01 October 2015

TALES OF HALLOWEEN (/Slash Filmfestival 2015)


Alternate Title:
The October Society presents: Tales of Halloween

USA, 2015
Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Adam Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skip & Paul Solet


To fill the, um, probably overlong gap until the long-awaited sequel to "Trick 'R Treat", we get a brandnew Halloween-themed horror anthology that basically follows the same route as Michael Dougherty's contemporary classic, but in a much more extensive way: "Tales of Halloween", one film consisting of 10 segments, directed by 11 directors, all taking place on the same Halloween night.

Although it's not a ripoff of "Trick 'R Treat", you can feel its influence and impact at any time... and you can also feel how desperately the filmmakers tried to create something similarly awesome as "Trick 'R Treat" without ever reaching the same level of quality. It's not a bad anthology, but like with most anthologies, it's far from fully satisyfing because of the inclusion of several segments that aren't
really good.

I also thought that it was a big mistake to produce one movie out of 10 segments, instead of creating two separate movies, each consisting of, let's say, 4 or 5 segments. IMO it would have worked even better as some kinda "ABCs of Halloween" with 26 segments, but 10 are simply too much for a simple "Trick 'R Treat"-like anthology such as this.

The movie kicks off with "Sweet Tooth", a wonderfully gory and super-entertaining episode about an urban-legend-like candy-craving monster kid - directed by the highly underrated Dave Parker ("The Hills Run Red") -  and the even more entertaining "The Night Billy Raised Hell" about an old geezer who shows a young boy how to, erm, raise hell on Halloween - directed by Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw 2-4").

Sadly, the following 5 segments are all pretty underwhelming. Nothing really bad, but also nothing that is about as fun as the first two killer segments:
- the stylishly directed killer-kids episode "Trick" by Adam Gierasch ("Autopsy") which starts out terrific and ends up surprisingly weak.
- the awkward and rather boring bully-seeks-revenge nonsense "The Weak and the Wicked" by Paul Solet ("Grace").
- the mediocre spook-fest "Grimm Grinning Ghost" by Axelle Carolyn (spouse of Neil Marshall) which is disappointing despite cool performances by Lin Shaye and Alexandra Essoe (plus: cameo by Mick Garris).
- the interesting but oddly executed and ultimately unnerving "Ding Dong" by my un-favorite filmmaker Lucky McKee ("May").
- the starts-out-wow-ends-up-ugh! rubbish "This Means War" by Andrew Kasch ("Never Sleep Again") and John Skipp.

As you can imagine, I was pretty annoyed by this stream of utter lameness. Fortunately, the final three segments revived my spirits and saved the film
from being a total letdown:
- the absolutely hilarious and super-badass masked-maniac-vs-wild-alien piece of awesomeness "Friday the 31st", splendidly directed by the still-so-underrated Mike Mendez ("Big Ass Spider").
- the super-cool kidnapping-goes-wrong fun-fest "The Ransom of Rusty Rex", directed by Ryan Schifrin (son of Lalo Schifrin), incl. a marvellous
performance by John Landis.
- the stunningly superb killer-pumpkin fun-shocker "Bad Seed", directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), incl. cameos by Joe Dante and Pat Healy.

Overall, a solid watch for your Halloween movie marathon - just don't expect anything as genius as anthology classics like "Trick 'R Treat", "Creepshow" or "Tales from the Darkside".


  1. A lot of great names involved - I might still have to check it out - but I wish it would have turned out better for you - I'd have higher hopes for it.

    1. It's enjoyable, but it should have been shorter and with less segments.

  2. Awesome post! I need to stock up on films for Halloween, I think.


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