By Jay Bobbin Zap2it
If the last week of October arrived without a healthy dose of Halloween-oriented programming … well, it couldn’t be the last week of October.
Here’s a sampling of some of the offerings intended to be treats more than tricks.
“The Good Witch’s Destiny” (9 P.m. Sunday, Hallmark Channel): Repeating from its premiere the previous week, the sixth of Catherine Bell’s fantasy movies makes the birthday of her supposed-sorceress character Cassie quite memorable.
“Paranormal Activity” (8 p.m. Sunday, FX): Which forces are causing a young couple (Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat) great alarm in their home? They use video equipment to find out in this cost-effective 2007 horror hit.
“Hocus Pocus” (9 p.m. Sunday, ABC Family): The first of the last five of the channel’s “13 Nights of Halloween” includes this seasonal movie favorite, the 1993 comedy-fantasy starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as sibling witches who are up to no good.
“Secrets of the Tower of London” (8 p.m. Sunday, KCTS): A setting for some famous horror tales, the tower gets an examination in this new special, encompassing its use as a site for executions.
“Curious George: A Holiday Boo Fest” (8 a.m. Monday. KCTS): The animated character appeals, as usual, to younger viewers by going the “Sleepy Hollow” route in pursuing a ghost known as No Noggin.
“Friday the 13th Part 3” (8 p.m. Monday, AMC): The fearsome Jason is back in full force this Halloween, as this 1982 entry launches a marathon of the hockey-masked villain’s exploits.
“Scare Tactics” (all day Monday, Syfy): A cemetery isn’t necessarily the calmest place to be at Halloween, as proved in the course of a marathon of new episodes of the Tracy Morgan-hosted, “Candid Camera”-like series.
“Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (9:25 p.m. Monday, ABC Family): Stark animation makes the Burton-produced saga of Jack Skellington (voiced by Danny Elfman, also the film’s composer) all the more memorable.
“The Blair Witch Project” (12:45 p.m. Tuesday, IFC): Countless parodies were launched by the style of this ultra-low-budget 1999 thriller, tracing the fates of several film students through the lens of their video camera.
“War of the Worlds: American Experience” (9 p.m. Tuesday, KCTS): On the eve of its 75th anniversary, Orson Welles’ legendary radio broadcast that threw much of America into a panic is recalled by interviewees including Welles’ daughter Chris Welles Feder and filmmaker and close Welles friend Peter Bogdanovich.
“Twilight” (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC Family): Otherworldly elements are bountiful in the story that launched the saga of heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner).
“Halloween” (8 p.m. Wednesday, AMC): Well, of course this would be among the week’s attractions. Director John Carpenter’s 1978 classic made a so-called “scream queen” of Jamie Lee Curtis, playing the prime target of homicidal Michael Myers.
“American Horror Story: Coven” (10 p.m. Wednesday, FX): It’s also no coincidence this franchise has started its season shortly before Halloween. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are among the stars of a new, witch-school-themed episode.
“Ghost Hunters” (all evening Wednesday, Syfy): A natural for a Halloween episode, the series takes Jason Hawes and his paranormal-research team to Cooperstown, N.Y., and Hyde Hall, a site haunted by a long-ago family feud.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (8 p.m. Thursday, ABC): Another home-screen must of the season, the animated, ever-charming “Peanuts” special sees Linus maintain a vigil in the pumpkin patch he deems the “most sincere.”
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1:30 p.m. Thursday, IFC): What better time is there to do the Time Warp again? The 1975 musical-horror-comedy movie gets multiple showings, with a cast including Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Tim Curry.
“The Pit and the Pendulum” (5 p.m. Thursday, TCM): Veteran actor Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe works were a potent combination for American International Pictures, and this 1961 classic launches a Halloween night of them that also includes “The Haunted Palace” and “The Masque of the Red Death.”