Friday, September 18, 2009

The Virtues of Halloween Movies

My children and I just finished watching 'Hocus Pocus,' one of my favorite movies of all time even without Halloween. But when we walked to school this morning and the air was down right brisk and the sky a beautiful autumnal blue, I though "YES!" Fall. I love you, fall. Fall = Halloween. Halloween = costumes and candy. Halloween = lifelong torrid love affair. I love you, Halloween. Truly. Madly. Deeply.
I digress.
Back to 'Hocus Pocus.' Do you love it? Totally love it? Me, too. I remember watching it for the first time while babysitting my cousins children up in Salt Lake. I was maybe... ten? I don't know. All I know is I was TERRIFIED. Deliciously terrified. And in love. Because Thackery Binx, let's face it ladies... is one charming tween. It has been my life ambition to own my own non-pirated copy of my favorite Halloween movie of all time. And finally, one bright day about a month ago, I was wasting my mortal probation through the aisles of Target when... there it was. On DVD. For only $7.50!!! Happiest day of my life. Well, aside from marriage and childbirth. Fourth happiest day of my life.
We brought it home. And Ma (me) and the chillin' (my offspring) sat down and watched it. I put blankets over them. We snuggled. 'Cause they were gonna need it. And they were mesmerized! Livi is rarely if ever phased by such things, and this was no exception. She's got a constitution of iron. However; her older brother is a real sissy-poo-nanny (he got that from me) and would watch for a minute, we'd all giggle at the silly witches, and then run out of the room screaming, only to creep back down the hall a few minutes later. It was seriously fun. And yes, he thought so, too.
He did the same thing today. I just love to watch it. It's a real love/hate relationship for him, but what I love is seeing (okay, gently forcing) him to separate fun and pretend with reality. He knows the witches are silly, so real witches aren't as scary (we'll save the witches debate for another day). He knows Billy the zombie is actually really nice and is friends with the kids. And he learns that all cats go to heaven. All important life values.
Now. Is this moral to subject my children to my favorite Halloween movie of all time at such tender ages? The answer: Yes. 'Cause Halloween movies have virtues. Here's just a few examples from my own life:

Remember when USA Network used to do Halloween marathons all day long on October 31st? And we are talking the real life horror films here. I do not do real horror films. I don't want to know if hills have eyes. I do not want anyone to saw me. But at a young age, flipping through the channels, I would feel a total compulsion to stop and watch for just a second. And what a horrifying few seconds it would be!
*I once watched a segment where two kids were floating in a canoe way out on a lake, and talking about a kid named Jason who drowned in that lake one day long ago because his dad pushed him out even though he didn't know how to swim. Then -- a hand came out of the lake and grabbed one of the kids ankles! The hand dragged him into the lake! Down to Jason's lair! HORROR!
Virtue: I learned a healthy respect for lake water. A Real. Healthy. Respect.
*Another year there were three people in what appeared to be an apartment complex. One looked afraid as he began threatening the other two people. Camera pans, and behind his back is Chucky, holding a knife to his back! HORROR BEYOND HORROR! Consequence: I couldn't sleep with my porcelain dolls in my room for yeeearrrs.
Virtue: I learned that if someone is threatening you and is real sweaty, he probably is being held at knife point by something way scary.
*Once I stopped on by the television channel and saw a tricycle turned over, the wheels spinning, when the title 'It' came across the screen. HORROR! I had heard every detail of this movie during second grade recess. I quickly changed the channel and almost peed my pants.
Virtue: I learned one should never, ever trust a clown. Or spiders. Or tunnels? 'Cause someone mentioned a tunnel once.

Here I have presented to you many, many examples of why it is totally respectable for me to watch this Disney movie with my kids. 'Cause, like, I totally came out of those other experiences undamaged. Obviously.


*rOcKiN rIcHiNs* said...

I love Hocus Pocus too!!! but do know, that i sincerely hate Halloween. Even as a kid. I don't know really what it is...but it's true. I may need your help to catch the Halloween spirit!

Plus- I need you to call me...I don't what lesson we're on. ;)

Ducksoup said...

i have never seen hocus pocus. i may have to come to your house and watch it. sounds like a riot watching it with your kids.

Melissa said...

First of all, thank you so much for the Baja Blast and the snowballs, they saved my life! I'm forever in your debt! I don't do Halloween movies either. Too many nightmares. I think the scariest movie I've ever seen and will not watch again is Watcher in the Woods. Scary, scary!

Tink said...

You know me and scary movies...not a good mixture. I'm like the room one second and gone the second...I have to force myself to watch Hocus Pocus, I have seen it a few times though!