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|Index||20 reviews in total|
This feature, which looks like a mediocre student production, has a very intriguing idea for a horror story, that being a Halloween night in a frat haunted house tour where the players become the horror characters they are performing. However, the production values are so weak and sometimes so inept that the whole idea is ruined. The acting is what you'd expect from college students, generally mediocre and either too weak or over-the-top. Fortunately, I only spent $1 for this DVD, so in that respect it was okay, but it's really not worth much more than that. Just can't figure out why some folks rave about it and give it a 10. Do they have a stake in it somehow?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I probably give this more credit than it deserves because it's
Halloween, I was just at "Knott's Scary Farm" and I was in a mood to
watch a really cheesy Halloween movie.
Oh, and it only cost me one dollar.
Usually I'll ffwd through a movie like this to get to "the good stuff," but I resisted the urge here and I'm still not sure why. It was obvious from the opening shots this wasn't a "real" movie, not even a B-movie. It's more in the category of the DeCoteau "horror" movies like "The Brotherhood" that are shot on film-look video for about 50 cents (in fact, I was half afraid any minute one of his beefy college boys would stagger out rubbing himself in his underpants or something). There were no cutaway shots (too expensive to do multiple camera setups) and flat lighting but...it's hard to pinpoint. There's something refreshing about watching a director with no money pull off a half-decent movie. The fact that he's doing even a half-decent job is commendable, and this movie has it's share of merits--the acting isn't bad, the photography is pretty good (if too bright to be scary), there are some surprises, and the whole thing is sort of...different somehow.
A bunch of college kids are (for some unknown reason) stuck in the warehouse where they are decorating the annual haunted house. A creepy old man gives them a satanic book and they accidentally summon up the powers of hell. This results in the costumed people in the haunted house becoming who they are made up to be, and causing a lot of mayhem and human suffering. Along the way we are treated to an oddly complex and thoughtful lesbian relationship subplot--it's interesting that this couple seems to be the most well-rounded in the movie. Yes, there's a sex scene but it isn't salacious--or at least no more so than you'd find in any legit movie about lesbians that shows them having sex. It's rather unusual for a horror film to take the time and effort to do this without resorting to cheap exploitation.
The other thing about this that held my interest was how it was clearly trying to emulate the "stupid kids have sex and get killed" vibe of the 80's slashers. It's hard to take that on because there are so many of those films that already exist, the genre has been done to death. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that these filmmakers simply tried to make another entry in that genre, without irony, as if it was still a LIVING genre, but I appreciated the attempt.
Which is why I sat through it; sometimes you just want to watch a mindless, no-budget, "A-for-effort" horror film. There really was too much set up, not enough gore, endless plot-holes, dead-ends and clichés and the unfortunate overall feel of a movie that simply did not have enough money behind it to be the film the producers envisioned...but at the very least the haunted house scenes were pretty cool. I'd pay to go to that haunted house if it existed, and didn't mind paying a dollar to see it on DVD even if I'll never watch this again.
Oh, and **possible spoiler**, but there was great, brief business with the vampire girl in the coffin: "I used to be claustrophobic. But I've changed." Ha ha, good one.
Let this be a perfect example of how a movie description and box art can be
HALLOW'S END is trite, predictable, pointless and offers NOTHING to its viewers. The pace of the film is enough to put anyone to sleep! Nothing really seems to happen in the film until the last 20 minutes or so. However, even at that point what does happen is so utterly ridiculous, making absolutely no sense whatsoever. There is no real build up, no back story to support the less than paper-thin plot.
In all honesty, this movie could have been a great direct-to-video flick, unfortunately they missed by a LOOOONG shot! Another reviewer mentioned this movie reminded them of the classic horror from the 80's...I question whether or not this individual has seen 80's horror flicks, as this movie pays no homage to them in any way!
Avoid this at all costs!!!! This flick doesn't even offer avid horror fans like myself some kind of guilty pleasure. I was left very dissatisfied and wanting my rental fee back!
