31 Nights of Halloween Horror: Part 20 in a 31 part series. Join me for 31 nights of horror reviews in the month of October. Every night we’ll take a look at a different horror film, some old and some new. Tonight we’re talking about:
Tales of Halloween
Dir. (Multiples directors)
Considering Halloween is a holiday we all love and cherish, ironically there are so few movies that deal with the actual holiday itself. Recently we got the excellent movie Trick ‘r Treat which kind of took the mantle as the quintessential Halloween movie, but before that there is not too much. I guess you can kind of count John Carpenter’s Halloween if you want, but really, that movie is more about Michael Myers and not so much the holiday. Seems like every Christmas we get a slew of new Christmas movies, and yes we do get out fair share of horror movies, but not so many dealing with the holiday itself.
Well fret no more, cause here comes a new anthology based movie called Tales of Halloween. 10 different stories by 11 different directors all based around and taking place on Halloween night. Each story takes place in a different part of a suburban town and is all tied together by the voice of Andriene Barbeau who plays a radio DJ on Halloween night. Some characters overlap into different stories which is pretty cool to help tie the whole thing together.
Anthologies are not the easiest things to pull off sometimes, not often do they work because of how different each contribution is. An anthology like Creepshow worked well because all the segments were directed by George Romero and all were written by Stephen King, so you were getting pretty solid work throughout. Where an anthology like ABCs of Death that had 26 different directors and was all over the place. Some segments worked great and some fell completely flat. Despite Tales of Halloween featuring some names worth getting excited for like, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez and Darren Lynn Bousman to name a few, it follows ABCs of Death more then Creepshow in quality.
Some segments are effective, but more often then not they seem to fall flat. There are more witty and twist endings to the stories then anything that is too scary. Lots of blood and gore is spilled liberally then leaving things open to the imagination. And most of the stories are more tongue in cheek, though some definitely have the tongue pulled out through the cheek. I would have preferred things to have a little darker or serious tone, even the look of the movie during the night times scenes seem very well lit. You can definitely tell the movie was a labor of love for those involved by the amount of in jokes and cameos throughout. In one scene there a chocolate bar called “Carpenter”, in another American Werewolf director John Landis comes out of his house to give candy. and “Night of the Living Dead” plays on every TV in different segments.
It is nice to see a movie dealing with the holiday of Halloween, but Trick ‘r Treat has no worries of being knocked off the throne as the best movie about the holiday. Still though, if you want something to get you in the mood this is worth checking out. I hope they make a sequel next year and keep the festivities going, maybe with longer segments and less directors next time to pad out the stories more. Not as great as I was hoping for, but I like the idea of the whole thing and hope they continue it each year.