Horror, Meet Comedy
By Kristin Battestella
Of course, I prefer when my horror films are really dark, scary, macabre, and well, horrific. However, sometimes a viewer needs to lighten things up for spooky parties or frightful family fun nights. Here’s your viewing list for an evening of friendly scares.
Elvira Mistress of the Dark- There’s a touch of mature innuendo, but it’s a treat to see Cassandra Peterson’s alter ego host in a full length picture. The plot’s a predictable fish out of water scenario; with sexy Elvira taking an inheritance in a quiet, conservative town. Nevertheless, Peterson’s wit, bosom, and personality are all in spooky good fun.
Ernest Scared Stupid- Everyone loves Jim Varney and his plethora of goofy characters. Add a creepy house, trolls, and Halloween and you’ve got all the hijinks for a family fright fest. Yes, it might be stupid as the title suggests, but who cares?
Beetlejuice- Don’t say the bio-exorcist’s name three times! Michael Keaton leads an all-star cast in this humorous tale about a country couple turned ghosts trying to rid their house of a snotty
family. Winona Ryder is creepy as the goth daughter Lydia, and all of director Tim Burton’s odd touches have their moments-from Juno’ smoke coming out her slit throat to Delia’s infamous ‘Dayo!’ dance party. Multiple viewings are in order here. New York
Idle Hands- Devon Sawa, Jessica Alba, and Seth Green star in this creepy teen comedy warning kids about idle hands being the devil’s workshop. Dumb in some ways, but hysterical in others-the cast has plenty of gory fun here. Some of the gore, teen sex jokes, and drug use might be much for youngins, but this one’s perfect for a safe, indoor night or mature fun.
High Spirits- Peter O’Toole and his Irish friends turn their foreclosed castle into a haunted showplace to attract American tourists. Unfortunately, Daryl Hannah and Liam Neeson really haunt the place! Some goofy humor, funny romance, even a few scary scenes make this Neil Jordan haunt a keeper.
Once Bitten- Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton are quite the humorous pair as the aging but sexy vamp and the virgin she needs to bite. Sometimes I’d rather this be a straight vampire flick-the talent is certainly there. But the valley talk, Halloween fun, and kinky camp save this movie from total drivel ala the similar My Best Friend’s A Vampire. Again, there’s some mature innuendo, but young fans can enjoy Carrey’s early horror hijinks.