Title: Tales of Halloween
Epic Pictures
Directors: David Parker, Darren Lynn Bousman, Adam Gierasch, Axelle Carolyn, Lucky McKee, Paul Solet, John Skipp & Andrew Kasch (co-directing), Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, Neil Marshall
Writers: David Parker, Clint Sears, Greg Commons, Axelle Carolyn, Lucky McKee, Molly Millions, John Skipp, Andrew Kasch, Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, Neil Marshall
Cast: Pat Healy, Barry Bostwick, Noah Segan, Booboo Stewart, Greg Grunberg, Clare Kramer, Alex Essoe, Lin Shaye, Dana Gould, James Duval, Elissa Dowling, Grace Phipps, Pollyana McIntosh, Marc Senter, Tiffany Shepis, John F. Beach, Trent Haaga, Casey Ruggieri, Kristina Klebe, Cerina Vincent, John Savage, Keir Gilchrist, Nick Principe, Amanda Moyer, Jennifer Wenger, Sam Witwer, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Ben Woolf, Caroline Williams, Robert Rusler, Cameron Easton, Austin Falk, Madison Iseman, Daniel Dimaggio, Natalie Castillo, Ben Stillwell and Hunter Smit
Running time: 92min
Rating: R (violence, gore, language, drug use)

Ten stories that take place in the same American suburb on Halloween night, with the sultry voice of Adrienne Barbeau as the radio DJ to segue us into each story.

“SWEET TOOTH” Directed and Written by Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red)
Young Mikey (Daniel DiMaggio) is told by his babysitter Lizzy’s (Madison Iseman) boyfriend (Austin Falk) a ghost story about “Sweet Tooth” (Hunter Smit)  the legendary boogey man that murders people on Halloween whom have eaten all the Halloween candy and left him no offering.  This story was pretty sick as we find out that the kid that becomes Sweet Tooth actually hacks into his parents to eat the candy they already ate from his trick or treating haul, after denying him any of it.  The creature effects are subtle, yet effective. The line “They ate all my candy” was classic.

“THE NIGHT BILLY RAISED HELL” Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III & IV), Written by Clint Sears.
Billy (Marcus Eckert)  is dared by his older sister and her boyfriend to egg their neighbor Mr Abbadon’s (Barry Bostwick) house and is confronted and led inside. The neighbor wants to show Billy what Halloween is supposed to be about while wreaking havoc on the town and running into Adrianne Curry in her infamous Dark Lily costume.  The story was short, fun and even though I saw the ending coming, it was still a little bit surprising. Barry Bostwick was almost unrecognizable as the demon/neighbor, and he looked like he had a lot of fun doing the part.

“TRICK” Directed by Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), Written by Greg Commons.
Two couples (John F Beach, Tiffany Shepis, Casey Ruggieri, Trent Haaga)  are enjoying a night in watching Night of the Living Dead, smoking a bong and greeting trick or treaters. A tween dressed as a witch (Mia Page) comes to the door and stabs Trent Haaga’s character prison style with a butcher knife. The couples are then picked off one by one by several murderous children. The reason why felt far fetched. How did these kids know what they were up to if there were no survivors? That part didn’t add up, but the kids were pretty hilarious.

“GRIMM GRINNING GHOST” Directed and Written by Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate)
Lynn (Alex Essoe) is attending her mother’s (Lin Shaye) annual Halloween party where all the guests live to play tricks on Lynn since she’s so easily scared. Her piece of shit car breaks down and she is forced to walk home. Something is following her, but she chalks it up to her active imagination…then she puts her guard down.  This one was cute, short, and has an enjoyable jumpscare.

“DING DONG” Directed and Written by Lucky McKee (The Woman, May, All Cheerleaders Die)
Jack (Marc Senter) and his wife Bobbie (Pollyanna McIntosh) love Halloween, and Bobbie especially loves greeting the trick or treaters in character.  Jack has to be on guard so Bobbie doesn’t go overboard with her enthusiasm and desire for children.  This is the only short that I didn’t like at all. Seriously, WTF? There is nothing really explained why Bobbie is crazy and she has some weird 3rd or 4th arm that comes out randomly to beat the crap out of Jack. The ending is so effing weird and doesn’t really fit in these group of shorts.

“THE WEAK AND THE WICKED” Directed by Paul Solet (Grace), Written by Molly Millions.
Alice (Grace Phipps) and her two cronies (Booboo Stewart, Noah Seegan) are confronted by a stranger (Keir Gilchrist) who turns out to be a kid they tormented when they were young. He has come back to exact revenge with the help of a demon. Grace Phipps is too hot to be a bully. Her part didn’t make a lot of sense.  The whole thing felt very Children of the Corn or a bizarro-world Little Rascals where there aren’t any adults around. The best part had to be the full in the face splatter of blood and Keir Gilchrist staying in character; so awesome.

“THIS MEANS WAR” Directed and Written by Andrew Kasch (Never Sleep Again) and John Skipp (Stay at Home Dad)
Boris (Dana Gould) and Dante (James Duval) are neighbors who love decorating their lawns for Halloween. They love it so much that they try to show up each other each year with Boris getting more frustrated. He finally decides he’s had enough and starts trashing Dante’s homage to metal Halloween (or maybe Oderus Urungus) and the two go at it with hilarious fisticuffs. This story was enjoyable and with a great ending if you have annoying neighbors who fight.

“FRIDAY THE 31st” Directed by Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!) and Written by Mike Mendez and David Parker
Dorothy (Amanda Moyer) is being hunted down by a killer (Nick Principe). She somehow finds refuge in his murder shack and gets done in.  An alien takes over Dorothy’s body (Jennifer Wenger) and she becomes a psycho zombie intent on killing the killer. They both go at it Black Knight in Monty Python and  the Holy Grail style fight scene.  The little claymation alien was cute, but silly.  The makeup effects on possessed Dorothy was brilliant.

“THE RANSOM OF RUSTY REX” Directed and Written by Ryan Schifrin (Abominable)
Hank (Sam Witwer/Being Human) and Dutch (Jose Pablo Cantillo) are looking for a big score by kidnapping the son of the wealthy Jebediah Rex (John Landis). Rusty Rex (Ben Woolf/American Horror Story) is found to not be Rex’s son and just some little demon that was holding the family hostage because he would never leave. Try as they might, the two kidnappers can’t get rid of the little f***er, but are reminded to keep him fed or else he’ll feed on human flesh.  Funny as well as silly. Unfortunately this was Ben Woolf’s final film, but it’s definitely memorable.

“BAD SEED” Directed and Written by Neil Marshall (The Descent)
Detective McNally (Kristina Klebe) is called to investigate a strange murder. The victim’s wife describes the killer as a Jack O Lantern that her husband just carved that night. To her surprise, it really is a mutated pumpkin that was created in a lab by a big name corporation. John Savage and Joe Dante also have roles in the short.  Why would they just have a warehouse full of harvested pumpkins? It’s Halloween, they should’ve been sold off already. I get that we’re supposed to feel panic for the town because of the sheer numbers of potentially killer gourds displayed in the end scene, but that was a major oversight. I didn’t hate this one, but it was completely stupid.

The end credits have a sweet title card memorial for actor Ben Woolf who tragically died this year. I enjoyed the majority of these films and if you’re a fan of anthology horror films with recognizable faces like Trick Or Treat, then this should be on your must see list.

Acting: B
Story: B
Technical: B
Total Rating: B
Reviewed by: JM Willis


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