“Tales of Halloween” – A Film Review

Alright. I gave it a couple of days to let this film sink in. Here’s the deal, I have been waiting for this film since I saw the trailer a while back. I LOVE anthologies! And when I first watched it, I was disappointed. Not because the movie wasn’t good, but because I went into it with expectations that it would be similar to Trick ‘r Treat or Creepshow. It’s not, but that’s ok. I was looking for a serious Halloween nightmare, and what I got was a very playful treat.

This film does a great job of giving you the gore and scares that you are looking for all the while dancing in the blood and organs with a big goofy smile! I have since re-watched it giving it the proper perspective it deserves and the film is great!

There are 10 stories involved, so I’ll talk a bit about each.

***Spoilers***

1. Sweet Tooth – This has a great premise. Babysitters tell the child they are watching a story about another child that killed his parents on Halloween night for eating all his candy. They then say that it’s a Halloween tradition to leave some candy out to appease “Sweet Tooth” or he will kill you. It’s a ploy to eat the child’s candy but turns out it’s true and we get some great gore. This was one of my favourite stories. There is a particular spot where Sweet Tooth comes out of nowhere that it done perfectly.

2. The Night Billy Raised Hell – Not one of my favourites, and this was the story that originally started my disappointment the first watch through. Watching it the second time (as there is a twist ending) I liked it more than I did the first time. What turned me off was that it was really over the top with goofy gags and humour, but that’s on me. The twist ending really helps it out.

3. Trick – This one has a twist too, but I felt there wasn’t enough of a story behind it to completely support the build up. A few little tweaks and I could see this being a feature on its own. Normal people who like to kidnap children and torture them. And then kids coming to the rescue and slaughtering the adults. I would actually love to write that film!

4. The Weak and the Wicked – This one felt both crammed and too slow. I know that makes no sense. But it tried to pack a back story in for a pay off that wasn’t really there. How it could have paid off (at least for me) would be if the All Hallows Eve monster started ripping the bad people apart. There could have been a bunch of gore for gore sake. The effects on the monster were stellar, I just wanted more.

5. Grim Grinning Ghost-This one has the incredible Lin Shaye in it. It was short and spooky. Exactly what you want in a short. Not saying shit about this one.

6. Ding Dong – A man finds out his woman is a child hungry witch. And instead of killing that whore he just protects the kids and gets made a bitch. This one to me was probably the weakest of them all just in that it felt out-of-place and I didn’t like it. Why did she have to adjust her tits every time kids were coming to the door? The shots were great, and yeah I watch them in slow-mo several times. But unless she was trying to seduce adults, it’s just weird.

7. This Means War – This one to me was an unsung hero. You have Classic Halloween vs New age Metal Gore Halloween. This is something you could totally see happening. An old school classic Halloween lover who is all about tradition being upset that what used “to make Halloween great” getting swallowed up with whats new and “cool”.

8. Friday the 31st – This one might have been my favourite. I laughed so hard at this one and have been saying “Twick or Tweet” ever since I watched it. It’s random, and tongue in cheek parody of Friday the 13th. They did a fantastic job of playing off all the stereotypical things that happen in slashers, and then reverse the roll. Standing O for this one.

9. The Ransom of Rusty Rex – This one had a pretty interesting twist to it with a couple dim witted robbers thinking they are going to ransom a child to a millionaire. But what they end up with more than they bargained from. That’s all I say, never get too attached.

10. Bad Seed – This is the final story and a fun one to end with. I have always loved the cartoony idea of a killer pumpkin. I always thought it would be much scarier then say “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”, but hey that’s just me. I would love to see a full length on this. With pumpkins eating the fuck out of people. I think it would be a gory good time!

If you walk in suspecting a darker, more terrifying romp you might be disappointed, much like I was the first run through. But if you go in with the understanding that it’s all about guts, gore and goofiness! I’m sure you will dig it. Honestly great effort and I’d love to see it spawn a nasty sequel.

The one thing that I loved is at the very end of the film they pay their respects to actor Ben Woolf who played Rusty Rex. You might also recognize him from American Horror Story the TV show. He played beloved characters Meep and Infantata. Ben unfortunately passed away February 23, 2015 from a head injury after being struck by the side-view mirror of a passing car. Much love little dude.

~Fear

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