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  1. Violence, gore and horror is not everybody’s cup of tea. Some people shriek at all the jump scares, cowering behind their blanket, only peeking out when they think the ghost has gone. However, even us scaredy-cats deserve to watch some fun Halloween films! These movies stray away from the terror and trepidation of a usual horror, and embrace the wacky, goofy, and completely eccentric parts of this spooky holiday instead!

     

    Cinebling Movie Review The Nightmare Before Christmas 

    The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    Possibly one of the only movies that is both a Halloween and Christmas film at the same time – this animated adventure has all the usual spookiness we expect from a Tim Burton flick. Jack Skellington is the king of Halloween Town who uncovers the holiday of Christmas, and wants to celebrate it in his own, eerie way. Because it features a hybrid of holidays, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an acceptable film to watch all the way to the end of the year.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Practical Magic

    Practical Magic (1998)

    The perfect Halloween movie for a rom-com lover, Practical Magic is about sisterly bonds rather than spooky stories. Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as sisters, who also happen to be witches. It’s not all double, double, toil and trouble – the sisters have to fight a family curse in order to fall in love. With Stevie Nicks headlining the soundtrack, Practical Magic has the cosiest autumnal atmosphere.


    Cinebling Movie Review Hotel Transylvania 

    Hotel Transylvania (2012)

    One of the best fun Halloween movies to watch if you’re in the company of children, Hotel Transylvania is an animated comedy film involving Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his teenage daughter (Selena Gomez) who run a hotel for monsters. That is until a bumbling human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles upon this monstrous hotel, threatening to reveal this well-kept secret to the world. If this wasn’t enough for Drac, he also has to keep his daughter from falling in love with the human. Hotel Transylvania is a fun film for all ages, poking fun at many tropes and conventions of usual Halloween movies.


    Cinebling Movie Review Beetlejuice
     

    Beetlejuice (1988)

    A wacky, fantasy comedy that has cemented itself as a Halloween classic, Beetlejuice is another Tim Burton flick about a couple who have recently died and are tricked into releasing the dreaded Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton. Beetlejuice’s soundtrack also became a firm Halloween favourite after its release, with songs such as ‘Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)’ and ‘Day-o (Banana Boat Song)’ guaranteed to play at any Halloween party – with the dance moves to match!


     Cinebling Movie Review Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein (1974)

    Young Frankenstein is guaranteed to make you howl with laughter, starring the brilliant Gene Wilder, it parodies famous horror films and turns their clichés upside down. The film centres on Wilder as the young Frankenstein, a descendant Mary Shelley’s famous protagonist, however he doesn’t learn from his ancestor’s mistakes. Shot entirely in black and white, Young Frankenstein has the atmosphere and ambience of a classic horror, but all the jokes too!

     
    Cinebling Movie Review Hocus Pocus

    Hocus Pocus (1993)

    This Disney cult classic is an amalgamation of fantasy, comedy and horror, but is suitable for the entire family. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witches who have been resurrected on Halloween. Whilst the film didn’t make much of an impression in cinemas in 1993, this story of sorceresses became a Halloween cult classic after home video sales skyrocketed around October 31st each year. Now famed for its iconic outfits and glamorous malevolency, there might even be a Hocus Pocus sequel arriving on Disney+ in the future!


    Cinebling Movie Review Gremlins 

    Gremlins (1984)

    Gremlins, along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, breathed life into a new genre of film. With parents unhappy about the amount of violence in each movie, Steven Spielberg suggested the answer of a ‘PG-13’ rating, which consequently created a new style of film aimed at teenagers. They were no longer resigned to ‘PG’ children’s films, longing for those ‘R’ rated flicks that they were too young to be allowed into. With just enough horror and violence for a 15-year-old, Gremlins is perfect for this list of Halloween films that aren’t too scary!  

     

    Let us know in the comments what your favourite fun Halloween film is!



    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

     Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

  2. I wrote a blog post back in March about how being locked down in 2020 seemed kinda “basic”. That was partly because I’d been expecting hoverboards from 2015 (as Back To The Future promised!) so I had even higher hopes for 2020.

     

    I do think that it was the right thing to do, given the limited knowledge about the virus, and unfortunately, I think there’s still a long way to go before we’re free of it.

    Crying Emoji 

    The point of the blog back then was that even if we were locked down and isolated, at least we had cinema to keep us company. Yes, it’s not *quite* the same, but it’s a pretty great second. We can escape our lives for a few hours by watching a movie, and we can feel part of an online community as we share our thoughts on it afterwards.

     

    As well as watching movies, I love to read. My Dad is a huge reader, and I followed in his footsteps and read a ridiculous amount as a child. My Dad definitely reads more than I do these days, but I do make sure I fit a book in between movies.

