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Hallowe'en Films

Since today is Hallowe'en I'm doing an extra post on scary films to watch. :)

Posts may contain spoilers. :)

 IT (1990)

This is a mini series rather than a film but I'll include it anyway!

It is based on the book by Stephen King about a group of 7 kids living in the town of Derry in Maine, USA, who are all misfits in some way (because of their disability, weight, race, income etc) and come together to form the "Losers Club".

Part 1- 1960

The members of the group, Bill Denbrough, Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscomb, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak and Stanley Uris become friends and find strength in numbers. However, Derry is no ordinary town and the threats that reside there go beyond the local bully Henry Bowers and his gang- every 30 years a number of children are killed and the killer/s have never been found. It's only when this particular group of kids get together that they discover the killer is an interdimensational demon. They have each encountered "It" (their name for it) in some way and become determined to stop the creature. The most common form of It (played by Tim Curry) is Pennywise the clown. However it also transforms depending on the fears of the person it is trying to scare, the main power of It is reflecting a person's worst nightmares. It feeds on fear.

Bill (Jonathan Brandis) recently lost his brother Georgie (a victim of It). He stutters and this marks him out as different. Ben (Brandon Crane) has moved to Derry with his mum after losing his dad in the war (Vietnam, I think). He's also overweight which he gets teased for. Mike (Marlon Taylor) is interested in the history of the town (which has an unusually high number of deaths, something which the teacher doesn't seem impressed by when he does a report on it!). He's also new to the town and black which means he stands out in the predominately white 1960s town. Bev (Emily Perkins) is the daughter of the school janitor (caretaker) and doesn't have much money. Her father is physically abusive. Ritchie (played by Seth Green who went on to star in Buffy) constantly cracks jokes. I suppose he's a misfit because he's ginger, quirky and wears glasses! Eddie (Adam Faraizl) is small, has asthma and his mum is overprotective. Stan (Ben Heller) is Jewish and a Boy Scout. He's really into birdwatching.

Part 2- 1990

The group managed to get rid of It when they were 12 year olds (maybe 11/12, I'm not sure if they're all 12) but now it's 30 years later and Mike (the adult character is played by Tim Reid from Sister Sister) who is the only member of the group still living in Derry, contacts the other 6 to tell them that the murders have started up again.. He also reminds them of the promise they made to return if It came back.

The rest of the group return minus Stan (played by Richard Masur). I won't tell you why so I don't give everything away! They are all unusually successful, Bill (played by Richard Thomas, most well known for playing John Boy in The Waltons) is a horror author living in England, Ben (John Ritter) is an architect, Bev (Annette O'Toole) is a businesswoman (her business partner is also her boyfriend and unfortunately he is abusive like her dad was), Richie (Harry Anderson) is a TV comedian and Eddie (Dennis Christopher) runs a limo business. I'm not actually sure what Stan does, I don't think they mention it but I could be wrong! Mike is a librarian in Derry. All the others have forgotten the events of 30 years ago but Mike's phone calls bring it back to them.

The group meet up for dinner and decide to once again team up as the Lucky 7 to stop It!

                                                                   IT trailer

I remember seeing this in Blockbusters as a child and thinking it looked creepy! lol. A clown is something that scares a lot of people due to the fact that although they're meant to be funny, all the make-up they wear can make them look odd! There is actually a specific phobia of clowns called coulorophobia. Whether clowns normally scare you or not, Pennywise is still bloody creepy! "Don't you want it, Georgie?" "They all float down here and when you're down here, you'll float too!"  This is a great watch for Hallowe'en.

I've never read the book but I hear it goes a lot more in depth than the mini series. They've been planning to remake it and the actor Will Poulter is rumoured to be playing Pennywise. I was surprised at the casting choice because he seems a bit young! He might be good though, so we'll see. I'm not sure what the current status of the remake is.

Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Based on the classic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washingon Irving about Ichabod Crane, who comes to the mostly Dutch settlement of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, NY. It's directed by Tim Burton, so you know it's crazy! lol. In the story Ichabod is a schoolteacher but in this version Ichabod (played by Johnny Depp) is a policeman who's been sent from New York City to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the deaths of 3 people. They've all been decapitated and the townspeople suspect local legend the Headless Horseman.

Once in Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod gets to know the locals including Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon), his second wife Lady Van Tassel (played by Miranda Richardson) and his beautiful daughter Katrina (Christina Ricci). Ichabod's friendship with Katrina rubs popular Brom Van Brunt (Casper Van Dien) up the wrong way, since he likes her too. Ichabod is a melancholy man who is haunted by mysterious dreams and memories from his childhood.

Ichabod learns the tale of the Headless Horseman, the ghost of the hessian solider who lost his head during the American Revolutionary War. He quickly begins to suspect that the horseman is not acting alone, he has humans helping him. Can he work out what's going on and avoid getting killed by the horseman?


This is an enjoyable film. Johnny Depp makes a good Ichabod, slightly weird which fits the film!  Miranda Richardson is good too as Lady Van Tassel. (I also like her in Snow White and Merlin). Christopher Walken is a creepy and insane looking horseman! I like the backstory as well.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999)

This film more closely follows the original story. It tells the tale of Ichabod Crane (Brent Carver) a Yankee teacher who becomes the new schoolmaster in Sleepy Hollow. He grows close to Katrina Van Tassle (Rachelle Lefrevre) and her family but his uptight, superior attitude irritates some of the locals especially blacksmith Brom Bones (Paul Lemlin) who wants to court Katrina and is jealous of him spending time with her.

After hearing the legend of the Headless Horseman, Ichabod scoffs at it and it doesn't put him off riding through the woods at night. Brom comes up with a plan to scare him off once and for all by dressing up as the Horseman but he's not the only one out there....

I think this is a TV movie. It's good, not as out there as Tim Burton's version but keeps you interested. I have it on DVD but I've lost the DVD somewhere!

Also here are some past posts I did on scary films:

 First of all here's a post I did about my Top 10 Vampire Films in 2011:

And the follow up post:

I also like horror anthologies, here are my Top 5:

If you prefer more family friendly movies check out the post I did on Hocus Pocus last Hallowe'en:

 And you might also like to watch spooky TV series like The X-Files or kids' TV show Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Happy Hallowe'en! :)


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