Halloween Movie Reviews: Lightning Round

Occasionally, I see movies I enjoy, but don’t have enough to say about them to merit a full review. But, they still deserve to be acknowledged. What follow are my mini-reviews of four such movies. Any or all of these are good choices for the Halloween season.

Hocus Pocus (1993): Classic Halloween fun from the ‘90s. Reminds me a little of the Wishbone special of the same era, expanded into a full-length film. A great one to watch every year.

Beetlejuice (1988): Typical Tim Burton. Parts very funny, parts in questionable taste, parts just bizarre. Arguably, the titular character is the weakest part of the film. Still, it’s a reasonably enjoyable horror comedy as long as you don’t mind a few scenes that feel like a fever dream on acid.

Coraline (2009): Another one I found out about from Lydia Schoch’s list of horror movies for those who don’t like horror. It features gorgeous animation and an excellent message, as the young protagonist finds herself confronted with making a Faustian decision. It contains good lessons for adults and children alike. It’s rated PG, but I wouldn’t want anyone under 12 watching it.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947): This is a supernatural romance rather than horror, but still has one of the best and funniest haunting scenes I’ve ever seen. Also, the atmosphere of the little seaside cottage is wonderful, and Rex Harrison was fantastic, as always.

Now, the question is, will I be able to write a proper full-length review of some scary movie in time for next week? Has the quality of scary movies deteriorated so thoroughly that there’s nothing left except disgusting slasher garbage and what MAD Magazine called “Devil flicks”? Or will I be able to find something worthwhile in time to save Halloween? Stay tuned.


  1. Seen three out of four. Hocus Pocus and the Ghost and Mrs. Muir are great. Beetlejuice was so-so.

  2. I have fond memories of the Ghost and Mrs Muir, but it’s been decades since I saw it on a black and white TV. Can’t help you with scary movies, not my thing.

    1. 90% of scary movies aren’t my thing either. I can’t stand the so-called slasher films etc. I prefer more subtle creepiness, or just an old-fashioned ghost story.

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