Monday, January 9, 2017

Film Review: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales of Halloween (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...it really isn't effective in the horror or comedy departments."

Ten stories of murderers, ghouls, aliens, and other creatures who terrorize the citizens of a suburban neighborhood on Halloween...

Tales of Halloween is an horror-comedy anthology. This anthology features ten stories, so I won't go into details about all of them. I'm not writing a thousand-word review for this one. Anyway, the film brings you to this suburban community where everyone has orgasms when they eat candy and everyone watches black-and-white public domain movies on Halloween. Residents are terrorizes by urban legends, like Sweet Tooth, and creatures, including aliens. The stories are filled with over-the-top gore. Some have strong horror premises, most are downright silly. They're all short, though, so you won't have to watch anything you dislike for long – unless you dislike all of the stories. I enjoyed at least four of the stories; the rest were, unfortunately, forgettable.


Like I said, Tales of Halloween is a horror-comedy. Therefore, it's not really frightening. Aside from a few moments, the film is entirely devoid of suspense. The gore is so over-the-top that it's impossible to be disgusted or terrified by it. However, on this point, I did enjoy some of the practical special effects. Most of the stories are outlandish, too, so it doesn't really resonate. A story like Sweet Tooth, despite its unrealistic qualities, works because it's built like an urban legend – it's fun, gory, and exciting. Most of the other stories felt like they were either rushed or tried too hard to be funny. Speaking of humor, I chuckled a few times, but it's not really an effective comedy. So, it really isn't effective in the horror or comedy departments.

The acting fared a little better, though. Pollyanna McIntosh delivered a memorable performance. Lin Shaye makes a decent appearance. There were a few mediocre performances, but most of the cast was surprisingly good. The film was well shot, too. The special effects were great. The computer effects weren't perfect, but they weren't overused, either. The film's writing and direction is a mixed-bag. Some of the stories were decent, the directors showed promise, but they couldn't deliver a memorable anthology. They capture the spirit of Halloween without delivering on the horror, which is disappointing. I'm not saying it had to be grim and real to be effective, but it needed some suspense and an ominous atmosphere to truly stick its landing.

Overall, Tales of Halloween is a mediocre horror anthology. There are a few decent stories in here, but most of them were forgettable. It just didn't resonate. It doesn't have the originality, the suspense, or the excitement of films like Trick R' Treat and it doesn't have the horror and themes of an anthology like Tales from the Hood. It's just a gory film with some fun scenes. Otherwise, it runs out of steam quick and some stories are dull. I'd only recommend it if you're a big fan of horror-comedies or if it's the Halloween season.

Now, who the hell is Adrianne Curry?

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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