For many, one of the highlights of the Halloween season is indulging in an endless variety of horror films. Whether you’re someone like myself, who uses the season as an excuse to go all out and watch as many horror movies as possible, or the average person simply looking for a few good scares, horror films are as important to Halloween as pumpkins and trick or treating. If there’s one thing that both the hardcore horror fans and casual viewers have in common, outside of the desire to watch a horror movie, it’s the fact that a major decision must be made: what movie should I/we watch?
This is where Pumpkin Cinema: The Best Movies for Halloween comes in.
With over 100 movie recommendations, Pumpkin Cinema promises “to make your Halloween fun and frightening,” by ensuring that you won’t waste any of your precious Halloween time on crappy movies. Author Nathaniel Tolle does so by setting down some basic guidelines: the films included are fast paced, they either take place on Halloween or during the fall season, they’re under two hours long, and they aren’t mean-spirited and cruel. So something like Martyrs is out of the question. I’ve always considered that one a Christmas film anyway.
Outside of an introduction, Pumpkin Cinema is broken down into 4 sections: Fun-Sized Films and Creepy, Crawly Compilations, which looks at a number of shorter Halloween offerings, including specials such as It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Witch's Night Out as well as film compilations like Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation and Terror in the Aisles. Halloween on the Small Screen: The Best Television Episodes and Specials is focused on a variety of special Halloween episodes for television shows such as The Facts of Life, Martin and the master of Halloween herself, Roseanne. The Attack of the Top 5 Lists features a number of top 5 lists for anyone looking for something specific like Vincent Price movies, films featuring ghosts and other things of that nature.
The fourth and most important section of Pumpkin Cinema belongs to Feature-Length Flicks-a-Fright that Go Bump in the Night. Taking up a majority of the book’s 176 pages, this section features reviews for a variety of feature-length movies, covering everything from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Ernest Scared Stupid to Black Sunday and Troll 2.
Throughout the book, it’s clear that Tolle has a true love and passion for his subject matter, and this comes through in his writing and painstaking dedication to putting it all together. The magic of Halloween courses through the book, as Tolle’s words convey the innocence and nostalgia that comes with the season for many of us who gleefully take in every ounce of Halloween horror possible. Pumpkin Cinema is, quite simply, the perfect guide for all of your Halloween horror needs, no matter how different they may be from one person to the next. Whether you’re a seasoned horror fan, a group of tween girls or even a family looking for a safe scare, Pumpkin Cinema truly has something for everyone to choose from.