The Addams Family: When long-lost Uncle Fester reappears after twenty-five years in the Bermuda Triangle, Gomez and Morticia plan a celebration to wake the dead. Angelica Houston dazzles in this cast.
Ghostbusters: These spooktacularly successful fillms captured the imagination of audiences around the world and redefined the action-comedy genre in the process. And who can ever forget the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?
Gremlins: A man buys a Mogwai as a Christmas present for his son. The young boy is told to keep the pet away from water, out of the light and never to feed it after midnight. Inadvertently, the creature is dampened and almost instantly, produces half a dozen furry replicas of itself –which continue to multiply and turn the small town upside-down. As a kid, this movie rocked my mind and was just scary enough — a perfect combo of humor and eye-covering moments for the kids.
Beetlejuice: Say his name once, twice and three times nice! A fantastically imaginative comedy about a couple of recently deceased ghosts who contract the services of a bio-exorcist” in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their former home.
Edward Scissorhands: Once upon a time in a castle high on a hill lived an inventor whose greatest creation was named Edward. Although Edward had an irresistible charm, he wasn’t quite perfect. The inventor’s sudden death left him unfinished, with sharp shears of metal for hands.
Little Shop of Horrors: A skid-row florist’s mean green mother of a monster plant is the center of the looniest, nuttiest, most outrageous movie musical comedy in years. Be careful, though. You may find yourself humming Steve Martin’s big tune — You’ll Be a Dentist.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry Potter learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and posseses magical powers of his own. Really, any Harry Potter film will do but this was the mothership that launched them all.
Hocus Pocus: You’re in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches return from 17th-century Salem after they’re accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters!
Scooby-Doo: The whodunit format was a daring new frontier for an animated series, but the members of the Mystery Inc. team have grown to become authentic popular-culture icons. Pick any season. Seriously, any season and your kids will fall right into a fun Halloween mood.
BONUS: And because I still have little ones not old enough yet for some of these classics, here are some recommendations for the younger bunch:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown gets rocks in his trick-or-treat bag, Linus awaits a visitation from the Great Pumpkin in his terribly sincere pumpkin patch (while the adoring little Sally sits tight with him), Snoopy falls asleep, Lucy harasses Schroeder, and Pig-Pen kicks up a dust storm even beneath his costume in this classic television broadcast. If this short doesn’t make you feel like a kid again, nothing will.
Spooky Buddies: In a race against a no good hound, the Buddies and their new friends, Pip, Zelda, Rodney, and Skip, must stop Warwick the Warlock and save the world from his dastardly deeds. My son is in love with all the buddies and yours will be, too.
The Dog Who Save Halloween: Zeus and the Bannister family have moved into a new home just in time for Halloween! When Zeus and George decide to investigate a creepy neighbor, they discover a scary dog, a haunted house and form a surprising partnership with a familiar pair of bumbling burglars.
Monsters Inc.: Top scarer Sulley and his enthusiastic Scare Assistant Mike work at Monsters, Inc., the largest scream-processing factory in Monstropolis. The main power source of the monster world is the collected screams of human children. Monsters believe children are dangerous and toxic, however, and they are scared silly when a little girl wanders into their world. The fact that all the little girl can say is “Mike Wazowski” makes the film that much more charming for parents to watch with the kids.
I’m the mama of two muddy monkeys. Leave it to my 6yo and 4yo to keep me on my toes. Through their craziness, sweetness and undeniable inexhaustible energy, they are teaching me as much about being a person as they are about being a parent.