Tales of Halloween : Release Year - 2015

Overall Rating : 9/10

Directed By : Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, John Skipp, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, David Parker, Ryan Schifrin, Paul Solet

Grace Phipps (Dark Summer)
Booboo Stewart (The Last Survivors)
Lin Shaye (Insidious)
Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog (1980) )

Supplied By : Epic Pictures Releasing

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : October. 8, 2015


Ten stories from horror's top directors. Ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and the devil delight in terrorizing unsuspecting residents of a suburban neighborhood on Halloween night. This creepy anthology combines classic Halloween tales with the stuff of nightmares.
TALES OF HALLOWEEN is an anthology film, in which 10 stories revolving around a seemingly peaceful American suburb. However, as a local DJ (Adrienne Barbeau) explains it, the sleepy town comes alive with all sorts of things every year around Halloween. Things including murderers, witches and other ghouls of the night. In radio show fashion, the DJ spins us 10 of the towns most legendary spook tales. And the result is TALES OF HALLOWEEN.

Details of each tale told, are as follows :

"Sweet Tooth" - Directed by Dave Parker

Sweet Tooth - The first story, is a story told to a young Trick or Treater named, Mikey, Mikey is told about a boy who loved trick or treating, but parents wouldn't allow him to eat the candy that he received, citing that he would get fat, etc.. Instead, they would eat it themselves. One night, while being fed up with his parrents' ways - he kills them. He then proceeds to eat the candy that remains, and then eats what is left of the confections in his parents' stomachs. Legend states that the boy still loves Trick or Treating, even though he has long since died, and that he will stop at nothing to cure his "Sweet Tooth" Unfortunately for Mikey, he soon discovers that the legend is very real.

Great, old fashion Urban Legend tale by Dave Parker, the Director of the underrated, THE HILLS RUN RED.

"The Night Billy Raised Hell" - Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
The Night Billy Raised Hell" tells the tale of Billy Thompson. After a prank goes wrong, Billy is forced to participate in the evil doing of the eccentric neighbor, in which he attempted to prank. Unfortunately though, the joke is on young Billy.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman(the SAW franchise, REPO THE GENETIC OPERA), The Night Billy Raised Hell is at first a seemingly innocent tale of mischief, but then it takes a rather unexpected, yet fun turn.

"Trick" - Directed by Adam Gierasch
Trick tales a story where a group of friends are surprised when they receive a "trick", instead of a "treat", when they are attacked and murdered by a gang of trick or treaters with revenge on their minds.

Directed by Adam Gierasch(NIGHT OF THE DEMONS(2009) ), "Trick" is one of the more interesting entries here, as it not only stars, not one, but two children, of two very beloved Horror starlets, Tiffany Shepis and Felissa Rose. Here, both Mia Shepis and Bianca Rose Miller, both show up, and they are up to no good - it truly is a joy to see. They are both awesome kids, and I hope to see them go far. This is a very good start for them, for sure!

"The Weak and the Wicked" - Directed by Paul Solet
"In The Weak and the Wicked", When Jimmy finds himself confronted by the same vile street gang, who years ago murdered his parents by fire, he calls on a mythical creature of All Hallow's Eve to exact his revenge on them.

"The Weak and the Wicked", finds Director Paul Solet(GRACE, DARK SUMMER), once again teaming up with his stars from DARK SUMMER; Grace Phipps and Kier Gilchrist, along with the TWILIGHT saga's, Booboo Stewart. In the segment, Gilchrist is a teen who has been bullied all of his young years by a street gang led by Phipps. Years ago, they even killed his parents. Gilchrist's character finds himself once again on the losing end of a fight, at the hands of the gang. Only this time, he has a plan, which is when he summons a mythological beast to take them out. Out of the 10 tales featured here, "The Weak and the Wicked", happens to be the one that I would consider as the most "gritty". It has more edge to it, and everyone is pretty believable in their roles. I believe that Grace Phipps is one of the most beautiful young actresses working today, and her look, and performance really lend themselves the the "bad girl" persona.

"Grim Grinning Ghost" - Directed by Axelle Carolyn

In the tale, "Grim Grinning Ghost", A woman finds herself terrified, when her mom tells the story of one, Mary Bailey at her annual Halloween party. Mary Bailey was a girl with a disfigured face, who was constantly picked on, and laughed at by everyone. However, since her untimely demise, she has since come back to haunt people, taking with her, their eyes. Thus getting the last laugh. After the story, the woman cannot shake the details, or the imagery of Mary Bailey from her mind. And in the end, it would be for good reason, as she eventually finds herself the prey of Mary herself.

This tale, which is titled, "Grim Grinning Grinning Ghost", is directed by TALES OF HALLOWEEN creator, Axelle Carolyn, It boasts appearances of the likes of Lin Shaye, and Director Mick Garris, and is essentially a classic haunting story.

"Ding Dong" - Directed by Lucky McKee
"Ding Dong", Tells the story of Jack and Bobbie, an eccentric couple who love Halloween. Bobbie wears the pants in the family, and harnesses the temper of a devilish witch. She longs for a child to call her own, however, the couple has difficulty conceiving. So, what do they do? They hope to use their favorite Holiday as the perfect opportunity to steal one, and then claiming it as their own.

Directed by Lucky McKee(MAY, THE WOMAN, THE WOODS), "Ding Dong" is a strange witch tale that combines elements of both "Hanzel and Gretel", and "The Wizard of Oz", of course 2 classic tales of Witchery. Pollyanna McIntosh from THE WOMAN is featured as a frustrated woman, who wants(or better yet, needs a child), and every year, Halloween brings out an uncontrollable urge, hidden deep within her.

