Click inside for the weekly family rail, with haunted house tips, a review of “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and more. Or check out these links:

Tip of the Week


Most days, you probably want visitors to feel welcome and secure in your home. But one day a year, it's fun to scare the dickens out of them - so make the most of Halloween and all the good-natured frights that come along with the spookiest of holidays. Here are a few things to consider as you create a spooky playground to impress the trick-or-treaters:


- Know your audience. It might be a good idea to match the level of scary in your Halloween decorations with the age of the children you expect to come trick-or-treating.


- Choose a theme. Halloween is the perfect holiday for creativity, so when it comes to the front yard, don't limit yourself. Decorations that center around a theme are the most impactful and will delight children when walking to your doorstep. You could choose something as simple as a graveyard theme, leading visitors through a path of gravestones and creaky gates, with zombie decorations for good measure. Or use ideas from your favorite scary movie.


- Direct traffic. Now that you've chosen a theme, think about how you will want your guests to experience it. Start at the sidewalk and decorate a path to your house that sticks with the theme.


- Safety first. While it's great to create the scariest yard, you should also make sure it's safe. Walkways and hazards like ponds or stairs should be well lit.


- ARA


Family Screening Room


“Resident Evil: Afterlife”


Rated: R (for sequences of strong violence and language)


Length: 97 minutes


Synopsis: In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the undead, Alice continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend.


Violence/scary rating: 5


Sexual-content rating: 2


Profanity rating: 4


Drugs/alcohol rating: 2


Family Time rating: 4.5. This is a violent film and is too intense (and possibly disturbing) for youngsters.


(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)


Book Report


“More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” by Alvin Schwartz (author) and Brett Helquist (illustrator)


Ages: 9 and older


Pages: 111


Synopsis: All those who enjoyed shuddering their way through Alvin Schwartz's first volume of “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” will find a satisfyingly spooky sequel in this new collection of the macabre, the funny and the fantastic. Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories - and even a scary song - all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.


Did You Know


According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, head injuries have skyrocketed in children’s basketball in recent years.


GateHouse News Service