Thursday, October 29, 2015

31 Nights of Terror 2015 #29 - Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales of Halloween (2015)
Directors: A bunch of people
Starring: A bunch more people
Format: AVI

Plot: 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.

Between this one, All Hallow's Eve and A Christmas Horror Story, this year's countdown has become something of an anthology-fest. This is probably the most-hyped of them, with such high-profile directors as Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw series), Lucky McKee (May) and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers) helming a series of short segments all based around Halloween.

The acting credits are also fairly impressive, with appearances by such genre favorites as Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), Lin Shaye (Insidious movies), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Barbara Crampton (Re-animator) and Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). A handful of horror directors - Mick Garris, Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon, John Landis and Adam Green among them - also make cameos in acting roles.

With 10 segments there's no way I'm about to go through them one at a time. Instead I'll mention the ones that stick out.

My favourite is "The Night Billy Raised Hell", by Bousman and starring Bostwick  at his campy best causing all sorts of havoc on Halloween night. It's just so much fun and has a dark twist to it.

I also really enjoyed "Bad Seed" by Neil Marshall, about a killer Jack O' Lantern that eats people. Simple but effective and the pumpkin effects are top notch. 

Another great one is "The Ransom of Rusty Rex", directed by Ryan Schifrin and starring the late Ben Woolf (Meep on American Horror Story) and John Landis. It's funny and creepy at the same time.

In truth there are no stinkers amongst the 10 segments. All are good, all are different, but they all have a real Halloween feel to them. Some are funny, some are scary, some are both - but all are quality. Tales of Halloween blows the VHS movies and the ABCs of Death series out of the water, and deserves to be watched every Halloween season alongside Trick R Treat.

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