Halloween. A time for skeletal decorations, expensive trips to the local costume shop and major sugar highs. This is what commercial Halloween is all about, and for years I’ve been the front runner in enjoying the cheesiest aspects of this occasion; the ‘treat,’ if you will. The trick? Not such a huge fan. Whilst I’m happy to indulge in the chocolate, and will even occasionally sport a Morticia Adams wig, I stay as far away as physically possible from the scarier side of things. Pre-teens in full psycho-killer get-up can expect their knocks on the door to be ignored, and horror films will remain firmly in someone else’s DVD player.
Put simply, I’m a Wimp. Capital W.
I’m scared of being scared. Although I have no issue with films or TV series containing bloody violence and serial killers, my problem lies with films whose sole purpose is to terrify you and turn you into an insomniac all in one sitting. Knowing that what I’m about to watch is going to have me looking over my shoulder, under my bed, in the cupboard or away from the mirror for the rest of my life doesn’t exactly have me reaching for the popcorn.
And so when my friends ask me if I want to join them in their Saw marathon, I have to politely decline and run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. To another TV. Another DVD player. Another set of movies…
Now, I know I’m not the only Wimp out there. Hundreds, thousands, millions of us exist and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it any more! Why should we be forced to watch wet-your-pants material, when there are so many other great films to see out there? And with that in mind, I’ve come up with the Wimp’s Solution to Halloween Viewing: three categories of films for you to choose from depending on your Halloween mood. So take your pick, sit back and enjoy a fear-free ride whilst eating your younger sibling’s ‘trick or treat’ bag of goodies.
Category 1: Keeping the Halloween spirit
Just because we Wimps don’t want to be terrified to death, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the Halloween fun to some extent!
- Ghostbusters (1984)
- Frankenstein (1931)
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Gremlins (1984)
- The Addams Family (1991)
Category 2: Films you’ve always meant to see but never got round to
This will vary person to person, but why not use Halloween as an excuse to watch that film you’ve always managed to miss? Here are the top five from my list:
- Strangers on a Train (1951)
- In Bruges (2008)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
- Thelma and Louise (1991)
Category 3: Halloween Opposites
If you really want nothing to do with Halloween, these films will see you through. And they can still be enjoyed with sweets to hand.
- The Notebook (2004)
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
- The Jungle Book (1967)
- Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
- Trading Places (1983)
So my fellow Wimps, I hope whatever you decide to do and watch on Halloween, you won’t feel the urge to scream, cry and hide behind your grandmother’s crotched cushion. Halloween can be fun, so carve that pumpkin, hang up the cobwebs, and rest safe in the knowledge that nothing is hiding under anything. Except perhaps a stray piece of popcorn.