31 Fright nights: Freeform celebrates spooky season with a month-long marathon

Catherine Rose, Staff Writer

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October is upon us.  Let the ghoul times roll! Thirteen scary nights just weren’t enough for Freeform. The spooktacular 31 Nights of Halloween began Oct. 1.  

Freeform’s month of Halloween specials kicked off with “ParaNorman,” a stop-motion animated comedy horror film from 2012.

It’s about a kid who has the ability to speak to the dead and often prefers that to the living. Norman finds out a century-old witch’s curse is about to come true and only he can stop it. He pushes his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his town in this cute highly-rated movie that is suitable for children and adults alike.

The first night continuedwith “The Nightmare Before Christmas” followed by “Hocus Pocus.”  

The next two days featured favorites such as “Monsters University,” “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” “Monster House” and “The Final Girls.”

Thursday, Oct. 4 repeats “ParaNorman” at 5 p.m. and “Monster House” at 7 p.m., while introducing other popular hits such as “The Addams Family” (1991) at 9 p.m. and wrapping up the night with “Teen Spirit” at midnight.  

Teen Spirit is an ABC Family original movie in which Amber, a mean popular girl, gets electrocuted and dies and is not allowed to enter into heaven unless she helps the least popular girl in school become Prom Queen within a week.  

While Teen Spirit is a comedy that sports some ghostly elements, the scariest part may be the terrible acting and wannabe-mean-girls become ghost’s aspect of the movie.

But unlike those cornered by a man with a chainsaw in a horror movie, all is not lost.  The first weekend of 31 Nights of Halloween is jam-packed with hits.  

Friday features “The Parent Trap” (1998) at 12:30 p.m., “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at 3:30 p.m., another showing of “The Addams Family” at 6:10 p.m., “The Goonies” at 8:20 p.m. and a midnight showing of “The Breakfast Club.”  

Saturday broadcasts repeats of the previous days, along with “The Haunted Mansion” (2003) at 2:50 p.m. and the Disney hit “Maleficent” at 9:45 p.m. and “Warm Bodies” at 11:50 p.m.

Sunday is perhaps the best of the three with a 1:50 p.m. slot of “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), “Maleficent” at 6:35 p.m., a Freeform premiere of “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007) at 8:40 p.m. and “Dark Shadows” to end the frightful night on a chilling note starting at 11:20 at night.

The week of Oct. 8 headlines “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Clue” (1985), “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Despicable Me,” Disney’s “Bolt,” “Frozen” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Freeform gears up for another weekend of packing in popular movies with “Sweeny Todd,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Hocus Pocus,” just to name a few.  

There are also Freeform premieres of “Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic” and “Hotel Transylvania” on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., respectively.  

A lot of the same films are replayed during the next week, Oct. 15-19. However, we do see some new ones added in there.

“Mulan” plays at midnight to end Tuesday, Oct. 16, and “Maggie” premieres at the conclusion of Thursday the 18 at midnight.

Maggie will attract viewers still in their zombie apocalypse phase.  It’s about a small-town farmer going to great lengths to save his daughter after she is infected with a virus that turns her into a zombie.  The best part?  Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the heroic farmer-dad.

Saturday at 8:15 p.m. is the “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash,” followed by the film “Hocus Pocus,” of course.

“The Haunted Mansion,” a comedy/horror film based on the Disney attraction by the same name, plays at 11:55 a.m. on Sun., Oct. 21. The film is about a realtor, his wife, and their children who are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted.

While they attempt to escape, the realtor learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected. Who knew real estate could be so exciting?
“The Witches of Eastwick” premieres on Freeform at 8:20 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22.

The rest of the week cycles through a lot of the movies that were played previously. Friday, Oct. 26 celebrates “Jurassic Park” with the 1993 movie playing at 11:30 a.m. and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” at 2:35 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday are once again filled with universal pleasers, like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Hotel Transylvania” and “Toy Story of TERROR!”

Monday, Oct. 29 pleasantly introduces a fresh movie to the mix with “Big Hero 6” at 7:10 p.m.  

The month-long tribute concludes with a twenty-four hour “Hocus Pocus” marathon on Halloween day.  

This year, Freeform has expanded upon its usual 13 nights to bring film fanatics a delightful 31 Nights of Halloween.  

With it officially underway, we hope you enjoy the spine-chilling cinema that Freeform has to offer.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year: don’t be a scaredy-cat, Have a fang-tastic 31 nights!

 

TV network “Freeform” bumped its annual “13 Nights of Halloween” special up to 31. Featured shows include Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” and cult classic “Hocus Pocus.”