Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scary Movie Month 2014, Day 30

All Hallows' Eve

On Halloween night, two kids and their babysitter sit down to watch an unlabeled VHS tape that was dropped into one of the kids' trick-or-treat bags. This scary videotape, according to shots of the TV while they're watching it, is in anamorphic widescreen so rock on, forward-thinking VHS company!

The tape is our framing device for an anthology consisting of three stories and a wraparound, but I'm using the word story as loosely as possible. There's no real story to any of them, just a collection of nightmarish images that are just as hollow as a pumpkin on Halloween night. Those images can be scary, but truthfully this isn't even a movie that's interested in being scary, it just wants to be as "fucked up" as possible, which is frankly boring to me.

Horror movies tend to (falsely, for the most part) have a reputation of misogyny. That reputation is earned by movies like this in which women exist only to be raped, mutilated, terrorized, and murdered. I defy anyone watching this movie to tell me anything at all about the women in each segment. You can't, because they have zero defining characteristics beyond physical appearance. They're beyond thinly sketched, they're anorexically sketched (I may have made that word up, but you get the idea). That's not to say the male characters are any more fleshed-out (they're not) but the movie revels in violence against women in a way that's leering and ugly. Then again, leering and ugly seems to be this movie'a mission statement, for better or worse. Mostly for worse.

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