OSW Review | IFI Horrorthon 2015: Tales of Halloween
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IFI Horrorthon 2015: Tales of Halloween


Plot: A horror anthology! 10 short films over 97 minutes.

Cast: Hilariously, some actors appear in different segments, in the same costumes! This gives continuity (it’s in the same town) or more likely, you didn’t have enough actors/costumes! Some segments are bookended by a radio host on Halloween night. Cameos include Joe Dante (directed Gremlins), Greg Grunberg (Matt from Heroes) and Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog).

Stories:
1. Sweet Tooth
It’s Halloween! Babysitters scare a child eating too much candy, telling him the tale of Sweet Tooth, a kid who was allowed to trick-or-treat but not eat any candy. Maybe it’s not just a tale! We see a “Carpenter’s Bar” which isn’t an actual bar (John Carpenter). Light-hearted, feels almost 80s twilight zone. Grand.

2. The Night Billy Raised Hell
Billy’s bullied by his sister & bf to egg his mean neighbour’s house, but is caught in the act. Turns out the neighbour LOVES halloween, and gets Billy to raise hell in the neighbourhood. Loved how theatrical old-school horror the neighbour was, and a fun twist you can see coming. Satisfying! Ham-fistedly they have a cameo by Adrianne Curry (from PSN’s The Tester) whom they blatantly state has 500k twitter followers. Alright then!

3. Trick
A group of adults watching a film on halloween (it’s funny how many of these segments have public domain horror films on!) are terrorised by child/killers. This story moves at a rapid pace with some cheap gore. I did like how one of the kid’s costumes (with some red face-paint and jokes) just didn’t really try. The twist is that these adults are child-killers and it’s blah.

4. The Weak and the Wicked
3 bullies chase down a teen, whose parents they previously murdered. The wafer-thin ‘evil teen’ characters scream struggling actors and shit script! Didn’t care for it at all.

5. Grim Grinning Ghost
An easily scared woman attempts to drunk drive home, but after her car stalls, walks home, reminded of a scary story she’s told. A fine quick concept.

6. Ding Dong
Wow, how cheap is this one, holy God. An abusive wife desperately wants a child (manifested as a kind of 4-armed Wicked Witch outfit) and puts them through answering the door for trick or treaters. I couldn’t get over how shitty this one was!

7. This Means War
Two neighbours battle over their halloween lawn decorations (family friendly traditionalist vs drunken rocker) and end up fighting. Entertaining!

8. Friday the 31st
A serial killer/monster disposes of his last victim before an extra terrestrial stop-motion like alien asks him for ‘twick or tweet’. When it’s killed, it inhabits the last victim in a ridiculous gore battle. Loved the stop motion alien but the gore battle is bleh.

9. The Ransom of Rusty Rex
Two robbers turned kidnappers take a child of a multi-millionaire (played in a cameo by John Landis, who directed MJ’s Thriller and American Werewolf in Paris). It’s comic-based as the father thanks them for taking the child, who turns out to be…..? A killer demon of sorts. Good stuff.

10. Bad Seed
A killer stop-motion pumpkin! I love it! Also the animatronic expressive heel pumpkin face, with moving roots as feet. It lured a child in by having gold in it’s mouth, which looked great. A detective goes on the case real quick (by Captain Cop Stereotype). My favourite of the lot.

Overall: I’m a fan of horror anthologies but half of these weren’t great. That said, there’s a new story every 6-8 minutes so it’s easily palatable. Great idea having the best stories at the start and end of the film. Quality wise I’d put it at 10 > 2 > 9 > 1; nothing hugely worthwhile but loved seeing the stop motion alien!

Details

Release Date
November 5, 2015