Top Five Family-Friendly Scary Movies:
1) Monster House (2006) – Rated PG
This film follows the story of our main character, 12-year-old D.J. Walker, and his friends as they investigate the sentient haunted house across the street. Through their investigation they uncover an even bigger secret. This film is a ton of fun and has the right amount of scares and twists that parents and kids alike won’t see coming.
2) 9 (2009) – Rated PG-13
This post-apocalyptic tale takes place in an alternative world where technology and war has destroyed the world. But not all hope is lost; 9 the final homunculus (rag doll-ish sentient robot), has finally awoken. This is a fantastic movie to watch with older children. It is a darker film with a lot of horror elements throughout and a story that keeps you questioning what will happen next.
3) Coraline (2009) – Rated PG
Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, we follow our adventurous protagonist Coraline who stumbles into an alternate reality that seems like absolute perfection. Upon discovering more about this world, she discovers that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This movie is a ton of fun. It is calmer on its spooky elements but still has the tone throughout the film.
4) ParaNorman (2012) – Rated PG
This comedic horror follows a young boy named Norman who has some extraordinary powers. Norman can not only see but also communicate with ghosts and has a very important role in saving the town he calls home. The characters of this film have such great chemistry that really helps the comedic moments hit without missing a beat.
5) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Rated PG
This classic Tim Burton movie follows the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who is tired of the same old thing, Halloween. He stumbles into Christmas Town and absolutely falls in love and tries to steal Christmas. This musical is such a nostalgic ride that everyone needs to go on at least once.
Top Five Movies to Watch When the Kids Go to Bed:
1) Evil Dead 2 (1987) – Rated R, (but honestly watch all the Evil Dead movies)
In the sequel to the 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead, we follow Ash Williams as he tries to survive the night from hell. This is one of my personal favorites. It’s use of practical effects and humour make this movie an adventure from start to finish.
2) Hereditary (2018) – Rated R
This movie is genuinely terrifying. It’s the type of movie that makes you need to sleep with the lights on. Following the death of their family matriarch, weird things start happening to the family that no one can explain. As this movie progresses it messes with your mind more and more and the imagery is disturbing to say the least.
3) Scream (1996) – Rated R
Another classic horror movie that is a must watch for the Halloween season. We follow teenager Sidney Prescott on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s murder. Haunted by the demons of her past, Sidney must come to terms with the fate of her mother while also fleeing for her life from a masked serial killer.
4) Mama (2013) – Rated PG-13
This film revolves around the lives of two young girls who where abandoned in the forest at the ages of one and three. Raised by a demon in the woods, they were found and reintroduced back into society, but the demon won’t let them free. I initially watched this movie because I expected an indie movie that I would get laughs out of. I WAS WRONG. The child actors in this film are amazing and I found myself afraid and unnerved.
5) Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Unrated
From the godfather of the zombie genre George A. Romero. Dawn of the Dead is not your average zombie horror. We follow a cast of survivors as they try to create a new life in a secluded shopping mall. Full of suspenseful moments and emotional deaths, this film is a great commentary on society.
Now that you are thoroughly scared from watching all these spooky movies, you are ready for some adventures through Lethbridge that will shake you to your core. During this spooky season, the Galt Museum and Archives has several tours you can take part in, which include ghost tours at the Galt and cemetery tours. Initially built as a hospital in 1891, it is said that the Galt Museum is now haunted by the various people who unfortunately lost their lives while staying at the hospital. For more information on these events and more through the Galt visit https://www.galtmuseum.com/ .
Also at the Galt Museum:
- Saturday, Oct. 26: Halloween Spooktacular
This is a free, all-ages event from 1-4 p.m. Play games, decorate a pumpkin, make a trick-or-treat bag and other spooky crafts. Go on a tour of the building and hear the ghost stories, if you dare! This is a costume rehearsal for the big event. Free popcorn and caramel apple slices!
- Thursday, Oct. 31: Film Night: Paranormal Encounters
Join the Galt in exploring the mysterious side of Lethbridge with a viewing of selected archival footage dealing with crop circles, UFOs and ghosts. Registration is not required but regular museum admission applies.