Tales of Halloween Review
Aimed fairly and squarely at the adolescent market
Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, David Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp & Andrew Kasch and Paul SoletHorror anthologies have been around a long time, but seldom have so many stories, told by so many talented horror directors been brought together in one film. The list of directors (above) is truly impressive, and each brings their own take on their own little segment of this unique whole. Stories are many and varied, whether it is an alien taking on a deranged killer after being refused a ‘trick or treat’, killer pumpkins, malevolent ghosts, child eating witches or vengeful children - there is a story here to bring a smile to your lips or run a chill up your spine. Indeed there are a total of ten different stories all with an overarching theme of them occurring in the same town on the same night and loosely tied by Adrienne Barbeau’s (The Fog inspired) radio DJ. Indeed there are plenty of nods to horror icon’s present and past, from cameos, to themes, to music to Carpenter (chocolate) bars!The ‘tongue in cheek’ feel of Tales of Halloween is very high; it is aimed fairly and squarely at the adolescent market, although it helps to be longer in the tooth to catch all the references; somewhat at odds with the tone of the piece. Due to the nature of all the differing stories there are monumental tonal shifts throughout, from comedy to creepy to horror to slapstick, and while this is clearly the intent (putting the ‘fun back in Halloween films’) it makes for an uneasy (not in a good way) watch. The heavy use of practical effects is fabulous, and everyone involved gives it their all, even if there are some hammy moments. But I never felt that the stories were connected by any serious means, this, along with the tonal shifts, makes for a disjointed watch, despite all the positives. Whilst I applaud the effort, its more adolescent-specific nature and overall lack of cohesion means it falls short of becoming a classic.
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