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Get ready for Halloween with these titles

October 12, 2018

It’s the spookiest time of the year, here at 507 and everywhere else. No wonder, then, that our rental lists and Netflix history have been littered with some spectacularly creepy fare.

This year, we decided to again share some of our favorite movies – ranging from mildly creepy to incredibly scary – to help you get into the Halloween mood. Katie Lauer and Anne Halliwell, our co-editors, share family-friendly and slightly scary films, while Emily Wessing, our podcast columnist, will dish up truly terrifying flicks.

So grab some popcorn (or candy corn), settle down, and leave the lights on.

“Coraline”(PG, 2009)

I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t this another kids’ movie?

Rest assured, “Coraline” is the rare story that is accessible enough for young viewers, but refuses to condescend to adults. Despite the PG rating, it’s only recommended online for children ages 10 and up – and that seems rather young for some of the frightening images you’ll encounter in this tale.

So no: not exactly a kids’ movie. At least not if their age is in the single digits.

The hook: Coraline, who is dissatisfied with her parents after a move, discovers a door in her new home that leads to an alternate world with an “Other Mother” and “Other Father.” As she explores her new family life, though, red flags start popping up. Who are these Other parents, and what do they want from Coraline? And – maybe more importantly – what will they do to keep her?

-Anne Halliwell

“E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial” (PG, 1982)

When it comes to family friendly movies, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” is a must-watch on any list this Halloween season.

The classic 1982 Steven Spielberg film follows a Reese’s Pieces loving alien who is stranded on Earth. After being found by a young boy named Elliot, he has his friends and sister Gertie work to keep the creature safe and a secret – teaching him to talk and taking him out for Halloween as a ghost in the meantime.

After he gets sick, however, the children have to figure out a way to save him both from the illness and the government itself.

The films’s themes of friendship, curiosity and joy will strike a chord with anyone watching – whether they are 6 or 66 years old. So, once you “phone home” this film, get ready to have your appetite for the peculiar and outer-worldly primed and ready for Halloween.

-Katie Lauer

“The Conjuring” (R, 2013)

Based on a true story, “The Conjuring” is the perfect break-into Halloween spirit thriller, combining a few of the horror genre’s greatest tropes – the supernatural, a secluded farmhouse, and a true story backdrop to boot. Set in the seventies, the plot is fairly uncomplicated – paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren are called to the home of the Perrons, who are being terrorized by an unseen evil presence. Though the manifestations are benign at first, events quickly escalate as the house’s macabre history is revealed. By utilizing long, unsettling shots, dramatic silences, and an eerie musical score, director James Wan creates a resonant, immersive horror experience that is well worth the watch. It’s the perfect accompaniment for the season of spook.

-Emily Wessing

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