Add Pamela Pettler’s Films to Your List This Spooky Season

PM5987 Studio Publicity Still from "Corpse Bride" Corpse Bride © 2005 Warner Brothers File Reference # 307362198THA For Editorial Use Only - All Rights Reserved

With Halloween approaching, we’re all looking for films to watch during our scary movie marathons. Why not support a female screenwriter at the same time, and add Pamela Pettler’s films to the list? Today we’re taking a look at Pamela Pettler’s impressive and spooky screenwriting career, worthy of any Halloween movie night.

Pamela Pettler is an American screenwriter, known for creating animated films which are creepy, yet fun for the whole family. Her writing career began in the eighties and nineties, when she wrote episodes for several popular television series such as the ABC Weekend Specials, Clueless (a series based on the beloved 1995 film), and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

Pamela came onto the feature film writing scene with a bang in 2005, when she wrote Corpse Bride. The film is a stop-motion animated feature infused with the unique visual style of director Tim Burton. Based on a 19th-century Jewish folktale, Corpse Bride tells the story of Victor Van Dort, a young man from a wealthy family who is engaged to Victoria Everglot, the daughter of a financially struggling aristocratic family. In a rehearsal for their wedding vows, Victor finds himself in a mysterious forest, where he accidentally proposes to a deceased bride, Emily, who rises from the grave. This act transports Victor to the Land of the Dead, a colorful and vibrant afterlife, where he must navigate the dynamics of two very different worlds. 

While Tim Burton brings his signature quirky and macabre vibe to the film, it was Pamela’s writing which set it up to be unforgettable. With her screenplay, Pamela intelligently infuses complex topics like death and the afterlife and love and marriage into an entertaining plotline. She captures vast emotional depth and range in her characters, making their stories quite moving despite the absurdity of their situation. 

In 2009, Pamela kept with the animated horror genre when she co-wrote Monster House. The story centers on three pre-adolescent friends: DJ, Chowder, and Jenny. When they suspect that the creepy house across the street is more than it seems, they embark on a daring adventure to uncover its secrets. As they dig deeper into the mystery, they realize that the house has a mind of its own and a voracious appetite for anything that comes too close to it. The trio must work together to outsmart the house, which has come to life in the form of a monstrous creature with a personality and a desire to protect its secrets.

Monster House again shows Pamela’s ability to craft loveable characters who ground the viewer in an otherwise chaotic and sometimes frightening world. Monster House is further characterized by its humor, which keeps things light and entertaining for adults and kids alike. 

Though many consider Corpse Bride a staple watch during Halloween, now may be a good time to revisit it with a newfound appreciation for Pamela’s writing. If you tack on Monster House with it, it will certainly not disappoint. Happy watching, and happy Halloween!

 © Julia Lasker (10/24/2023) FF2 Media


Watch Corpse Bride here. 

Watch Monster House here

 © Julia Lasker (10/24/2023) FF2 Media


Watch Corpse Bride here. 

Watch Monster House here.


Featured photo: Still from CORPSE BRIDE (2005). © 2005 Warner Brothers. Photo Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: PM5987

Bottom photo: Still from MONSTER HOUSE (2006). Photo Credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: BKMWGN

Tags: ABC Weekend Specials, Clueless, Corpse Bride, Halloween, Halloween movies, horror animation, Monster House, Pamela Pettler, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, scary movies, Spooky season, Tim Burton

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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