Saturday, December 4

Streaming: The Best Halloween Movies For Kids | Family Movies

HDespite many adults clinging to it as an excuse to party and dress up, Halloween is still, in its current incarnation, an occasion primarily for the benefit of children – try trick or treating without one in tow and see what so far it is. get. However, movie distributors don’t see it the same way. This week’s suitably creepy movie premieres, from Last night in Soho for Antlers for The Nowhere Inn, they are all for adults and older teens. Warner Bros has taken advantage of the gap to at least relaunch the first Harry Potter movie in theaters, but otherwise, families looking for a bit of a gentler night of horror are better off at home, where you can at least pause the procedure when things get too intense.

Because many parents prefer their children’s viewing to be as fluid and benign as possible, many of our most formative movie memories tend to be times when we were scared. When I was seven, and for some time after, my favorite movie was Nicolas Roeg’s wildly terrifying version of Roald Dahl. The witches (Amazon Prime), and it’s still unbeatable as a prime horror movie for kids. Hell, most adults have a hard time not screaming at the first nightmare-inducing revelation of the rotten, cracked face of Anjelica Huston’s fabulous supervillain the Grand High Witch.

Anjelica Huston in The Witches.
‘Primal horror’: Anjelica Huston in The Witches. Photograph: Allstar / Warner Bros

Roeg, like Dahl, is not condescending to children, playing on their nerves in the same visceral way he did with his elders in previous films. Robert Zemeckis’ pale CGI-gloopy remake last year (Now cinema, if necessary) didn’t put anything close to the same trust in his audience. Witchcraft, in fact, is fruitful ground for children’s Halloween viewing. I was a little older when Hocus Pocus (Disney +) came out to share the cult nostalgia that inspires today; Looking at it belatedly, I found it a bit off putting, although Bette Midler is excellent value for money.

Sometimes animation can alleviate the brutal impact of horror to some degree: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (Disney +) is an endearingly bizarre mix of Washington Irving and The wind in the willows, but it’s about the healthiest twist for toddlers on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow imaginable. Elsewhere, cartoons can make stunning, unreal images wildly vivid. Henry Selick is still the master of this niche. Your modern gothic fairy tale Coraline (Apple TV) is the ideal Halloween viewing for little ones, with its ghostly expressionist aesthetic and brave heroine in genuine and haunting danger, while its dark and fun The nightmare before christmas (Disney +), with its versatile showdown between the worlds of Halloween and Christmas, is coming into season.

It is marked as The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton on Disney +, which is pretty unfair to Selick’s vision, although Burton, of course, is still the biggest brand in family ghosts. Still on Disney +, its adorable animation Frankenweenie It abounds in B-movie footage adjacent to horror, but it’s sweeter than terrifying. His other stop-motion movie, Corpse Bride (Chili), it looks like the paper, but its goth-zombie fantasy story is perhaps too sleepy for many children. For the slightly older kids, meanwhile, Beetle juice (Amazon) is an optimal display of Halloween, innocently youthful in its humor and rudeness, but a perfect gateway to more adult notions of the grotesque.

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (2012).
‘Adorable’: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (2012). Photograph: Walt Disney Pictures / Allstar

For children restless to consume what adults do, and long suspected that the Harry Potter and Goosebumps The world is playing it safe: Old horror movies, with their reduced violence and chills of heavy implications, can be a good stepping stone. Sixty years ago, Jack Clayton’s immaculate The inocents (X rated at launch, a 12A today) was that movie for me, though sadly not available to stream. But you could bet on the still spooky Village of the Damned (Amazon), the ideal combination of genuinely adult storytelling and identifiable childish concerns to lead patient and thoughtful older children into the thrill of horror. After all, it’s Halloween – when is it better to take a chance on unfamiliar territory?

Also new in streaming and DVD

The harder they fall
(Netflix from Wednesday)
Jeymes Samuel (aka R&B artist Bullitts) comes out with all guns blazing, in multiple ways, in his busy directorial debut, an outrageously violent revisionist western with a flavorful predominantly black cast that includes Idris Elba and Regina King. Their hip-hop-inflected, swagger-inflected stylistic swagger is fun to watch, though the standard revenge plot is somewhat tarnished in a baggy 137-minute runtime, and the characters aren’t half as interesting as the actors they play. fill them.

Regina King, Idris Elba and Lakeith Stanfield in The Harder They Fall.
Regina King, Idris Elba and Lakeith Stanfield in The Harder They Fall. Photograph: David Lee / Courtesy of Netflix

The courier service
(Lion Gate)
Benedict Cumberbatch leads this old-fashioned and cleverly absorbing spy thriller as a British businessman recruited for an MI6 mission surrounding the Cuban missile crisis. It feels less like a movie theater than Sunday night television, but of a very high order, with a prominent twist on Merab Ninidze as the Soviet officer with whom Cumberbatch must collaborate.

Wild indian
(Apple tv)
As American cinema continues to mend years of damaging portrayals of First Nations people, the debut of Native American director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr tells a story we haven’t seen before: that of a successful businessman, long estranged. from his Ojibwe roots, accepting the violence of his past and his racial self-loathing. Dodging the sentimental and redemptive arc you might expect, he’s somewhat thoughtful and tough-skinned, rocked by Michael Greyeyes’ penetrating performance as leader.

Wild land
A 17-year-old who has just been orphaned is taken in by her estranged, seemingly kind aunt, who turns out to be the vicious matriarch of a ruthless crime family. Up to the title, Jeanette Nordahl’s tense and tense debut film sounds like a Danish reworking of animal Kingdom, and that’s not a bad thing, especially since it gives the wonderful Sidse Babett Knudsen a chance to play the villain, coolly.

The first round
(Monday’s Mubi)
Mubi’s excellent South Korean film season continues with this charming little-watched relationship drama from director Kim Dae-hwan, in which a pregnancy test is the starting point for a tender and detailed study of 30-somethings in domestic limbo.

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