News Column

Television offers 'Boo!'-tique of Halloween tricks and treats [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

October 26, 2013


If the last week of October arrived without a healthy dose of Halloween-oriented programming ... well, it couldn't be the last week of October.

As people of all ages get ready to celebrate, with or without costumes, various television networks will be doing the same. Here's a sampling of some of the offerings intended to be treats more than tricks.

Oct. 27

"The Good Witch's Destiny" (Hallmark Channel): Repeating from its premiere the previous week, the sixth of Catherine Bell's fantasy movies makes the birthday of her character Cassie quite memorable.

"Paranormal Activity" (FX): What forces are causing a young couple great alarm in their home? They use video equipment to find out in this cost-effective 2007 horror hit.

"Hocus Pocus" (ABC Family): The first of the last five of the channel's "13 Nights of Halloween" includes this 1993 comedy- fantasy starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as sibling witches.

"The Walking Dead" (AMC): If you think it's random that this series starts new episodes again as Halloween nears, think again. Andrew Lincoln stars as Season 4 continues.

"Secrets of the Tower of London" (PBS): A setting for some famous horror tales, the tower gets an examination in this new special, encompassing its use as a site for executions.

"Witches of East End" (Lifetime): This series certainly is Halloween-appropriate; Julia Ormond, Madchen Amick and Jenna Dewan- Tatum are among the stars.

Oct. 28

"Friday the 13th Part 3" (AMC): The fearsome Jason is back in full force this Halloween, as this 1982 entry launches a marathon of the hockey-masked villain's exploits.

"Scare Tactics" (Syfy): A cemetery isn't necessarily the calmest place to be at Halloween, as proved in the course of a marathon of episodes of the "Candid Camera"-like series.

"Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" (ABC Family): Stark animation makes the saga of Jack Skellington all the more memorable.

Oct. 29

"The Blair Witch Project" (IFC): Countless parodies were launched by the style of this ultra-low-budget 1999 thriller, tracing the fates of several film students through the lens of their video camera.

"Ravenswood" (ABC Family): The supernaturally inclined "Pretty Little Liars" spinoff gets an extra airing of its premiere, followed by the debut of its second story.

"Trophy Wife" (ABC): There's little question Malin Akerman and company will get into the spirit, as the episode is subtitled ... "Halloween."

"War of the Worlds: American Experience" (PBS): On the eve of its 75th anniversary, Orson Welles' legendary radio broadcast that threw much of America into a panic is recalled.

"Naked Vegas" (Syfy): Zombies are the models for Las Vegas-based body painters, as the artists try to satisfy a couple who want their whole wedding party to resemble the undead.

Oct. 30

"Twilight" (ABC Family): Otherworldly elements are bountiful in the story that launched the saga of heroine Bella, vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob.

"Halloween" (AMC): Director John Carpenter's 1978 classic made a "scream queen" of Jamie Lee Curtis, playing the prime target of homicidal Michael Myers.

"Modern Family" (ABC): A repeat of last year's Halloween story, "Open House of Horrors," finds Claire determined to send a chill up Phil's spine.

"American Horror Story: Coven" (FX): Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are among the stars of a new, witch-school- themed episode.

"Ghost Hunters" (Syfy): The series takes Jason Hawes and his paranormal-research team to Cooperstown, N.Y., and Hyde Hall, a site haunted by a long-ago family feud.

Oct, 31

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (ABC): The animated, ever- charming "Peanuts" special sees Linus maintain a vigil in the pumpkin patch he deems the "most sincere."

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (IFC): What better time is there to do the Time Warp again? The 1975 musical-horror-comedy movie gets multiple showings.

"The Pit and the Pendulum" (TCM): Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe works were a potent combination for American International Pictures, and this 1961 classic launches a Halloween night that also includes "The Haunted Palace" and "The Masque of the Red Death."

Jay Bobbin writes for Zap2it

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