Non-gory Halloween movies

October 29th, 2010

Here’s a question to start off the weekend: What are some good movies in the spirit of Halloween — existentially disturbing, playfully gruesome, liminal, gothic, circus-like — that are not upsettingly bloody or gory? I don’t mind that sort of thing, myself, but it’s not the preferred flavor for many folks, no matter what time of year it is. I’m thinking of movies that can be enjoyed by adults, though they don’t necessarily have to be for adults.

A few that come to mind …
“Never Let Me Go,” which is currently in theaters and is not the vampire one, that’s “Let Me In,” not to be confused with “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “The Rent Is Too Damn High.” “Never Let Me Go” is utterly harmless on the surface and devastating to think about.

“Nightmare Before Christmas”
“City of Lost Children”

… what else would you recommend, readers? Movies that horrify, enchant, disturb, without graphic violence?


8 Responses to “Non-gory Halloween movies”

  1. Phira on October 29, 2010 5:46 pm

    Rear Window! I’ve watched it on a few Halloweens, and it always terrifies me, even though I’ve seen it a million times.

    Otherwise, I’ll watch Ghostbusters. Last year, I watched episodes of the show Supernatural, but that show is DEFINITELY gory, so it doesn’t fit the bill here.

  2. diane on October 29, 2010 8:46 pm

    “The Haunting of Hill House”. Fantastic minimalist horror movie (and book by Shirley Jackson).
    What happens when good people make bad decisions: “A Simple Plan”.
    Guy Maddin’s “The Saddest Music in the World”. Although billed as a comedy, it’s pretty dark. Some of the images have stayed with me for years.

  3. Becky on October 30, 2010 12:31 pm

    “Something Wicked This Way Comes”-creepy haunted carnival, but only rated PG so it’s not gory at all. (I am one of those who does NOT like gory movies.)

  4. delia on October 31, 2010 7:09 pm

    the crucible, what lies beneath and rosemarys baby (while there is a bit of devil-rape weirdness, it’s mostly the isolation and betrayal that’s scary)

  5. bluemoose on November 1, 2010 8:57 am

    I personally love two really old Disney movies for creepiness (and I am a wimp when it comes to horror — I do not like it and avoid it).

    But Watcher in the Woods and the original Escape from (or to?) Witch Mountain both creeped me out as a child and still do.

  6. Jenny L3igh on November 1, 2010 10:12 am

    Clue! One of my all time favorite movies and while people do get killed it’s really a comedy and oh so much fun:) I also love Hocus Pocus… I’m not really into scary movies gory or not (I’m ok with being a chicken), so these are for the other chickens out there!

  7. EA Week on November 1, 2010 12:24 pm

    For moody, atmospheric creepiness, you can’t beat Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (although it’s set on Valentine’s Day). Lovely, repressed Victorian boarding school girls go out for a Valentine’s Day excursion to a geological formation known as Hanging Rock; a teacher and two students vanish and their fate remains unknown. The music and visuals are top-rate, and the repressive atmosphere at the school is rendered especially well.

    For more psychological creepiness and a minimum of gore (there are two somewhat bloody but not gratuitious murders), The Talented Mr. Ripley shouldn’t be missed. Matt Damon is more scary in this movie than in all three Bourne films combined.

  8. Robin on November 2, 2010 10:17 am

    Jenny L3igh, you reminded me also of “Murder by Death”! There’s a fun one …

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