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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Movie Review: Tales of Halloween

What are some of the things you've learned from Halloween films? In October 2015, I learned to not eat all my candy and to be wary of the pumpkins I carve...

Directing this 92 minute horror anthology is Dave Parker (Sweet Tooth), Clint Sears (The Night Billy Raised Hell), Adam Gierasch (Trick), Paul Solet (The Weak and the Wicked), Axelle Carolyn (Grimm Grinning Ghost), Lucky McKee (Ding Dong), John Skipp /Andrew Kasch (This Means War), Mike Mendez (Friday the 31st), Ryan Schifrin (The Ransom of Rusty Rex) and Neil Marshall (Bad Seed).

Some of the cast is:
Sweet Tooth - Daniel DiMaggio as Mikey, Madison Iseman as Lizzy, Austin Falk as Kyle, Cameron Easton as Timothy Blake, Robet Rusler as Mr. Blake, Carloine Williams as Mrs. Blake and Hunter
Smit as Sweet Tooth.
The Night Billy Raised Hell - Marcus Eckert as Billy, Barry Bostwick as Mr. Abbadon, Christophe Zajac-Denek as Mordecai, Natalie Castillo as Britney and Ben Stillwell as Todd.
Trick - Casey Elizabeth Ruggieri as Catylin, John F. Beach as James, Tiffany Shepis as Maria, Trent Haaga as Nelson, Mia Page as Witch and Sage Stweart as Devil.
The Weak and the Wicked - Keir Gilchrist as Jimmy Hensen, Grace Phipps as Alice, Booboo Stewart as Isaac, Noah Segan as Bart and Matt Merchant as The Demon.
Grim Grinning Ghost - Alex Essoe as Lynn, V Nixie as Mary Bailey and Liesel Hanson as Mary Bailey.
Ding Dong - Pollyanna McIntosh as Bobbie and Marc Senter as Jack.
This Means War - James Duval as Dante and  Dana Gould as Boris.
Friday the 31st -Amanda Moyer as Dorothy, Jennifer Wenger as Possessed Dorthy and Nick Principe as Killer.
The Ransom of Rusty Rex - Ben Woolf as Rusty Rex, Samuel Witwer as Hank, Jose Pablo Cantillo as Dutch and John Landis as Jebediah Rex.
Bad Seed - Kristina Klebe as Detective McNally and Pat Healy as Forensic Bob and Joe Dante as Prof. Milo Gottleb.

With cameo's by: Adrienne Barbeau as The Radio DJ, Lin Shaye as Lynn's Mom,  John Savage as Captain Zimmerman and Adrienne Curry as Herself.

It's Halloween, so of course it's time to hit the streets and hunt for candy. Unfortunately, some people are finding out there are worse things that could happen to them than tricks. Tonight as the kids hit the streets we follow several stories that show us why we shouldn't eat all of our candy, what happens when neighbors try to out-do each other, and that there are worse things than the killer chasing you...
                                         

As some of you may know, I'm a sucker for a horror anthology. It's something about being able to tell multiple stories and finding a way to weave them together to make a bigger, better picture. The great thing about an anthology is you have an opportunity to mix it up. You can do a little hack n' slash mixed with some supernatural weirdness, maybe throw in a comedy, who knows. That's what makes flicks like Trick R' Treat (2007), Creepshow (1982) and others like them so awesome! With this anthology you get 10 tales, and for one reason or another (be it story, visuals or performance) almost all of them are great stories to watch.

The spooky tales were written by Dave Parker (Sweet Tooth), Clint Sears (The Night Billy Raised Hell), Axelle Carolyn (Grimm Grinning Ghost), Lucky McKee (Ding Dong), John Skipp /Andrew Kasch (This Means War), Mike Mendez (Friday the 31st), Ryan Schifrin (The Ransom of Rusty Rex) and Neil Marshall (Bad Seed). I thought the writers came up with some good stories. The movie has a good mix of funny, scary, gory with even a few tales that bring some awesome cheesiness to the table. You get some really imaginative tales... while a couple couldn't quite pull off a solid story. As for the overall film. I thought the writers did a killer job wrapping everything together. As different stories are being told you see characters from previous stories stroll through, which helps bring it all together.

The playthrough held my attention the entire time, and opening with Barbeau as a radio DJ made for a solid start to tell some tales of horror. I'd say 8 out of the 10 stories are entertaining, while the other 2 just fell short. Which stories don't make the cut? Well, why don't you check them out and let me know which ones you thought where good or bad. Some of the stories I really liked because they went for a B-grade style as they filmed them, which gave the story an oldschool feel. Even the stories I didn't like brought something of value to the table. Like The Weak and the Wicked. It's an ok story but delivers a cool looking monster, while The Night Billy Raised Hell gives a great performance by Barry Boswick. So either way there's something to get a kick out of for most of the stories.
                                                   

The special effects looked really good. The special make up effects by SOTA F/X, who created the Sweet Tooth creature, was pretty creepy. Friday the 31st goes for more of a cheesy look and feel with tons of spraying blood and overdone acting, which totally worked for it. While Sweet Tooth decided to go with a quick splash of (good looking) gore for their tale.
                                                      
The cast was great, especially Boswick's character Mr. Abbadon. I can't say there was any bad acting but the cast did do a good job with bringing the cheesy or funny when the role called for it. Witwer was another individual that stood out performance wise with his role in The Ransom of Ruty. Witwer starts out all confident and slowly becomes a weeping mess by the end and was pretty funny while doing it.

Overall, I really dug this one. It has a great mix of stories and styles that make for some awesome Halloween themed entertainment. Now, Trick R' Treat (2007) is still my favorite flick for stories and filming style, but Tales of Halloween has earned a spot on my must watch Halloween films list. So, if you're looking for something to pass the time while you're waiting for the next round of tricker treaters to hit your door then throw this one on.

It's rated R for language and violence.

4 stars


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