My Own Not-So-Frightful Film Festival

One of my guilty pleasures is having my own movie or TV show marathons. Maybe it’s watching a movie trilogy, several films by the same director or watching an entire season of a great show. But now that we’re approaching the holiday season, my cinematic thoughts often turn to marathons that center on holiday-themed films. And for October, that means Halloween

I have often fantasized about hosting my own film festival and if I did that, here are some films I’d include in a Halloween-themed festival. Nothing too scary, hence why I call it a “Not-So-Frightful Film Festival”.

Nightmare Before Christmas
Can you think of another movie that works as well at Halloween as it does during Christmas? This film was directed by Henry Selick (who also directed one of my other favorite films Coraline) and produced by Tim Burton. It definitely has Burton’s aesthetic and the soundtrack by Danny Elfman is so catchy and delightful.

Loved this animated tale from Tim Burton about a boy who loses his dog and goes to great lengths to bring his beloved pet back.

Battle Royale
If you thought the movie Hunger Games was a lightweight, you may want to give Battle Royale a viewing. The similarities between these two films is uncanny: both are based on novels, both are centered on teens who fight to the death for the entertainment of others. The fact that the novel BR came out nine years before Games has caused many to accuse Games author Suzanne Collins of ripping off the concept (although Collins has denied knowing about the book before creating her novels). Watch Battle Royale and then watch Hunger Games. You be the judge. While we’re at it…

Hunger Games
Go ahead and add this to the festival lineup. Ripoff or not, still a good film. Can’t wait for the sequel later this year!

Shaun of the Dead
A brilliant rom-com-zom film. That’s right- a romantic comedy zombie film. This film successfully tickled the zombie genre’s funny bone.

28 Days Later
In this film zombies weren’t slow moving creatures. Oh no. They ran- really fast. Great from beginning to end.

This little indie film takes a chapter from The Blair Witch Project with film makers seeking trolls. A little cheesy but still a good film that is at times suspenseful.

Nightwatch and Daywatch
Oh, where do I begin with these two films. Here is the plot: humans with special powers, The Others, are aligned with either the light or the dark. The Others are equally matched between the two factions and have called a truce. But as part of that truce they keep tabs on each other. Hence the titles, Nightwatch and Daywatch. Visually trippy films. Prepare your jaw to be dropped!

Super 8
I love this movie about kids whose film project coincides with a train accident that unleashes something terrible in the town. I have described this film as The Goonies meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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