     Buying In Book

    My latest book is Buying In, by Rob Walker. Buying In explores brands, how we connect with them, and why we buy from them. Maybe not as interesting to most people as a good novel, but as a small business owner, it’s something that intrigued me.

     

    I’ve only got a few chapters in, but some of what Rob said in the book got me thinking. Rob gives some great examples, but says that we buy from brands for two conflicting reasons.

    1. We want to express our individuality
    2. We want to feel like we belong

     

    Makes no sense, right?

     

    …well, not really.

     

    Humans have lived in communities for millions of years – we all want to belong. There’s safety in numbers, social benefits, skills available that we don’t possess… But that doesn’t mean we’re the same as everyone else. Conflict? It makes complete sense to me.

     Family

    But then, I’m a middle child: Not the oldest, not the youngest. Not the first girl, not the first boy. The middle one. I like to think that I argued with my brother and sister in equal measure when we were growing up (although I have a pretty great relationship with both of them now). We always made up. Why? Because we’re family. I belong to my family, and they belong to me.

     

    Like everyone, my siblings and I are our own people. We like some of the same stuff, other times we will wrinkle our faces and express our confusion at why our sibling is doing something crazy (this is me when anyone eats peanut butter).

     Peanut Butter

    Cinema is the same. We go and sit in the dark with strangers because that makes us feel like we belong. But we interpret and experience the film as individuals, through our own unique filters. We form our opinions of the magical moving pictures in front of us all on our own.

     

    We talk about movies and our taste in movies as individuals, but we talk to a community, that we belong to.

     

    Back in the olden times, before COVID-19, I used to sell jewellery at different stalls. Some were more craft/artisan focussed, some were more movie focussed. One of my favourite things about that was asking people “what’s your favourite movie?” and seeing their reaction. A lot of the time, it was similar to mine – “I have to pick just one?” but sometimes people would know exactly what their favourite was. Even then, their answers could surprise me. They could often give me a few solid reasons as to why their favourite movie was The Greatest Movie Of All Time.

     

    As long as we keep respecting each other’s opinions and talking about what makes our choice of movie great, we’ll have a fantastic community. We’ll be individuals and we’ll be part of something bigger than ourselves.

     

    Welcome to the family!

     

    The Cinema Family

  3. While there is a plethora of superstitions about the theatre stage, such as lighting a trio of candles whilst saying Macbeth, which will probably result in a painful death – or perhaps just a bad performance, film set superstitions are less common. Possibly because there is less chance for irreversible doom on a film set, as opposed to a live, judging audience, or maybe actors and film crews are just less gullible. That being said, there are certain films with strange occurrences and weird incidents that leave people to believe that these films might just be cursed!

     Cinebling Movie Review The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    This fantasy musical that has shaped all of our collective childhoods is hiding some dark and twisted secrets beneath the yellow brick road. The makeup used on many actors was actually poisonous; The Tin Man’s aluminium paint hospitalised the first actor, Buddy Ebsen, nearly killing him, meaning the studio instead cast Jack Haley, who still suffered an eye infection because of the aluminium paste. The Wicked Witch of the West’s copper makeup also burned her face – the crew had to rush to wash off the burning makeup before it gave her a more severe injury! If you thought that was bad, many of the Flying Monkeys also were injured, the wires holding them up often snapping, as well as a stunt broom exploding, hospitalising the actor riding it. It wasn’t just the human actors that got hurt – someone even accidentally stepped on Toto! One explanation for this apparent curse could be that many of these stunts had not been tested before; clearly the majority of them were quite unsafe.

     Cinebling Movie Review Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now (1979)

    With multiple different failings leading to expensive production costs, Apocalypse Now is said to be cursed. Deciding to film in the Philippines, which was plagued by bad weather and an uncooperative government, filming was a disaster the entire way through. Martin Sheen had a heart attack and Francis Ford Coppola, who had spent a lot of his own money on this sinking production, is reported to have suffered with suicidal thoughts. Despite its chaotic production, Apocalypse Now is regarded as a masterpiece in modern cinema, despite the gruelling work took to make it.

     Cinebling Movie Review The Crow

    The Crow (1994)

    Whilst the events surrounding The Crow are more of a fatal error than a curse, they are still devastatingly tragic. Protagonist Eric Draven was played by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, who was fatally shot whilst performing a scene, only a few days before they were set to finish filming. In the scene, the prop gun was supposed to be firing a blank, however the dummy round had not been removed. Brandon was taken to hospital where he later died during surgery. To make his death even more tragic, Lee was set to marry his fiancé, Eliza Hutton, in just a few weeks.

