, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’re a die-hard (pun intended) fan of dark-and-scary, you might want to skip this post. I’ve seen my share of white-knuckle horror films, but I’m a happy-haunts kind of gal. Which is why I’m putting a light-hearted spin on a haunting holiday with the following movies…


ParaNorman_posterThis hilarious stop-motion marvel is about a small town that comes under siege by zombies. The only person who has a ghost of a chance at saving the town, is a misunderstood boy named Norman. Norman isn’t the usual stuff heroes are made of. His only qualification for the hero job is that he can see and speak with the dead.

Unfortunately, zombies aren’t the only supernatural riffraff that Norman’s thrown up against. He also has to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all… moronic grown-ups, to thwart a centuries-old curse. 

A la Joss Whedon, ParaNorman gets dark, scary, and then throws in the humor. At its core, ParaNorman is a heartfelt zombie comedy (ZomCom) with an added dash of macabre for spice. You can watch the trailer here.

Corpse Bride

Corpse Bride movie poster

Tim Burton’s quirky stop-motion tale about one wedding … two brides … and a grave misunderstanding.

Meet Victor, our accidental hero, who lives in a small European village in the 19th century. He’ been pledged to Victoria in a marriage arranged by his parents, and meets his bride-to-be for the first time the day before the wedding. Understandably nervous, Victor botches the wedding rehearsal on a nerdastic scale.

In hopes of improving his performance on his wedding day, Victor goes for a walk in the woods, practicing his vows along the way—not that it helps. When he reaches the part of ceremony where they exchange rings, Victor slips Victoria’s wedding band on what appears to be a tree branch, sealing his fate. You see, Victor unwittingly put the ring on the skeletal finger of the enchanted Corpse Bride, binding himself in matrimony to her for eternity.

To Victor’s shock and dismay, his new bride whisks him off to her dark and mysterious netherworld–the land of the dead. Terrified, Victor’s predicament goes from bad to wickedly worse as he realizes he actually loves the real-live fiancée he left behind. Victor’s desperate to return to the world of the living to be with his true love, but sinister forces stop at nothing to block his escape. 

This dark comedy comes full circle, delivering a well deserved happy ending that glows with compassion and redemption. You can watch the trailer here.

Practical Magic

“What’s Halloween without witches,” you ask?Practical Magic movie poster My point exactly for picking this classic tale of merry magic and spells gone deadly wrong.

The wry, romantic comedy follows the Owens sisters, Sally and Gillian, as they struggle to use their innate mystical gifts to overcome the obstacles in finding and keeping true love.

The Owens sisters always knew they were different. After their parents’ deaths, they went to live with their two eccentric aunts who gave them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them how to use their magical skills for practical purposes.

Not everything about their magic was good, however. The Owens’ mystical birthright came with a price—some called it a curse:

Any man an Owens woman falls in love with is doomed to an untimely death.

The sisters learned how real the curse is when Sally loses her husband and Gillian her lover. The sisters efforts to reverse the curse result in supernatural forces retaliating and threatening their lives. The quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their wits and dig deep into their powers to ward off the evil bent on destroying them all.

This movie gets a little dark, but never scary. And there’s plenty of fun to swing the scale into delightful. For one, these witches know how to rock a happy haunt. Sneak a peak at their midnight margaritas dance party, if you don’t believe me…

Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman, Practical Magic

What are your favorite Halloween movies (scary or not)?