of Tim Burton’s most well-known films is “Beetlejuice.” His views on what the afterlife looks like is always interesting to see, for it can be a mesh of many things. One can find a desert world filled with gigantic sandworms, but can also be taken to a seemingly normal waiting room where a woman’s torso is on one end of the couch leisurely smoking, her legs crossed on the other end of the couch. The film follows a normal couple, Barbara and Adam Maitland, who unfortunately died in a car accident and are stuck haunting their own house, which they want to keep to themselves. The only way to get rid of the new eccentric family moving in the Maitland’s house is to scare them away, but there’s one problem — they are not scary enough. They are forced to call in reinforcements, specifically, the titular Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice is a ghost himself who specializes in scaring away humans, but his tactics are so morbid he’s dangerous to summon. One of the most iconic scenes is the “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” scene where the family and their guests are possessed to sing and dance along to the tune. Death might be a scary topic to accept, but Burton shines a comical light onto it with the bizarre dead people and their tactics in scaring those still breathing.    

“Ghostbusters” (1984, 2018)

This well-known franchise and unforgettable ghost-busting team resurfaced in the 21st century with an all-female remake in 2018. “Ghostbusters” centers around paranormal activity in the center of New York where a team of four men (and later women) try to protect the city from total destruction. At first, there are small hot spots with bothersome and grotesque ghosts making a mess of things that the team is able to contain. But there is a far larger paranormal threat that feeds off the fear of the citizens, and it’s up to the Ghostbusters to defeat it. By conjuring up things they are not afraid of, the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is conjured into existence to help with their battle. The reboot’s all-female cast was made up of well-known comedians (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon) who brought a new level of comedy to the film, despite the backlash they received for the remake. 

Written by: Gabriela Hernandez — arts@theaggie.org


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