     Cinebling Movie Review The Passion of the Christ

    The Passion of the Christ (2004)

    With a film as controversial as The Passion of the Christ, it might not be surprising that there are rumours that this film is cursed, as Mel Gibson and his controversies are far from the most explosive thing about this film. Not just one, but two people on set of The Passion of the Christ were struck by lightning. The first was Jesus, actor Jim Caviezel, who also dislocated his shoulder whilst carrying the heavy crucifix, got hypothermia and nearly died, and even got flogged by accident, leaving him with a scar on his back. The second person to be struck by lightning on set was assistant director, Jon Mikalini, which was the second time he had been struck by lightning in his life. Unlucky, right!

     

    Atuk

    The script of Atuk was so cursed that it was never even made! Adapted from a novel, director Norman Jewison wanted John Belushi to play the lead role, who expressed an interest after reading the script. However, a few months later, he was found dead in his hotel room. Four years later, Atuk seemed set to be made, again, with Sam Kinison to play the lead. But, unhappy with the studio’s involvement, Kinison filed a lawsuit, and unfortunately died during these negotiations in a car crash. A decade after the initial production, in 1994, John Candy was approached to be the lead, however he died of a heart attack the same year. The final invite for the lead role went to Chris Farley, who was also immediately interested, but died a few months after reading the script. Whether it was because they believed the curse of the film script, or because they didn’t want to bother with the hassle of finding an actor for the lead role again, Atuk sits untouched for the next brave (or stupid) person to try and revive it.

     

    Let us know in the comments any other film set curses you have heard of!

     

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

     

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

  4. As the weather turns colder and the leaves begin to fall, the only thing any film lover wants to do is get snug and comfortable at home and watch some cosy autumnal movies! From warm, heart-warming tales that make you excited for when the leaves turn brown and start to fall, to scary stories that will make you scared to open the curtains at night, there are a huge variety of films and genres that perfectly sum up the feeling of autumn.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

    Whilst the entire Harry Potter franchise elicits an autumnal aura, the film where we first experience this world of wizardry is particularly cosy and wonderful. From trolls in the dungeon on Halloween, to a magical Christmas feast, and viewer can really get into the spirit of autumn against the backdrop of Hogwarts, in the snowy Scottish Highlands.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Dead Poets Society    Dead Poets Society (1989)

    Starring the wonderful Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society is an incredibly heart-warming tale of a group of boys at an elite boarding school who fall in love with literature after being inspired by their dedicated teacher. Set during autumn in the late 1950s, this award-winning film is bound to make you cry and smile; it is a touching depiction of the fall season in Vermont.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Clue    Clue (1985)

    This black comedy murder mystery movie is a perfect watch in the run up to Halloween. Clue mocks all the usual clichéd tropes and conventions of the mystery genre, and you can’t help but love its brilliant ensemble cast. This film will immediately make you want to play a game of Cluedo on a stormy autumn night!

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Little Women 2019    Little Women (2019)

    Little Women is one of the cosiest films you’ll ever watch! Directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring an all-star cast, including Saorise Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and Laura Dern, Little Women is, at heart, a coming-of-age film surrounding the lives of four sisters, against a beautiful autumn backdrop over many years. No other film will have you wishing for snow as much as Little Women will!

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Fantastic Mr Fox    Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

    If you aren’t already enticed in by the idea of George Clooney voice acting as a charming, suave fox, then perhaps the delightful, whimsical stop-motion animation style of Wes Anderson will be what really seals the deal. Fantastic Mr Fox is a wonderful movie for an audience of any age, with its warm colour palette igniting an autumnal aura throughout the entire film.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Matilda    Matilda (1996)

    Nothing screams autumn like some unexplained magical occurrences, and Matilda is just the film for that! From cackling at Danny DeVito’s misfortunes as Harry Wormwood, to cowering in fear at Pam Farris as the dreaded Miss Trunchball and falling in love with Embeth Davidtz as the kind Miss Honey, Matilda offers an entire cast of unforgettable characters.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Knives OUt    Knives Out (2019)

    Director Rian Johnson takes a unique spin on the murder mystery ‘whodunit’ trope, making Knives Out an incredibly refreshing film in an overcrowded genre. Starring Daniel Craig as the mysterious detective Benoit Blanc,is another movie acclaimed for its brilliant ensemble cast. Perhaps the best thing about Knives Out is the variety of sweaters worn throughout, with many articles written after the film’s release about how great Chris Evans looks in a knitted sweater.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Corpse Bride    Corpse Bride (2005)

    No autumnal movie list is complete without a classic Tim Burton gothic horror. Similar to Fantastic Mr Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride is also a stop-motion animated fantasy, but with more of a spooky edge. Starring the King and Queen of spooky flicks – Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Corpse Bride is an iconic addition to Tim Burton’s spine-chilling filmography.

     

    Let us know in the comments what your favourite autumnal movie is!

     

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

     

     

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

  5. Hi, have we met?

    Joy Smith is Cinebling

     


    I'm Joy Smith, and I'm the designer behind Cinebling. 

