Even though Halloween ranks last on my list of favorite holidays, it does fall during my favorite season. I do find it fun to participate in the seasonal festivities. In honor of that, I’ve created a list of suitable Halloween themed entertainment that fits the theme without including a scare factor. Consider these movies, books and songs for the upcoming weekend and holiday.
- Edward Scissorhands: Despite the seemingly eerie, Frankenstein-like concept of Johnny Depp’s character having large scissors for hands, this story explores the scary consequences of fearing differences or unknown. Kind hearted Edward enters a new community and navigates interactions with neighbors as they respond differently to the newcomer. Winona Ryder’s character’s family welcomes them into their home and provides some romantic intrigue.
- Warm Bodies: This movie also tackles the treatment of those considered different. It has the added bonus of being a zombie story following the love saga of Romeo and Juliet. The main walking dead character goes by R, and he meets Juliet and attempts to get her to safety. As Juliet figures out that R somehow has some humanity left, she works to uncover the rest of R’s name and details. I love this movie. It has a great story, awesome soundtrack and a beating heart.
Bonus: The third book installment by Isaac Marion releases in a few weeks.
- Twilight: What falls under the Halloween category better than vampires? This year also marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of the movie. Again, this movie follows a forbidden love story and focuses more on the romance and friendships than horror. This vampire clan doesn’t even feed on humans.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker: I’m currently reading this for the first time. This classic text begins the vampire legacy and introduces Count Dracula. Though it may venture more into the scary realm, I look forward to learning more about the vampire lore. Something tells me it differs a bit from what we see in the Twilight Saga. Also, the diary entries end on November 6, the same day Stranger Things begins in 1983.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: This classic story celebrates its 200 year publication anniversary. Where Dracula shares the first background of vampires, Frankenstein serves as part of science fiction’s development as Victor Frankenstein conducts his famous experiment. Perhaps the inspiration for Edward Scissorhands, this book depicts a scarier outcome from an experiment resulting in a creature.
- The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: My best friend and I have chosen this prequel to Practical Magic as our fall themed buddy read. This story maintains the light hearted and romantic vibe from Practical Magic as it follows three young siblings coming of age. Growing up feeling different but having the truth avoided by their parents, they finally learn their heritage. Part of that involves a curse that hurts anyone who loves them, and the teens must decide how to navigate their identity and their choices.
“Thriller” by Michael Jackson
This song captures 80s pop culture as much as it does Michael Jackson’s rise as the King of Pop. Fun rather than scary, the hit has pep and even includes its own zombie inspired dance. It also makes a perfect background song for the Stranger Things 2 trailer, a modern cultural phenomenon showcasing the 80s that released Halloween weekend last year.
“I Miss You” by blink-182
This song has the lyrics and the video to capture the more emo side of Halloween. The music video takes place what could represent Dracula’s castle and its eerie outskirts, including a graveyard. The song mentions nightmares and references Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It even uses a simile comparing a spider eating insects caught in its web to relational angst as they sing, “like the webs from all the spiders/ catching things and eating their insides/ like my indecision to call you…” Oh, how I miss the teenage years when I first heard this song.