Something Wicked This Way Comes was a favorite movie of mine when I was younger. I’d classify it as “Disney Horror”–creepy movies that aren’t really straight up horror. They’re toned down for a younger audience. But they’re still very creepy. Some other movies that come to mind like this would be Watcher in the Woods and maybe even the animated Sleepy Hollow bit.
For my next project, I’m thinking about doing something more Middle Grade than Young Adult. GET CUPID was longer than most books, and I’d like something shorter this time, just for a change of pace. The idea I have in mind definitely has some Disney Horror in it, though I’d also like it to be a bit quirkier–have humor laced throughout it. Maybe more of a Time Bandits feel, but with the quirky not quite dialed up to eleven.
Notice a trend?
I’ve come to realize that when I write books, I often think of them as movies before I get into them. I’ve started doing this consciously for a few reasons. First off, I like to immerse myself in some of the genre before I start writing it. I can read books, and I do pick a few just to get a sense for the literary side of things (in this case, I’ll definitely re-read The House with a Clock in its Walls, and I’m thinking of checking out a bit or RL Stine just to see what he was up to), but I can watch a lot of movies very quickly. And I can latch on to themes and tones from the films I like and then translate those into the written word in a manner that hopefully hasn’t been done before. In other words, if I look at a bunch of books, then I end up falling into the same paths that those books broke. With film, I can do something and not worry so much about how it was done before.
I’m not sure if the end result is much different, but it makes a difference to me, and that’s what matters, right?
So with GET CUPID, I watched the whole Oceans Eleven series multiple times, plus some other caper movies, like The Hot Rock, Burn Notice (certain episodes), Topkapi–that sort of thing. I’d like to do the same sort of thing now, so I’m turning to you.
What are some good “Disney Horror” movies you’ve liked? I’m particularly looking for things that are more modern than Something Wicked. Note that I don’t mean it has to be done by Disney. I just mean horror for the 8-12 year old set. Ideally with some quirky humor, but that’s not a must. I have some ideas, but I like hearing what other people suggest, too.
So come on–hit me with your favorite scary movies when you were younger. No outright horror. Yes, The Shining features a young boy, but that movie ain’t for eight year olds, IMHO.
Thanks in advance!