Five Halloween Movies to Watch with Your Kids

Hocus Pocus has all the elements that make the perfect Halloween movie.

For kids, there's nothing better than Halloween. You get to fulfill your wildest fantasies, explore your darkest fears and get a bag of free candy. It's a time before adulthood beats the magic and wonder out of you, a time when you can still believe there's something more out there. These five movies capture that wonder -- and make you jump -- and, even as an adult, they may be able to help you forget your cynicism for a while.

See also: Five Scary Documentaries That Will Give You Nightmares

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Twenty of the Best Adults-Only Halloween Parties

Brandon Marshall for Westword.
Party goers from last year's Exotica Erotica Ball, going on this year in both Denver and Boulder.
Halloween takes over the month of October, providing plenty of places to party and play in costume. There's a lot to do and see around the city during this spooky season; here we've compiled a list of the top twenty haunted throwdowns catering to the mature crowd. (Don't worry, we've got kid-friendly and Dia de los Muertos events lists coming your way, too.)

Those looking for something a little scarier and sexier can check into a paranormal investigation of a Capitol Hill haunt or hit several parties with big cash prizes for the most innovative costumes. You can find more possibilities in the online Westword calendar -- but this list should fill your trick-or-treat bag with a spooky good time.

See also: Five Great Zombie Events in Denver in October

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Eight Denver-Inspired Costumes to Rock This Halloween

Categories: Halloween, Lists

Scare your friends and dress as the blue demon horse that welcomes guests to Denver.

When choosing a costume, creativity is key, especially if you want to avoid cliché pop culture choices or the same old traditional options. This Halloween, why not look for inspiration around our great city, with its never-ending stream of colorful characters, iconic symbols and inside jokes? Here are some suggestions for Denver-inspired costumes.

See also: The 50 best Denver costumes of 2014 (so far)

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Five Reasons Why Halloween Sucks Right Now

Categories: Halloween

At some point Halloween went from real pumpkins, elegantly toilet-papered trees and hellishly funny Halloween films to plastic "fun-kins," polite, chaperoned gatherings and bad Tim Burton movie reruns on the tube. Although I can't identify exactly when the caramel apple fell off the stick, Halloween has become the soon-forgotten candy corn squat you take between Labor Day and Christmas.

Here are five reasons why Halloween sucks right now, no razor blades added.

See also: Ten Pumpkin Patches and Festivals to Carve Into Your Colorado Calendar

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Ten Día de los Muertos events in Denver this weekend -- for adults and families!

Though the holiday known as Day of the Dead -- Día de los Muertos -- sounds mournful, its festivities are rooted deep in a traditional celebration of life. After tonight, Halloween will be finished for the year and the merrymaking turns honoring the souls who have passed, with an array of commemorative altar displays, parades, art, food, dancing and music. Below are ten of the best Day of the Dead happenings around town, many of them free and family-friendly. For a full list of events happening across the city this weekend, be sure to check out our online calendar for more ideas -- and share anything we may have missed in the comments section below.

See also: Slideshows - Dia De Los Muertos at Pirate: Contemporary Art 2012

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Dia de los Muertos art show will make its mark at Good Omen Tattoo

Courtesy of Amanda Erickson

Dia de los Muertos is a cause for celebration, a reason to gather with friends and family to remember the souls who have passed on. Mandie Erickson will make November 1 a day to remember by curating her first art show, which will have a grand opening from 6 to 10 p.m. that day at Good Omen Tattoo, 2561 South Broadway.

See also: Psychedelia at The Spot

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Five cult classic horror movies inspired by books -- and available now!

Edith Scob in Eyes Without a Face
The entertainment industry, with its long-established allergy to new ideas, often mines the bestseller list for source material. Studios are more likely to greenlight a scary story after it has been officially vetted by the reading public. They're also less likely to interfere with a proven earner, which is why the most interesting and distinctive films are usually literary adaptations. In horror cinema, however, the filmmaker's vision of a story so often becomes definitive in the minds of viewers that it overshadows the books that inspired that vision in the first place (unless of course, those books were written by Stephen King).

With that in mind, the Westword Book Club has compiled a list of five cult classic horror movies that were inspired by novels and short stories, deliberately avoiding canonical works like Dracula and Frankenstein as well as blockbusters like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby in favor of slightly obscure titles that deserve more eyeballs. Then we Lars von Trier'ed ourselves into a corner by only selecting movies that are available to stream instantly, so readers can easily check out these great films before their Halloween spirit is buried beneath the snows of November. Read on, and enjoy your nightmares.

See also: Five best sci-fi/horror films to help a non-horror geek survive October

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Five of the goriest zombie movies of all time

Where you find zombies, you will also find gore. Sure, there are zombie films that aren't particularly bloody, but they are the exception, not the rule. This is, after all, a genre where disembowelments are standard operating procedure. To stand out in this viscera-clotted field, a movie's got to be pretty grotesque, but plenty of filmmakers have risen to that challenge over the years, making some of the goriest films of all time. Films like Re-Animator (showing on Halloween in the VAC basement on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder) pushed the boundaries of good taste, knocked them over, then proceeded to stomp the boundaries' face into mush. For those who love that kind of gruesome mess, we've collated this list of some of zombiedom's most gorific films. Enjoy! (Caution: Clips are NSFW!)

See also: Blood, boobs and bowling: Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer

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gore, zombies

Miguel De La Torre on The Quest for the Historical Satan

Dr. Miguel De La Torre
With Halloween on the horizon, the time was right to touch base with Miguel De La Torre, author of The Quest for the Historical Satan, to find out just how scared we should be this season. De La Torre is an ordained Southern Baptist preacher as well as a social ethics professor at the Iliff School of Theology. During our conversation, he discussed Satan in his many historical contexts, how Satan relates to superheroes and what dressing up as Satan this Halloween season might actually entail.

See also: Denver Film Society gets spooky for Halloween week

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Photos: Things got hairy at Saturday's Denver Gorilla Run

Categories: Halloween, Photos

Saturday's Denver Gorilla Run not only broke the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed in gorilla suits, but also featured an encyclopedic number of variations on the theme: There were pink gorillettes and samurai gorillas, Big Bang Theory nerdillas and some folks who plainly weren't gorillas at all. Ken Hamblin III caught all the hairy action for Westword, and we've collected his primate shots in a full slide show. But first, a sampler...

See also: Twenty best-dressed primates from Gorilla Run 2012

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