News Column

'Monsters,' 'World War Z' -- Halloween Comes Early to Theaters

June 20, 2013


With "Monsters University" and "World War Z" hitting theaters this week, it seems Hollywood mistook June for Halloween.

To help get you in the mood for both films in lieu of fall weather, pumpkins and corn mazes, we have created a list of easily accessible movies that can be a primer for both films. We have adult zombie thrillers for those going to "World War Z" along with movies that are kid-friendly with a hint of scary for "Monsters University."

All of these films are available through streaming services like Netflix or through the local library.


Currently streaming on Netflix

Released in 2009 and unrated, this movie centers on a group of Norwegian friends that discover frozen Nazi zombies. Go ahead and read that again, because it is exactly what it sounds like.

The film is actually pretty gory, but there is plenty of humor and nods to the genre standards for fans.

"Walking Dead: Season 1"

Streaming on Netflix and available at the library

Based on the popular comic book series, this TV show has built a loyal audience since first airing in 2010.

It follows the normal zombie stereotypical story of communal survival in a wasteland but with a level of realism and gore not seen before on television.

Now is just as good a time as any to get into the series, which is still in production on AMC.


Available at the library

Released last year, "Warm Bodies" fused the genres of romantic comedy and zombie. Here, it is an interesting combination that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, and still worthy of a look from zombie fans. Especially those looking to keep their girlfriends and wives happy while seeing something they won't hate.


Currently streaming on Netflix and available at the library

Released last year, "Paranoman" is a gorgeous children's movie with an excellent message.

A call back to the days when kids' movies were probably a little too scary, the plot revolves around a young boy named Norman who can talk with the dead. Vocal performances from Jeff Garlin, Casey Affleck and Anna Kendrick help sell the story, which is actually quite funny. It also features plenty of nods to classic monster and slasher movies.


Streaming on Amazon Prime and available through iTunes

At the height of its power, Nicktoons was releasing hit after hit of smart yet very odd cartoons. This series came at the end of that cycle and laid the groundwork in many ways for "Monsters, Inc." with its young monsters learning how to scare.

Stream a few episodes to catch the jokes that flew over your head as a kid.


Volumes 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix

Featuring short bits with characters from "Shrek" and "Megamind" this collection is trotted out every Halloween as something for families to watch together.

Fortunately, it's still up and has some really nice gems in it, including a parody of Michael Jackson's classic video "Thriller."


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