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Looking for DVD suggestions for your Halloween party?

It's that time of year when we drape ourselves in funny garments and ponder our mortality. And no, I'm not talking about the annual stint in the dentist's chair. If you're still trying to decide what DVDs to rent for your Halloween party, here are a few less-conventional choices. These aren't strictly October 31-themed movies, but a motley assortment of scary flicks that put you in the right state of mind.

"I don't want to be frightened, just entertained"

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(2005) - Not to be confused with the 1971 film of a similar name, this darker revival stars Johnny Depp and contains all new music (you won't hear a single song from the Gene Wilder version).

Hocus Pocus Haunted Mansion (1993) - Appropriate for the whole family, this stars Eddie Murphy without the potty humor. Where there's an abandoned mansion, there must be a horror movie to be made.

"I want tension and suspense, but I don't want to be frightened"

The Machinist (2004) - If you've ever wondered what Christian Bale would look like after not eating for three months, here you go. That's not computer graphics, folks, that's him. A hard movie to classify, this one has a little of everything - blood and gore, romance and relationships, coming of age.

Breakdown (1997) - How can an ordinary day turn into a nightmare? A husband and wife (Kurt Russel and Kathleen Quinlan) on a cross-country road trip take an unwelcome turn as their car breaks down and they become prey for malfeasance.

"I want to be scared sh-tless"

Hostel (2005) - There are only a handful of movies I can say have ever truly gotten into my head. This is one of them - slasher movies have nothing on really well-done horror. I still have not been able to gather myself to rent the sequel. You'll think twice the next time you want to want to save some cash by staying in a hostel.

Wolf Creek (2005) - I have not yet seen this one but I have been assured it will provide you with multiple sleepless nights. This summer I went camping with someone who had seen it, and all I can say is that after sundown we were forbidden from saying the words "Australia" or "backpacking".



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