Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scary Movie Month 2015 Day 18: Tales of Halloween

Tales of Halloween 

VOD is a goddamn miracle. First it gave us DEATHGASM, which until today was my favorite Scary Movie Month discovery this year. Now, it has given us Tales of Halloween, which is not only a great Scary Movie Month discovery, it's also one of the best movies I've seen this year full stop. A murderer's row of modern horror filmmakers get together (both in front of and behind the camera) to offer an anthology of 10 Halloween stories. I'm a huge fan of anthologies to begin with, and adding Halloween into the mix is like topping your pizza with another's all so good. Add onto that Adrienne Barbeau as your narrator and I'm gonna need to have a defibrillator handy. 

Very often in anthology movies there are three or four stories, and usually at least one of those is lousy. Surprisingly, all 10 of these stories are entertaining, there wasn't a single one that I'd call bad. There were a couple of standouts (I particularly liked Darren Lynn Bousman's "The Night Billy Raised Hell," Dave Parker's "Sweet Tooth," and Andrew Kasch & John Skipp's "This Means War") but all 10 were fun and not a single story overstayed its welcome. My only nitpick (and it truly is a nitpick) is that it didn't capture the atmosphere of October quite as well as some other movies (Trick 'R Treat for example is one where you can practically feel an October chill through the screen) but it's so full of love for the holiday and the season that that's a minor complaint at best. 

Barbeau is just the first of countless familiar faces (hers is glimpsed briefly during a fantastic opening credits sequence scored by the legendary Lalo Schifrin) that populate every nook and cranny of the world in which this movie takes place. The stories are unconnected, but they all take place in the same general area on the same Halloween night, so characters will bleed into multiple stories (for example you'll see a major player in one story trick-or-treating in the background of another, that sort of thing). I just finished it and I already want to watch it again both to spot connections I missed and to scan the crowd scenes for even more familiar faces I'm certain I overlooked the first time. I'll also be watching it again just to enjoy the gleefully gory celebration of my favorite time of year that it is. Tremendous fun, with a love of horror and Halloween that flows just as freely as the blood does.

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