    I often write about movies and my jewellery inspirations on the blogs here, but I thought it would be fun to do something a little different.


    This reminds me of the chain letters and emails that used to circulate (and most likely, still do!) back in the 90s, although here, there is no obligation to pass it on or be forever cursed to watch bad movies!


    There are 40 questions in total, which will be updated after I send them out to my A List! (Want all the inside news? Join the A List here!)

    Hope this gives you a little more info on me as a person, and if you have any questions I haven't answered, please drop them into the comments and I'll let you know!

    Joy

     

    1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

     

    This would probably change every time I got asked it! I think right now, I’d love to have Gal Gadot over. From what I know about her, she’s a really interesting person (and she could maybe give me the inside scoop on WW84, too!)

     

    2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

     

    Definitely not! When I was younger and wanted to work in the movies, I wrote scripts. You get all the fun and glamour of working in the industry, but mostly, no one knows what screenwriters look like. Definitely not in the way they do actors and directors!

     

    3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

     

    No, but I probably should! Sometimes I hang up and do a bit of a facepalm, but I just go for it!

     

    4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

     

    Easy! A lie in, a spot of brunch, and then a triple-bill at the movies with a sundae and lashings and lashings of popcorn. Just don’t ask me to narrow it down to only three movies!

     

    5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

     

    About five minutes ago! I seem to have a very wordy brain, and will often find myself singing apparently random songs. I then realise it’s linked to an earlier conversation or something by the lyrics.

     Cinebling Scared Kitten Under Sofa

    (Turns out my singing makes cute kittens hide underneath sofas!)

     

    6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

                                                                                         

    This is tricky! I’d like to think that I’d learn a lot between being 30 and being 90, which would make me lean towards body, so my mind could grow… but then it would be great to have the enthusiastic outlook of 30-year-old me and brighten up the 90-year-olds. Toss a coin!

     

    7. What do you find relaxing?

     

    The seaside!

     

    8. What's your least favourite sound?

     

    Any recording of my own voice.

     

    9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

     

    Wow, there’s so many to count here! Probably my family. They can drive me crazy sometimes, but they’re pretty awesome.

     

    10. Can you describe your taste in interiors and design?

     

    Erm, not really! I don’t think I know enough about it. I think I err slightly towards minimalism, as I don’t like too much pattern on things. I did read something recently that patterns can trigger migraines, which I’ve had really badly, so maybe that’s something to do with it.

     

    I don’t it when things look too plain though – I like a house to look like a home, not a showroom or a museum.

     

    11. How would you like people to feel around you?

     

    Happy! If that’s not possible, I’d have to go for relaxed and inspired.

     

    12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

     

    It’s got to be the ability to fly, right? Reading minds sounds great in theory, but in practice people are so complicated it’d be mind-boggling. Flying is simple, cool and also useful!

     

    13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

     

    Wow, it’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing, especially with all the uncertainty that’s going on right now – so many questions!

     

    14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

     

    I’ve always wanted to live by the seaside. Why haven’t I done it? Well, where you live is complicated, and it also affects more than just me – my family too. So, it’s still on the agenda, but I’ll get there when things line up right.

    Seashells on Sea Shore 

     

    15. What tiny accomplishment are you proud of?

     

    Last Friday (after I sent the email!) I went swimming and managed to swim 1500m. That’s only 100m (or 4 lengths) short of a mile. I’m pretty happy with that! Unfortunately, the pool is now closed for two weeks due to ‘technical difficulties’ (which I expect is a staff member testing positive for Covid). I’m hoping to hit the one mile mark soon after I can get back in the water.

     

    16. When did you get a surprise?

     

    The world is full of them! Pretty much every time I watch a documentary or something on Quest. People surprise me all the time too, which

     

    17. What item of clothing do you treasure?

     

    A red jumper that used to belong to my Mum. She was tall like me, and the sleeves are just perfect!

     

    18. What's your favourite flavour?

     

    Cherry! And as a bonus, my worst is coffee. I drink black coffee, and can’t stand anything that has a coffee ‘tint’ to it. Why spoil perfection? So I guess if you really wanted to torture me, you’d force-feed me cherry-flavoured coffee… although hopefully that doesn’t exist. (Googles it.) It does exist. Yikes!

     

    19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, what would you do?

     

    Probably do a couple of mega world cruises for the first six months, then spend the last six months with my family (assuming I couldn’t take them all with me!)

     

    20. What does friendship mean to you?

     

    Funnily enough, I posted this pic on Instagram yesterday. It’s not my words, but it’s a pretty good summary. It also applies to movies!

    Good friend

    Numbers 21-40 are coming soon!

     

    Got any questions for me? Ask them in the comments!