One from the re watch pile…
Tales of Halloween (2015)
Film: Anthology films are a staple of horror, and pretty much well every horror fan can name one in their favourite horror films, be it one of the Creepshows, or Tales of the Darkside, or Trick R Treat. There have even been great classic TV series anthologies like Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits and many horror anthology books, like the H. P. Lovecraft collections, or hundreds of mixed author collections, like one of my favourites, edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector, The Book of the Dead.
This anthology has a total of ten directors giving us the thrills, including Saw II, III and IV’s Darren Lynn Bouseman, The Decent’s Neil Marshall, May’s Lucky McKee, The Halloween Kid’s Axelle Carolyn and Autopsy’s Adam Gierasch amongst others, and tells of all the horrors that take place on Halloween in one small town, with several of the characters from some stories popping up in others.
From its cartoony, pop up book styled beginning (hosted by Adrienne Barbeau playing the voice on the radio…again!), this film entertains with ten Halloween shorts, including a bunch of serial killers who get their just deserts, the legend of a candy loving killer, a woman who can’t fall pregnant who is possessed by a demon, a war between neighbours over their Halloween displays, a kidnapping gone horribly wrong and five more.
Heaps of tributes to classic horror films with many stars and directors showing up, including Lin Shaye (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Lisa Marie (Mars Attacks), Barbara Crampton (Re-animator), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Robert Rusler (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Barry Bostick (Rocky Horror Picture Show), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Stuart Gordon (director of Re-animator), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Greg McLean (director of Wolf Creek), Mick Garris (writer of Critters 2), Drew Struzan (artist of more film posters than I care to list)… the list goes on and on!
As one would expect, stories directed by a variety of writers and directors can be a little uneven, but all of them entertain. Some of them finish with a quick resolution which is occasionally unsatisfying, but as a complete package the film delivers. This film is a gory-as-Hell, roller coaster ride with a bunch of amusing horror shorts most of which have a fun twist to cap them off: some obvious, some not, but all entertaining.
The soundtrack is heaps of fun too, ranging from the metalest of metal, to 80s-inspired synth which suits each tale as it unfolds.
This is truly made for horror fans though, as you, like I, will spend most of your time laughing at genre references, or crying out ‘hey isn’t that (insert name here)?’
Format: The reviewed copy of Tales of Halloween was the Australian region B bluray, which runs for approximately 97 minutes. The film is presented in a 2.35:1 video with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio and both are, as one would expect from a modern film, perfect.
Extras: A modern film with NO extras made by multiple directors with NO extras? Poo on you, sirs!
WISIA: Anthology films are ALWAYS a rewatch if just for how much there is to take in! With the quality and variety of directors in this one, it certainly includes it in that ideal!
Caveat: This ‘anthology’ suggestion of being perpetual rewatchers does not include the miserable Creepshow 3. Just sayin’!