Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.
Named "the best horror anthology since Trick 'r Treat" by Fangoria and "among the best Halloween-themed horror movies ever made" by DailyDead, this critically acclaimed film weaves together ten chilling tales from horror's top directors. Ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and the devil delight in terrorizing unsuspecting residents of a suburban neighborhood on Halloween night.Written by
Horror anthologies tend to feel irregular due to the abrupt switches of tone and quality between the segments integrating them. Tales of Halloween isn't the exception, even though the directors involved tried to keep enough cohesion in the transition from one segment to the other, something which helps to the flow of the film. Unfortunately, I have to say that the general experience of Tales of Halloween didn't leave me very satisfied. With 10 stories included in barely 90 minutes (including the very long initial and end credits), there isn't any opportunity of characterization or drama; the most each segment can aspire to is offering some good gore scene, or some interesting monster, or at least an ironic ending to give a different perspective to the "horror"... which shines due to its absence in the whole movie. Unlike other anthologies, Tales of Halloween doesn't count with an "involving tale" to frame the short stories; instead of that, it employs recurring elements, such as the voice of a radio DJ (vocal cameo by Adrienne Barbeau), the film Night of the Living Dead on every TV and the casual appearance of the main characters from one story as extras in another segment. These are the stories: Sweet Tooth, which is excessively simple even though its last scene is appropriately bloody; The Night Billy Raised Hell, which offers a good performance by Barry Bostwick, but its ending dilutes its impact; Trick, one of my favorite ones, because on a short amount of time, its ingenious screenplay keeps us interested in a sinister mystery gradually explained; The Weak and the Wicked, typical and not very interesting tale about bullying, despite offering a solid performance from Grace Phipps; Grim Grinning Ghost, my favorite one, because it generates suspense with minimum ingredients, while creating a good atmosphere and tense tone; Ding Dong, another among my favorite ones due its appropriate black humor, incisive pseudo-feminist content (a subject usually employed by filmmaker Lucky McKee, the director of this segment) and visual creativity; This Means War, moderately entertaining but not very good; Friday the 31st, a parody of slasher cinema which isn't very funny, even though I appreciated its big amount of gore; The Ransom of Rusty Rex, predictable and not very interesting, but with a likable cameo from John Landis; and Bad Seed, which is the one I liked the least, because the humor doesn't combine at all with the serious elements. In conclusion, Tales of Halloween didn't bore me, and it was certainly made with good intentions and quite an affection for the horror genre. However, I found the general experience mediocre. Maybe, the directors didn't take this film very seriously, or they just were part of it just as a mercenary job. However, Tales of Halloween earns a slight recommendation due to the sporadic pros which keep the spectator moderately entertained. Despite all my complaints, I would like to watch a sequel of Tales of Halloween in the future, but hoping to see less stories included, in order to give them time to "breathe" and create the horror which wasn't achieved in this occasion. Sometimes, the excess of candy ends up causing indigestion.
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