Casper • Return to HalloweenTown • High Spirits • Haunted Honeymoon • Fall of the House of Usher • The Haunted Mansion • The Last Leprechaun • Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story • Hansel and Gretel • Casper – A Spirited Beginning • Dracula BBC
by Charles Canovas
Ed’s note: Sorry some of the videos are no longer available.
This year we have a little bit of everything for Halloween . There are classic tales, funny and action movies, famous and cult films for the whole family, just kids or more mature Halloween movie lovers.
As always , and especially for very popular seasonal films, some of the following will not be on YouTube for long, so please take note of those I flagged as to be seen ASAP.
If there is one Halloween film you´ve got to see with the whole family loaded with humor, special effects, tender moments and out and out fun, it has to be Casper. See ASAP
Casper is a 1995 American live-action family comedy fantasy feature film, starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Amy Brenneman. It is based on the Harvey Comics character, Casper the Friendly Ghost. Famed critic Roger Ebert called it a “technical achievement, it’s impressive, and entertaining. And there is even a little winsome philosophy.”
The film makes extensive use of computer-generated imagery to create Casper and his ghost “uncles”. The CGI effects were cutting edge at the time, and both Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci´s performances were praised especially due to the fact that, in the scenes where they interact with the ghosts, Pullman and Ricci were actually acting either with nothing or with stand-in maquettes.
Casper opened number one over the Memorial Day weekend and grossed $287,928,194 worldwide, far and beyond its $55 million budget and becoming a huge commercial success.
Return to Halloweentown is a 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie, the fourth and final installment in the Halloweentown series.
High Spirits is a 1988 fantasy comedy film starring Steve Guttenberg, Daryl Hannah, Beverly D’Angelo, Liam Neeson and Peter O’Toole. Set in a remote Irish castle called Dromore Castle, Co. Limerick, High Spirits is a topsy-turvy comedy filled with ghosts, castle spirits, Irish folklore and modern day mortals.
Haunted Honeymoon is a 1986 comedy movie written and directed by Gene Wilder, who also starred in it along with the incomparable Gilda Radner, Dom DeLuise, and Jonathan Pryce. The film was also Gilda Radner’s final appearance prior to her death of ovarian cancer in 1989.
What would Halloween be without Vincent Price? Here´s one of his classics with Roger Corman directing: The Fall of the House of Usher. Filmed in 1960, this American horror film is based onEdgar Allan Poe´s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”. It was the first of eight Corman/Poe feature films and stars Vincent Price, Myrna Fahey, Mark Damon and Harry Ellerbe.
In 2005, the film was listed with the United States National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
The Haunted Mansion is a 2003 American fantasy comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason, and Jennifer Tilly. It is Disney’s fourth film based on an attraction at one of its theme parks.
Not the scariest (although it has its moments) or the funniest but it is entertaining for the whole family.
The Last Leprechaun is a 1993 American horror comedy film starring Warwick Davis in the title role and Jennifer Aniston in her film debut. Despite initial negative reviews, the film and its sequels have become cult film favorites. With a budget of only $900,000, it brought in $8.6 million at the box office becoming a huge commercial success.
In 2009, Tanya Gold of The Guardian selected it as one of the top ten scariest films for Halloween.
Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story is a 2001 American television production. It is an alternative version of the classic English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk reworked to reflect what Henson believed to be a more ethical, humanist view. A great cast including Jon Voight and Vanessa Redgrave with Richard Attenborough, Daryl Hannah, and a young James Corden playing giants.
Hansel and Gretel is a 2002 film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm children’s story. It stars Jacob Smith and Taylor Momsen as Hansel and Gretel. It also features Howie Mandel as the Sandman and Sinbad as a raven.
Ever wonder how our friendly ghost, Casper became a ghost? Well, the Harvey Entertainment Company, the originators of the cartoon character, decided to produce a direct-to-video and prequel/spin-off to the 1995 film Casper to tell us all about it. Casper, A Spirited Beginning is a live action film with the same CGI effects as the original film. Nice, but doesn´t come close to the original film. Still, it´s great fun for the younger crowd.
First of all, this is not a documentary. This Dracula is a television adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula, produced by Granada Television for WGBH Boston and BBC Wales in 2006.
As you might imagine, coming from BBC, this is not your classic Dracula. Although there was mixed critical reaction, I think Mary Ann Johanson of FlickFilosopher.com got it right when she called the film “fresh and erudite” and “a valuable new angle on an old story.”
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