Monthly Archives: October 2014

Give This, Not That: Halloween Edition



Back by popular demand!

halloween candy bowl

Want to be the cool house on the block come Trick-or-Treat time? Sure, the headless ghoul and ghastly sound effects – not to mention swirling fog and creepy doorbell – will go a long way. But to truly take your place in the hall of fame, you need to master The Give. To help you out, I’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to treats every kid worth her princess ball gown or his superhero cape will be looking for October 31st, along with the sure-to-scare-away equivalent:

First, the basics. Whenever possible, give:

  • Candy                  NOT         Candy Corn, Fruit, or Raisins
  • Full Size              NOT         Fun Size or Mini
  • New Candy         NOT         Last Year’s Easter Candy

chocolate bunny

Once you’ve mastered Candy 101, you’re ready to move on. Give:

  • Chocolate                           NOT     Breath Mints
  • Sour, Sweet, Gummy    NOT    Atomic Fireball, Tabasco Jelly Beans
  • Laffy Taffy                         NOT     Bit-O-Honey or Licorice
  • Caramel Anything           NOT     Coconut Anything (sorry Mounds)
  • ANYTHING ELSE           NOT     Pecan Logs, Sixlets, Necco Wafers

necco wafers





Finally, when you’re ready for the Advanced Give, give these a try:

  • Gross-out Candy (Zit Poppers, Gummy Tongue, Box of Boogers, Ear Wax Candy)

zit poppers


  • Goodies you may have on hand (Beer Nuts, Clif Bars, or 5-Hour Energy)

5 hour energy

Now that you’re all set to be the best house on the block come Halloween night, be sure to follow this last piece of advice: GIVE IT ALL AWAY (your skinny jeans will thank me come Thanksgiving!).


31 Days of Horror: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (aka Part V) (R; 1985; 92 min)

Friday the 13th New Beginning

I was looking for a retro scare, so I turned to a franchise I loved as a teenager. I’ve also heard that a new installment is due on Friday, March 13, 2015, so I wanted to do some catch-up on the story. Seems I’m VERY behind, since there are seven more FTT’s after this 1985 film, including some crossovers with Nightmare on Elm Street…Movie Marathon time!

New Beginning catches up with Tommy Jarvis, the boy who killed Jason Vorhees, as a teenager living in a sort of half-way group house for mentally disturbed kids. One by one, the residents are brutally butchered in increasingly imaginative ways. Tommy, damaged and almost mute, sulks around a lot, while the music escalates and crazy neighbors hack at raw chicken carcasses. As the bodies pile up, Tommy befriends Reggie, a young kid whose grandfather works at the home. Together they must find the killer – could it be Jason reborn? – and try to live to see the 6th installment.

Overall, New Beginning is cheesy enough to be pretty funny, and features some terrible acting thrown in all around with no real scares. If you’re looking for a B horror movie to play a drinking game to, this just might be the one.

  • Top Scare: Uh, can’t think of one
  • Heartbeats: 1 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 2 1/2 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 1 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 15 or 16 and up

31 Days of Horror: Oculus (R; 2013; 104 min)



Ever feel like a horror movie has the possibility of being a great scare, yet it falls just short? That’s how I felt about Oculus. Even though it did have some scary-ish moments, and a decent horror movie premise underlying it all, it never managed to pull me out of my living room and into the spirit world like it could have.

Switching back and forth – sometimes quite confusingly (the director’s intention) –  between today and ten years ago, Oculus is the story of two siblings, Tim and Kaylie. Tim has just been released from a mental institute where he was being treated after murdering his parents as a young boy a decade ago. But Kaylie wants to prove via an elaborate set-up of alarms, switches and cameras that the murderer was actually an evil spirit residing in the antique mirror hanging in their father’s office, known as the Lasser Glass, and that the spirit has been murdering its owners for hundreds of years. A la Stephen King’s IT, Kaylie also wants Tim to keep his promise of coming back and helping her to take care of the spirit once and for all. The problem is, Tim doesn’t remember the events quite the same, until he is caught up in Kaylie’s efforts and starts to relive the night in question. But the evil that resides within the mirror has many tricks up its sleeve, all designed to prevent Tim and Kaylie from accomplishing their goal. The question is, who will be victorious?

  •  Top Scare: Evil Spirit in office
  • Heartbeats: 2 1/2 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 3 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 2 1/2 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 15 and up