0 out of 10
Once again I took a chance and rented this bag of crap. Billed as a horror flick, there wasn't one scene, not one, that was even remotely scarey. NOT ONE!! Sure there was some nudity, but all the lesbian action got a little old. I guess maybe that was suppose to be this movie's saving grace? And Dan, what an annoying ass bag!! Right from the beginning I knew I was in for it when good ol' Dan first spoke. And he was suppose to be intimidating? What a laugh!! All in all, this movie is dreadfully awful! How in the hell do movies like this get made? If you want a movie with a few thrills in it, don't rent this one. This movie is about as thrilling as the Teletubbies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie proves that you can't judge a movie by the awesome artwork
on the DVD cover. It also goes to show that you should learn more about
a movie before you buy it (or get it for someone at Christmas). The
beginning of this movie actually looks somewhat promising. Well, until
you meet the characters. Pumpkin Jack (the old guy from down the
street) brings the college co-eds a book full of witch's spells that he
leaves at their annual haunted house (where the movie takes place).
After that there is some drinking, fighting, and soft core porn. Then
the action of the movie finally takes place after over an hour.
Overall, Hallow's End was predictable, unsuspensful, and reminiscent of a soft-core porn. This movie is probably best viewed with a group of friends who have nothing better to do, as it is a good movie to make fun of. And for first-time viewers, it is really fun making predictions of the order of people who die.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*WARNING. THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU CARE.*
Okay, the basic premise of this homegrown Texas film is: College kids + spookhouse + evil magic book = scary stuff. In practice, it equals a lot of time looking at the time to see how much longer this movie is going to drag on. A bunch of frat boys, along with assorted girlfriends & volunteers, is setting up a charity haunted house. The project is being presided over by a thoroughly repellent character, whose main purpose seems to be verbally & physically assaulting as many cast members as possible. I had a hard time believing that anyone would even attempt to work with this person in any capacity: he's nothing but rude and abusive to everyone, including his girlfriend and his buddy. Regardless, the kids are visited by local character & annual pumpkin-carving champion "Pumpkin Jack", an elderly coot who is described as the "Santa Claus of Halloween", and who drops off a load of props for the house, including an ominous book that figured prominently in the irritatingly strobe-flashed prologue(where a gaggle of robed cultists get turned into stir-fry). Needless to say, some damn fool starts messing with the book, and eventually most of the costumed monsters turn into real ones, and the remaining few normal folk have to try and survive. There's some good stuff in this film, but not much: everything is shot well, and the makeup effects are decent. On the other hand, the performers either underact, or overact drastically; much of the plot makes little sense outside of a "this happens so that can happen" series; there is hardly any musical score to speak of, just snatches of songs throughout the film; and the movie takes an hour to actually get anywhere. That last problem is the most telling: two-thirds of the 90 minute running time is used to repeatedly set up the characters. Tom is a nice guy dating Heidi the control freak, but he used to date Jill, who is now dating Dan the jerk, but she's started a relationship Kira the girl who wears too many shawls/capes. Dan is a really big jerk, Gary likes to play jokes, and Steve & Lily like to have a lot of sex. Stuff that could have easily been dealt with in 20 minutes or so drags on and on, to the point where the lesbian "sex" scene(calm down, it's pretty tame) left me looking for the fast forward button. That leaves us with half an hour of lo-calorie scares, a klunky ending and a deep-seated dislike of ol' Pumpkin Jack, who I blame for the whole mess. Unless you can get this on some sort of deep-discount rental(and really have seen everything else in the store), put it back on the shelf and keep looking.
Horror movies can be a lot of fun with low budgets, bad acting, and a bit
panache. I think the film is just missing panache, because, one
dull scene after another, people make laughably harmless claw-handed
at the air. If it weren't so boring, it might be funny.