"This Means War" - Directed by John Skipp, Andrew Kasch
"This Means War" is about a guy, who takes pride in decorating his yard for the Halloween season each year. However, this year, he finds himself outdone by the new neighbor across the street, who is more of the Punk Rock type. The competition eventually becomes heated, resulting in an all out "battle to the death" between the two on Halloween night

Sort of taking a cue from the HOME IMPROVEMENT episode, in which Tim Taylor competes with neighbors to have the best Christmas decorations on the block, the directed, "This Means War", is basically the same premise, except it deals with Halloween decorations as opposed to the December holiday. Out of the 10 stories, "this Means War", is the most comedic.

"Friday the 31st" - Directed by Mike Mendez
"Friday the 31st"Tells a story that is in the classic slasher movie setup, but it is one with a supernatural twist, A masked and disfigured killer stalks and incapacitates his victim, however, the tables are turned, when her body is taken over by an alien. Thus causing massive blood shed.

The Mike Mendez(BIG ASS SPIDER) directed "Friday the 31st", is the segment that will perhaps feel the most familiar, as it features a masked killer stalking a victim. But this time, it's a little different, as it involves both aliens, and stop motion claymation. It's odd, but in the context of this film, it works.

"The Ransom of Rusty Rex" - Directed by Ryan Schifrin
The Ransom of Rusty Rex, tells the story of when two criminals plan to kidnap the child of a millionaire. They hope that the kidnapping will bring them a hefty reward. Unfortunately, the two get more than they bargained for, when it is revealed that Rusty Rex is no ordinary kid.

"The Ransom of Rusty Rex", Directed by Ryan Schifrin(ABOMINABLE), tells the familiar tale, in which someone kidnaps someone that is seemingly wealthy, in order to collect the big ransom that they would bring. We have all seen this type of story before, however not quite like this. Here, legendary Director John Landis portrays the wealthy father of a not so ordinary child.

"Bad Seed" - Directed by Neil Marshall
And lastly, "Bad Seed" tells the tale of a flesh-hungry,mutated super pumpkin, that reeks havoc on the town. As a result, Detective McNally, and her team are put on the case, which eventually lead them to a scientific group, called Clover Corp.

Director Neil Marshall closes things out, with "Bad Seed", which is undoubtedly, the story that is most "out there" out of the bunch. In true B-Movie fashion "Bad Seed" begins when a man has just carved a masterpiece Jack-O-Lantern. However, a problem arises, when the pumpkin comes alive, eating the man's head. From there, the pumpkin is on the move, quickly terrorizing the neighborhood. With numerous folks dying by the ever-so-hungry jaws of the so-called "Super Pumpkin", the Police force is put on the case. And what they find is that the singular pumpkin, may not be their only problem, for there are many forthcoming, "Bad Seed" is a fun ride, and was a good story to end things with. Cerina Vincent and Kristina Klebe star.

Truth be told, I hadn't been a faithful follower of Horror anthologies, until in recent years, when Director Michael Dougherty's fantastic film, TRICK 'R TREAT came onto the scene with a bang. That film completely changed my outlook on them, and the film has since become a annual tradition for me. Honestly, I thought that, as far as Horror anthologies go, it would be hard to top. Well, that was of course, until I saw this film. TALES OF HALLOWEEN, takes everything good about TRICK 'R TREAT, and makes them even better. The film features 11 select Directors, who take on 10 different stories. While each of these segments are very different, they all have one thing in common, in that they embody the spirit of Halloween perfectly. This film is everything we love about the holiday. It is a fun, high-spirited piece that has the ability to both fright, and excite the audience. It's the type of Halloween themed film that Horror fans hope for. There are a lot of things to like and enjoy here, as not only are the stories themselves, fun and lively, it also becomes fun, trying to see just how many people that you can spot. There is a lot of good recognizable talent to find in TALES OF HALLOWEEN, and from what I have come to know about the production, it seems as though everyone had fun. And it most definitely shows in the final product.

In terms of TALES OF HALLOWEEN, the story structure is one that is easy to follow. Barbeau kicks things off, as the aforementioned DJ(ala. her character "Stevie Wayne" in 1980s THE FOG), as she hosts a Halloween radio show, in which she segues into the ghoulish history of her suburban town, explaining how weird and unexplainable happenings which occurs each year, around Halloween. And of course, the stories are then told - first starting with "Sweet Tooth", and then ending with "Bad Seed". they're all fun to watch, and like TRICK 'R TREAT, a few of the themes, as well as characters carry over into multiple segments, resulting in some rather interesting development throughout.

Although, I do love TRICK 'R TREAT, I have to admit that TALES OF HALLOWEEN tops it in a lot of ways. It has a much bigger feeling of epic-ness(It's no wonder that it is produced by a company called EPIC PICTURES). I really enjoyed this film a great deal, and would even venture to say that it is the best film that I have reviewed in some time. And while it does deliver a "Trick",TALES OF HALLOWEEN is without a doubt, a real treat.
5.5/10 There are thing such as a couple of disembowelments, stabbings, beheadings, gouged eyes, impalements, and more. The film features some very nice effects throughout.
7/10 Also nice is the film's score, which like the film is also high-spirited and festive. Lalo Schifrin composed the film's theme.
I really enjoyed myself here. Going into TALES OF HALLOWEEN, I thought that I would enjoy it, however I didn't think that it would be this much. In terms of it being a Horror film centered around Halloween, it is a film that does nearly everything right. This film feels like Halloween, just as it should. It is an instant classic of its sub-genre, one that I have a feeling will be on many of the year's "best of" lists. It's a perfect Horror entry for the season, and will surely become a required yearly viewing for many for years to come. I highly recommend.

This film will be released in limited theaters, and on Video on Demand, on October 16, 2015


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