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The Ultimate Halloween Movie
by Tim Josephs

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When you think about great Halloween movies, you probably think about, well, HALLOWEEN and other horror films. The holiday has become synonymous with all things scary, and the more frightening a movie can be, the better.

However, in my opinion, the scary stuff is just one of the main aspects of Halloween. The other, and equally significant, is the candy. As we grow older and have to stop trick-or-treating (that sad day came for me last year when I overheard a callous little punk say "Hey, check out the old-ass Harry Potter!"), the candy component perhaps becomes less important. That is, until you start buying it for
trick-or-treaters and end up eating most of it.

So, which movie combines both features? It's pretty clear if you think about it: WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

The candy is obvious in this one. Giant gummy bears, never-ending gobstoppers, and all that chocolate. Who wouldn't (kid or adult) want to go somewhere you can literally chew the scenery?

As for the other factor, Willy Wonka himself is pretty damn creepy. First of all, he lives alone along with the weird Oompa Loompas in a huge factory that no one has seen the inside of maybe ever.

Second, he dresses kind of crazy. Purple coat, top hat,
bowtie. His attire is reminiscent of a clown, and we all know how non-scary clowns are.

And, although Willy is funny, even when he's being kind of jerky, there's just something off about him. He frequently has a crazy look in his eyes and, although for the most part they deserve it, he doesn't seem too concerned with all of the dangerous and possibly life-threatening happening to his guests.

Look at the scene on the ferryboat. I've seen it numerous times, and it's still off-putting the way Willy keeps getting louder and louder while reciting that disturbing poem as those unsettling images flash before them. It's
probably one of the scariest scenes in a non-horror/thriller movie.

If you break down the crux of the story people win a contest to visit a mysterious factory and are knocked off one by one it sounds like a horror movie. This is the essence of author Roald Dahl who often straddled the line between humor/kid's fare and horror.

So, the next time you're at the video store (if in fact you own a time machine and go back to 2004), and are looking for the perfect Halloween movie to watch in the dark while you're curled up on the couch, bypass the Horror section and walk over to the children's films. You'll find it there.

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.

Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns

Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.

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