One Game, One Show, One Movie: Halloween Edition
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love love LOVE Halloween. It’s one of my top two favorite holidays next to Christmas, and I think Halloween has the edge because the only real fallout is a hangover and temporary makeup-induced skin irritation, as opposed to soul crushing post-consumerism depression.
Because Halloween is such a dynamic holiday, it’s very hard to choose how to approach it. On the one hand, you’ve got kids dressed in sheets and skeleton masks plodding around with bags of candy. On the other hand, you’ve got pyschos with chainsaws. How do you cover all the bases? My answer is to chose one Halloween-themed item from the entertainment categories of Video Game, Television Show (with Halloween episodes), and Movie, each one hopefully appealing to a different group. Don’t be surprised if this kind of uber-post becomes traditional for holidays–there’s a lot of Christmas entertainment out there too.
Video Game: Costume Quest
Game Type: Adventure/RPG (3D)
Synopsis: It’s Halloween and you and your twin sibling are about to go trick-or-treating when your sibling is kidnapped by evil aliens trying to steal all the Halloween candy on earth. Travel from your suburban neighborhood to the local mall to the haunted carnival collecting costumes and using their powers to fight the monsters and save Halloween.
Modes: Single Player
Play time: approximately 10 hours
Cost: about $11
Available on Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Steam
As I’ve stated before, I prefer the cutesy, kidsy side of Halloween, and this game gives me to opportunity to relive the innocence of being a kid on Halloween. The art style is adorable, and combined with the music they managed to capture the magical potential of Halloween I always felt when I put on my costume for the first time. It’s certainly not a difficult game, but it’s rewarding nonetheless, especially when you get a new costume and get to try out it’s powers in combat. I like to play this a week or two before Halloween, to get me in the mood for the holiday.
Television Show: Psych
Format: 1-hour television show
Category: Fictional Detective Comedy
Premise: Hyper-observant slacker Shawn Spencer convinces the local police department he is psychic and can use his gift to solve crimes. He and his partner Burton Guster go on the show up the police at every turn, solving crimes while still managing to get into every wacky hijink imaginable.
Original Broadcast Channel: USA
Off the Wire Location: Netflix (Seasons 1-5), Hulu.com and Hulu Plus (Seasons 1-4, partial season 5 and new episodes).
Generally speaking, this show is very entertaining, standing the test of time by still being funny and captivating after 6 seasons. Because it has been on for so long, it now has five Halloween episodes, covering Halloween-esque material ranging from Scooby Doo to Friday the 13th, all the while maintaining the signature goofy humor and good nature that has made the show so successful. These episodes are a good option for the person who is looking for something more mature than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown but not as gorey as a proper horror film. You should be aware, however, that the most recent Halloween episode (on the slightly-past-its-peak topic of vampires) won’t be available for a few weeks yet as all new episodes are only available 30 days after the original air date. It’s an unfortunate reality, but you still have the four episodes from seasons past to keep you busy.
Movie: The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
Director: Ryhei Kitamura (Versus, Azumi)
Writer: Clive Barker (Candyman, Hellraiser)
Starring: Bradley Cooper and Vinnie Jones
There can only be one thing that comes to mind when you hear this title, but I assure you this is NOT PORN. Bradley Cooper plays a photographer in New York who stumbles on to a serial killer (Vinnie Jones) that is luring people into the subway in the middle of the night, hacking them up, hanging them in the subway car and riding the train to the end of the line, and before morning the bodies are gone. OOoooOOO, right?
What I like best about this film, besides Vinnie Jones being super creepy and the awesomely gut wrenching twist ending, is seeing how the story, written by an English horror icon, comes to life through the eyes of a Japanese director. The western film industry has been co-opting and remaking Eastern horror films for years now, but this is my first experience with a Western story being interpreted by a Japanese director with American and British actors. It’s a really interesting combination and, most importantly, it creates a really, REALLY scary story. This movie is definitely not for the kids. Then again if you seriously think showing your 8-year-old a movie called The Midnight Meat Train is a good idea, then I worry about you. And your 8-year-old. Sadly, I couldn’t find this film on Netflix or Hulu, but it is available on a site called iwannawatch.net and potentially in a couple of other places. I haven’t obtained any of those copies though so I can’t vouch for their quality or safety, so view with caution. Think of it as an additional level of suspense–it is Halloween after all.
Happy Halloween everybody!
Posted on October 31, 2011, in Films, Games, Holiday, Hulu, Netflix, TV and tagged costume quest, double fine entertainment, halloween, lionsgate, midnight meat train, psych, usa network. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.