If the idea of pirates, ninjas, princesses and witches coming to your door for a piece of $8-a-bag candy causes you to jump up from the couch, log on to one of those online travel Web sites and look for a ticket the hell out of town, I'm right there with you. However, if, like me, you find the cost of leaving home prohibitive, I have a suggestion: Tell the boss you're taking Monday off, splurge on two of the $8 bags of candy, stock the fridge with soda, juice, beer and tequila, turn off all the lights outside and inside the house and dive back on to the davenport. There's enough oozing out of the boob tube on Halloween weekend to keep you stuck to your futon--even if the little monsters begging for treats outside your door decide the trick is on you and start throwing the pennies and toothbrushes your joyless neighbor stuffed in their bags.
First, a look at local television. On Halloween night, NBC offers up Medium. This is a great show starring Patricia Arquette as Allison DuBois, a housewife, part-time employee with the District Attorney's office and psychic. Just like Johnny, when in physical contact with someone, DuBois can read said someone's mind. Also, denizens of the world of the deceased often visit DuBois in dreamland giving her just enough information to help solve their dubious deaths and giving viewers just enough information to keep them watching and waiting. The characters of DuBois' husband and children are well-developed and sympathetic and there's always at least one jaw-dropping moment. Well worth a watch.
Then, there's cable viewing. The American Movie Classics (AMC) channel has come to its senses and now considers some of the greatest horror movies as classics and AMC's Monsterfest (through October 31) hits the small screen again this year with some perennial faves. If you like scary movies, you've seen all of these offerings. If you are a true horror flick fan, you've seen them several times but are giddy at the prospect of seeing them again. And if you don't have cable, go watch it at the aforementioned neighbor's house (they're too busy handing out crap to even notice you) or call the cable guy already.
Following is a list of the movies on during primetime, but Monsterfest is a 24-hour scare affair. Check out games.amctv.com/Monsterfest05/Horrorfest for a full schedule (play Whack-A-Wolf while you're there). Times and titles are surely subject to change:
• October 26 - 6 p.m.: Halloween 5; 8 p.m.: Halloween: Resurrection; 10 p.m.: An American Werewolf in London.
• October 27 - 6 p.m.: Halloween: Resurrection; 8 p.m.: Hellraiser; 10 p.m.: Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
• October 28 - 7:30 p.m.: Exorcist II: The Heretic; 10 p.m.: Movies that Shook the World: The Exorcist; 10:30 p.m.: Exorcist III.
• October 29 - 6:15 p.m.: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; 8 p.m.: Friday the 13th V: A New Beginning; 9:45 p.m.: Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives.
• October 30 - 6 p.m.: An American Werewolf in London; 8 p.m.: Tremors; 10 p.m.: Species II.
• October 31 - 6 p.m.: Halloween: Resurrection; 8 p.m.: Scream 2; 10:30 p.m.: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers.
And, finally, if commercial interrupted viewing sends you into fits that make you consider throwing those pennies right back at the kids outside your door, hit your local video store and see if you can find this ooky spooky movie: The Audition.
The Audition is a hard, cold, disturbing 1999 Japanese film about a widower who sets up fake film auditions to find a new bride. His choice, a lovely little wraith, discovers his underhanded plan and decides to make him pay. Ugh. This is a super-scary one that starts off rather lovely and ends in a very bad place.
If horror isn't your thing, but making fun of it is, try Scary Movie I, II and III. All poke fun at the Scream franchise, M. Night Shyamalan, The Matrix, The Ring and many other Hollywood blockbusters. Scary they ain't, but funny they is, and there's nothing wrong with a little funny on All Hallow's Eve.
Whatever you decide to watch, make sure you have plenty of refreshments, a warm blanket, some good company and whatever else happens, do not answer the door. You never know what's out there waiting for you. Muwahhahahhahahh.