Pumpkin Cinema: The Best Movies for Halloween - Book Review

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Posted 2023-10-25 by Jennifer Muirheadfollow

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Schiffer Publishing Ltd. in exchange for an honest review.

After dressing up in your scariest costume, giving out sweets to adorable youngsters dressed as Tinkerbell or Harry Potter, or enjoying chocolate spiders and bobbing for apples, the perfect end to a Halloween celebration is sitting down with some popcorn and a spooky movie or three. In Pumpkin Cinema, Nathaniel Tolle gives a comprehensive list of movie suggestions to fit the occasion.

The movies are chosen according to certain criteria. They have to be scary, but still fun to watch (thus ruling out things like Wolf Creek, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Audition, Hostel...basically anything you could describe as "torture porn" or anything directed by Michael Haneke. Seriously, screw that guy).

The films chosen mustn't be too long, so people don't fall asleep in the middle. If they aren't scary they must be about Halloween, (eg. Hocus Pocus or It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown) and they shouldn't repeatedly represent seasons and weather that conflict with the atmosphere of Autumn. The latter doesn't really apply in Australia, where October is in Spring and Halloween isn't such a big deal anyway.

In addition to feature length films there are lists of shorts, compilations and tv specials, including family films for a toned down, kid-friendly Halloween. They each have the director, stars and running time listed conveniently at the top. There are also top five lists for specific tastes, eg. five films for when you want ghosts, zombies, chainsaws, Vincent Price, or for when you want to heckle like the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 crew.

Nathaniel Tolle's enthusiasm for Halloween in general, and Halloween themed movies in particular, is contagious. There are quite a few movies listed here that I have had to add to my personal "to watch" list. I was also reminded of some old favourites that I now want to see again. If you're planning to throw a Halloween party, or just looking for a few fun, scary films to watch at any time you will find this book very useful.

253548 - 2023-07-19 07:46:44


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