This isn’t the timeliest of reviews, but hey, Halloween is less than a year away. The countdown is on! Nathaniel Tolle’s book is not your typical “top horror films” discussion. The purpose of the book is to give you what he thinks are the best things to watch on Halloween. There are great horror movies that aren’t necessarily suitable for group viewing on Halloween, so the author tries to make that distinction to help you choose. It’s important to choose wisely, as Halloween is the one time of year when horror fans and those who have little interest in horror for the rest of the year can unite in a common interest.
You can tell that this book is very personal to the author and reflects his Halloween experiences. It has a very genuine feel; a real labor of love. To think that only R rated horror films would be listed would not be accurate. There are children’s movies and comedies too. Suitability for Halloween is the key theme.
The book is split into sections. First there are the best full-length films for Halloween arranged alphabetically. There is no scoring – if it’s in the book it’s worth watching. For each entry we get a synopsis and then a brief discussion of the film and what makes it stand out. The entries are concise and entertaining. There are plenty of the classics you might expect, but also some surprises and lower profile films that you might not have seen.
Following the feature length films, which take up the majority of the book, we get a section on compilations and shorts, followed by TV Halloween specials, which was really interesting. You’ll see everything from The Cosby Show to The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror. The final section features some fun top 5 lists.
I’ve picked up some great recommendations from reading this book and now I begin the process of catching up on them. Pick this book up, enjoy perusing the offerings, and be prepared for next Halloween!
Reviewed by Andrew Tadman. @thebooksofblood.