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Halloween is just around the corner, and this year I have been getting into it a bit more than usual. One of the things I’ve been doing is going through my favorite “spooky” movies; here are my top 10.
Practical Magic – One of my all time favorite movies. Forever cursed by the spell placed on the Owen’s women by their ancestor Maria, Sally and Jillian struggle to become the one thing that has always eluded them, normal. Ostracized because of their name and abilities, the girls each strike out on separate paths to build a spell free life for themselves. But when tragedy and danger strike, the sisters have to band together and embrace their legacy to protect themselves and those they love, and hopefully, to find the happiness they’ve always searched for.
Sleepy Hallow – A wonderful interpretation of the tale by Washington Irving. The incomparable Johnny Depp plays the part of studious forward thinking police constable Ichabod Crane, who has been dispatched to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a string of grisly murders. Upon arrival he finds himself immediately swept up in the wake of the intriguing Katrina Von Tassel (Christina Ricci) and her complicated family. As the body count rises, Crane and his firm belief in facts and science are tested as political wrangling and super natural forces expose the seedy underbelly of life in Sleepy Hollow and force him to confront the ghosts of his past.
The Craft – I actually found out about this movie from a church meeting. The church administration decided to show us all a video on the dangers of witch craft in the media and why you should shouldn’t let your children read or watch anything from the Harry Potter series. It was supposed to be a “scared straight” sort of thing, but all it did was add movies to my mental list of things I’d watch as soon as I was old enough to make those decisions for myself. It’s 90’s angsty girl perfection with some questionable CGI and only a nod at accuracy, but a good watch. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but it still speaks to the part of me that will always be that awkward teenage girl wishing for magical powers and perfect late 90’s hair.
Queen of the Damned – While I am not a huge Ann Rice fan, I am a fan of the movies made from her books. It was a close call between this and Interview with a Vampire as to which made the list, but this one won out because it doesn’t have Tom Cruise. Plus, I have a soft spot for violins.
The Addams Family – Probably my favorite dysfunctional family of all time, and man, do they know how to throw a great party. Not to mention Angelica Huston’s costume and make up #goals.
The Haunting – Pair chronic insomniacs with paranormal happenings and it isn’t surprising when this experiment goes off the rails. But you know what, I don’t care if it’s haunted by a murdering old creeper and the souls of lost children, the house in this movie is EVERYTHING. I want it, I was deeply disappointed that it was only a set, and I am incredibly jealous of the actors who got to work in it.
Corpse Bride – If you’ve ever worried about things being dull after your dead, this movie shows us, that if anything, it’s when the party really gets started. Also, a cautionary tale against jumping into marriage with someone you barely know and practicing your wedding vows with items that are only seemingly inert. I am a Tim Burton fan, and like his other movies, there is a zany whimsical quality to the worlds created that one finds almost more enjoyable than the story line itself.
Coraline – Talking cats and parallel universes where everything is exactly the way you want it? Sounds amazing, right? But is it everything you’ve ever dreamed of or is it too good to be true? Throw in a creepy spider lady and some button eyes and you have an animated tale that is entertaining, but still creeps me out even as an adult.
The Village – Being blind doesn’t keep you from being a bad-ass. Ivy walker lives a full life and is an intricate part of her small secluded community, and when the life of the man she loves is in danger, guess who womans up and sets off into the woods by herself? That’s right, the blind chick. Even after being abandoned by her guide, Ivy bravely navigates the forest with it’s dangerous inhabitants to bring back the medicine that can save her guy. Of course, there are some twists thrown in along the way in true M. Night Shyamalan fashion.
Underworld – Vampires, werewolves, and secret plots, oh my! Kate Beckinsale plays the gun toting boot stomping vampire warrior Selene, who finds herself tangled up in a centuries old feud and a conflict which will force her to question everything she knows. Throw in Michael, a dreamy detective who is inexplicably caught up in the supernatural happenings, and it isn’t long before things get interesting and bloody.
Which movies are on your Halloween watch list?
All Images from IMDB
While I don’t go as big for Halloween as some of my friends (we’re talking entire homes being covered in all things spooky), I do find the prospect of Jack-O-Lanterns and dressing up fun. It’s gotten a bit more difficult as I’ve gotten older; I have this desire to “become” whatever I choose to dress up as vs. merely wearing something that is obviously a costume, which mostly leads to frustrating DIY days and me deciding to go as a cat once again. The other thing I like to do is pick up “costume” pieces that could be integrated into my day to day life and wardrobe. This year for a bit of fun, I made up a witchy themed wishlist of items I think many modern day spell casters would be delighted to own.
- Rhapsody Crown Necklace – Leia Beila
- Night Visions – Rituel de Fille
- Phase of the Moon Watch – Hot Topic
- Peaceful Home Candles – New Moon Beginnings
- Moon Flower Flat Boot – Free People
- As You Wish Floral Jacket – Urban Outfitters
- Natural Quartz Filigree Necklace – Howling Moon UK
- Laurel Crown – Elemental Child
- Layered Lacework Dress – Anthropologie
What do you think? Better than some random pointy black hat, right? This wishlist also had a bit of a Practical Magic feel to it. I wanted so badly to be as cool as the Owens women when I was younger. Not the whole losing the love of your life part, but more of the great fashion sense, subtle spelling abilities, and the self confidence that the aunts had in spades. I also wanted the house; it was a really great house 🙂
Happy Halloween, everyone! I have donned my work appropriate cat ears and kitty make up, and the bag of Halloween candy managed to make it through the weekend mostly unscathed, so it’s time to get things in gear. Also, how lame is it that Halloween is on a Monday this year? Seriously, how is one supposed to revel and overindulge in candy if you know you have to roll out of bed and go to work in the morning? Anyway, for your holiday enjoyment, here are some fun facts about Halloween.
- The origin of Halloween can be traced to the Celtic festival for the dead called Samhain. The Celts believed that on this day the dead roamed the earth and would set out treats by the door to appease the visiting spirits.
- Trick-or Treating dates back to the Middle Ages where Halloween was actually “All Souls Day” and people would go door to door begging for soul cakes.
- The tradition of collecting candy on Halloween started here in the US but has now spread to Canada, Australia, and Western Europe.
- In the 1800’s, you were much more likely to be on the receiving end of a trick rather than a treat, but by the 1950’s, things had calmed down into the family friendly traditions that we enjoy today.
- Chocolate based candies make up 3/4 of the candy handed out at Halloween each year.
- Originally Jack-O-Lanterns were made from turnips, beets, and potatoes.
- Back in the day, saying “trick-or-treat” wasn’t enough; you were expected to dance for your treats.
Image from here.