Getting In The Mood for Halloween with Merrie Destefano
Yes, it’s Halloween—and to celebrate I am delighted to bring you a guest post by my fellow Supernatural Underground and Harper Voyager USA author, Merrie Destefano. I asked Merrie to guest here today because I know her second novel, Feast, is based around around Halloween—so here, without further ado, is Merrie to talk about her take on top Halloween movie watching:
Getting in the Mood for Halloween
by Merrie Destefano
Quite possibly my favorite holiday, Halloween is spooky and creepy and filled with things that go bump in the night. It’s the perfect time for telling (or writing) ghost stories, for taking long walks at dusk, for burning candles when the sun goes down, and for watching movies that make you a tiny bit afraid to get up and go to bed at the end of the evening. When I was a teenager, there was a plethora of scary-but-not-super-scary movies, many of them featuring Vincent Price—an actor I fell in love with.
So, to help you get in the mood, here are my top Halloween movie picks:
1. LOST BOYS: A quiet Southern California town is plagued by vampires and brothers, Mike and Sam, must find a way to save their family. This movie combines all the teen angst found in moving to a new town, falling in love for the first time, trying to fit in with a wild crowd and, oh, yeah, trying to NOT turn into a vampire, even though you’ve already sipped vampire blood. Oops.
2. VAN HELSING: Hugh Jackman plays Van Helsing, a man with a secret so dark and deep that even doesn’t know what it is. His mission: to get rid of the evil creatures that have been tormenting and killing people around the world. Great fun, great monsters and great romance with Kate Beckingsale.
3. IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN: Okay, it’s a classic and we all need to watch something heart-warming from time to time. This cartoon brings back the spooky scariness found in being a childhood outcast, something most of us can relate to.
4. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH: Starring my favorite horror flick actor, Vincent Price, involves a scientist who is hunted by zombie-like plague victims. Most likely this movie was based on one of my favorite novellas, I Am Legend.
5. THE WIZARD OF OZ: Maybe nobody else thinks of this as a Halloween movie, but I definitely do. Those scenes in the castle where the Wicked Witch of the West gazes into her crystal ball and, then, in the forest where the flying monkeys attack are nothing but pure Halloween crack.
6. SALEM’S LOT: Based on the book by Stephen King, this story feels like it’s about real, honest-to-badness vampires. Shades of Nosferatu, the vampire in this movie is what all vampires should be—so creepy you want to run away screaming.
7. THE MASK OF THE RED DEATH: Vincent Price in one of my favorite roles, as Prince Prospero. The story takes place in medieval Europe, when a mysterious plague is sweeping across the countryside. Prospero offers sanctuary to a group of nobility and to an innocent and beautiful village maiden, but once they are inside his castle, sanctuary is the furthest thing from his mind.
8. THE HAUNTING (1963): Be afraid. Be very afraid. This is one of the creepiest movies I’ve ever seen. A group of people do a paranormal investigation on Hill House, spending the night. Be prepared for a rush of pure adrenaline, for this is a tale of psychological horror that builds and builds until even you want out of Hill House.
9. THE OTHERS: Another psychological horror, this movie was inspired by the novella, The Turn of the Screw. Nicole Kidman plays a mother, trying to protect her two children from a houseful of ghosts, or is she? The plot twists and turns as you learn more about this family and the ghosts who live in the house.
10. E.T.: This movie captures the wonder and magic often associated with both childhood and Halloween and adds in a surprise element. Instead of a monster, vampire, or werewolf, the scary-creature, new-best-friend is an alien who wants nothing more than to go home, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Merrie Destefano left a 9-to-5 desk job as a magazine editor to become a full-time novelist and freelance editor. Her first novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles, is an urban fantasy published by HarperCollins/Eos, and her second novel, Feast: Harvest of Dreams released on June 28, 2011. With twenty years’ experience in publishing, her background includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine and founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine. Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds and a Siamese cat. For more information, visit www.merriedestefano.com.
Halloween is a bad time to return to the woods …
Madeline MacFaddin (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she’s always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.
But Maddie doesn’t remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the harvest . . . the time to feast.
Once again Maddie’s dreams—and her soul—are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own …
Sounds great, doesn’t it? So how about you? Do you love Halloween, too—and how do you get in the mood?