Tales of Halloween (2015)

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Horror fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of the most anticipated film of the Halloween season, and the wait is finally over. Now available on VOD, Tales of Halloween has been compared to Trick ‘r Treat, and rightly so since it is an anthology film. While, in my opinion, it doesn’t quite reach the spectacularness of Trick ‘r Treat, it is still one hell of entertaining ride!

In Tales of Halloween, we have TEN short stories revolving around our very favorite night, each segment created by a different iconic horror filmmaker. The trouble with anthology films is that there is always a dud in the group, but that is not the case here surprisingly. While some stories are clearly better than others, each story is fun and creative, capturing the Halloween spirit with recognizable veneration. Below is a breakdown of each segment and the people involved in generating these bite-size horror stories.

  1. “SWEET TOOTH” directed by Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red)

Tells the urban legend of Timmy who has such a voracious sweet tooth that he will do anything to get all the candy he wants. Timmy looks like the evil clown from American Horror Story Freak Show and he is hungry.

“Sweet Tooth” is my favorite segment, really setting the tone for the rest of the film and setting the bar high.tales of halloween sweet tooth gif

  1. “THE NIGHT BILLY RAISED HELL” directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV, Mother’s Day)

Little Billy gets involved with his scary neighbor, who just happens to be the devil himself (played by Barry Bostwick). The Devil is about to show Billy how to really do some Halloween pranks. The devil made me do it!

This is an entertaining story, but not the most memorable. I wish it took a darker approach to the story.

  1. “TRICK” directed by Adam Gierasch (Autopsy, Night of the Demons, Fertile Ground)

A story about killer kids in their costumes, but there is a reason behind their heinous actions. “Happy Halloween, you fucking sicko.”

“Trick” left the biggest impression on me, as it is the most disturbing story with a nasty twist. It also makes me a little hesitant to open my door to all the little trick-r-treat-ers on Halloween night.

  1. “THE WEAK AND THE WICKED,” directed by Paul Solet (Grace, Dark Summer)

the weak and the wicked tales of halloween gifPayback against bullies, set to western showdown music like in Kill Bill, and featuring one of my favorite actors, Noah Segan, who frequents horror films like Deadgirl, Someone’s Knocking at the Door, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Break, Chain letter, All About Evil, Undocumented, and Starry Eyes.

This is my least favorite segment, not for any real particular reason except that it was the least creative of the bunch.

  1. “GRIMM GRINNING GHOST,” directed by Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate)

Starring Alex Essoe from Starry Eyes, it tells the urban legend of Mary Bailey, who died being bullied and unloved all because she had a disfigured face. Now she comes back as a ghost every Halloween night to torment the living and laugh in their face. Beware of her cackle!

This is the only segment to not inject humor into the story, giving it a more serious feel than other stories and the only story to actually make me jump a bit.

  1. “DING DONG,” directed by Lucky McKee (May, The Woods, The Woman, All Cheerleaders Die)

Ding Dong tales of halloweenJack and Bobbie (played by Pollyanna McIntosh from The Woman) don’t have children. This makes Halloween the most difficult holiday for Bobbie since she wants children of her own so badly. Jack goes to great lengths to keep his wife happy, otherwise she can become a real witch.

“Ding Dong” has been getting the most negative feedback of the bunch. A lot of people say this segment does not fit in with the rest of the stories, being too symbolic in meaning for the short time frame. I understand where these criticisms are coming from, but I do not agree. It is true that this complex story is hindered by a short running time, but I commend Lucky McKee for thinking outside of the box and coming up with a horror story reimagining Hansel and Gretel with a commentary on domestic violence. I am a huge Lucky McKee fan so I may be a little biased.

  1. “THIS MEANS WAR,” directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp (no feature films)

Neighbors, a young rocker type vs. a middle-aged man, fight to the death over the best Halloween decorations.

I was really excited for this segment, mostly because James Duval (The Doom Generation, Nowhere, SLC Punk!, Donnie Darko, May, Mad Cowgirl, and Alyce Kills) stars in it. It’s fun and bloody, but left me wanting something more.

8.  “FRIDAY THE 31st,” directed by Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers, Big Ass Spider!)

A hot girl in a slutty costume is chased by a Victor Crowley (Hatchet) look-a-like. This chainsaw bloodbath takes a wild turn when aliens show up.

Hands down, the most creative segment while pushing the boundaries and giving homage to horror favorites like Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead.

  1. “THE RANSOM OF RUSTY REX,” directed by Ryan Schifrin (Abominable)

Kidnappers are in for more than they bargained for when they think they kidnap a spoiled, rich kid.

This story is so fun to watch, rooting against the bad guys in this unexpected creature feature.

  1. “BAD SEED,” directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday)

bad seed tales of halloween gifThink of Pumpkinhead re-imagined. A local police department attempts to piece all these crazy stories together while hunting down a man-eating jack o’ lantern.

This is a great final segment, tying all the stories together in this batshit crazy town. For some reason, it reminded me of Idle Hands and I think it would be fun to turn this into a spinoff, full feature film.


TALES_OF_HALLOWEEN_2_(2)This town really comes alive at Halloween. The filmmakers gave it their all, creating an atmosphere that is both festive and exciting, completely capturing the essence of Halloween. But while Trick ‘r Treat breeds some truly scary moments, Tales of Halloween is more of a timid, almost family-friendly film, with just the right amount of spookiness for a broad audience. Trick ‘r Treat remains the reigning champion of Halloween, but I am so glad it now has a celebratory counterpart in Tales of Halloween. This movie will quickly become an annual Halloween movie viewing requirement.

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Tales of Halloween (2015) on IMDb

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