A horror film can go a long way with a tired concept like "college kids in a haunted house," in much the same way the Evil Dead movies had a lot of fun with a similar standard plotline. Hallow's End, unfortunately, doesn't go a long way. Actually, it doesn't go anywhere. It spends the better part of an hour setting up faceless and anonymous characters with what seem like endless interpersonal drama. I have nothing against character development, not even in a horror movie, but these are strictly one-dimensional characters (the alpha-male, the milquetoast, the... um... throwaway characters that exist mostly for sex scenes.) Spending forty-plus bloodless, droning minutes with them was more horrific than when the bloodshed started.
Well, implied bloodshed anyway. When the college kids turn into whatever they dressed as for their haunted house (one's a vampire, one's wearing O.R. scrubs and some white pancake) they look pretty much the way they did in their amateur haunted house costumes; The Dead Hate The Living, using a similar theme, is a masterwork in comparison. There isn't really any gore to speak of, nor are there any real scares.
I've thought about this one from almost every approach. If it was supposed to be a tight, suspenseful horror movie (which would explain why things moved so slowly), the pathetic sex scenes and cheap monsters would invalidate it. If it was supposed to be a genuine blood & guts horror movie (which would explain the schlock)... where's the blood and guts? And the anticlimax is one of the unexciting endings to a movie I've ever seen. It's the kind of movie that, though it doesn't have a narrator through the film, is bookended by voice-overs because all of the meaningless dialogue just wasn't enough.
This was a hard one... coming out of it, I wonder if I've just sat through a christian horror film. Maybe the "I know hell exists" of the opening wasn't meant that way, but there are some hints (or misdirection-- I'm not sure which). For all the profanity in the film, a line like "gosh-darnit" comes off a little absurd, and so does most of the crucifix worshipping, god-fearing, and satan-dreading, especially after some lecherous T&A sex scenes (one heterosexual, one lesbian).
If it a christian company (Highland Myst's logo even has a bit of a crucifix resemblance), then this film weighs in heavily for the atheist camp. An omnipotent being can't be this bad a filmmaker.
Wow...where to begin...picked this up at Big Lots for only $2.99.
That's three bucks I'll never see again...ever...and for what? I'll
tell ya. An hour and fifteen minutes of boring, boring, boring chat and
college angst that seemed more suitable for a Lifetime movie than the
horror flick advertised on the box. (May the marketing droids who
designed it burn in Hell for all eternity). Follow that up with a
little bit of cheap gore (not even good gore mind you...) and a plot
twist at the end that comes out of nowhere, and makes no sense. Awful,
Was there any redeeming qualities? Well, on the Joe Bob Briggs scale, there WERE six breasts involved, but that's hardly worth my long lost three bucks. Without those, this coulda been on Sci-Fi at, say, two or three in the morning...
Gosh, another great idea pummeled into the ground by inept film-making.
No one needs to recount the ways this fails. But what it has that's clever is worth talking about.
Horror isn't about horrible things so much. Its about frightening the audience, and the best way to do that is to engage the audience in the story. The most common way is to "fold" the audience into the story somehow.
And the easiest way to do THAT is to have the movie start out being a show and turn REAL.
That's what we have here: some dumb teenagers dress up as actors in a haunted house show. Then by some curse, they actually become their scary characters.
Could have worked if the filmmaker had a clue. By the way, when this is done deftly, it doesn't matter if the actors or effects are good. After all, it is only a show, right?
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
Ya I rented it, so shoot me!
A decent premise sets up an otherwise awkward story with no real payoff, but at least it's shot well. Director Jon Keeyes takes the simple idea of a fake haunted house with real danger inside. In most cases this should be a slam dunk, but this little stinker derails quite quickly. The cinematography is above average and the acting is mediocre at best, but the story and writing is just plain awful. Slower scenes drag on forever and the scares are too few and far in between with no real climax to the film. An eerie mood is set at the beginning but loses it's luster before any type of horror transpires, and I found myself bored to death and making another sandwich... The cover art is appealing and I suppose it's worth a rental if you're looking for mindless low budget dreck, but if you enjoy a good story and eventful ending, reach for something else.
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