Just in time for Halloween 2016 comes one of the best horror indie anthologies of the last six years. “Tales of Halloween” is a sick, demented, and fun ode to the thrill of Halloween and its mythology and brings together up and comers and veterans of the horror film world to spin their own twisted yarns concerning the holiday many horror buffs hold so dearly to them. Epic Pictures grants fans a wonderful box set edition that holds all sorts of goodies for them. The best prize of all is “Tales of Halloween,” a movie that pays tribute to everything fun and horrifying about the holiday with ten short tales starring folks like Lin Shaye, and Adrienne Barbeau who unofficially reprises her role of Stevie Wayne as the film’s Halloween DJ who narrates every story. The neat touch to the movie is that every story unfolds within the vicinity of a normal suburban neighborhood on Halloween night.
Some of my favorite shorts among the series are Dave Parker’s “Sweet Tooth,” a violent tale of a young boy who learns that the urban legend of a candy addicted monster may be true after all. Darren Lynn Bousman’s “The Night Billy Raised Hell” is a darkly comic tale of a trick or treat prankster influenced by a horned older man to wreak violent havoc on Halloween around his neighborhood. “This Means War” from Andrew Kasch and John Skipp is a fun and gory tale of two neighbors battling over their Halloween decorations. The rivalry transforms in to a vicious blood soaked war that the neighbors witness in sheer horror.
“Friday the 31st” is a fun and demented tale of a serial killer getting punished when a victim of his is taken over by an alien being that turns the corpse in to a powerful possessed monster. It’s a fun and slick ode to Sam Raimi with some killer special effects. “Bad Seed” from Neil Marshall is an entertaining capper about an mysterious series of vicious attacks around the neighborhood being conducted by sentient killer Jack o Lanterns. It’s a really good tale with a wonderful surprise ending. My two favorites are Adam Gierasch’s “Trick” involving a group of friends being terrorized by psychotic trick or treaters, all of whom are hell bent on murdering the pals, and Ryan Schifrin’s “The Ransom of Rusty Rex” involving two hapless thieves who kidnap the son of a wealthy neighbor.
When they find out the child is actually a relentless ghoul, they get so much more than they bargained for. “Tales of Halloween” is just as festive and raucous as you’d hope from a movie of this ilk, and it promises to hold a place on many horror fans’ collections. Even the weaker tales are dripping with the Halloween mood and aesthetic, and you’d be hard pressed not to fall completely in love with it. Though every tale is different, the producers make every tale blend seamlessly in to one another, offering an anthology that packs in variety without an uneven balance in tone or presentation.
The Special Edition from Epic Pictures comes with two collectible full color trading cards, and an audio CD comprising the film’s soundtrack with fifteen full tracks. For consumers, there are seven extra short films from the anthology’s directors including Neil Marshall, Axelle Carolyn, and Mike Mendez. There’s the feature commentary with filmmakers Axelle Carolyn, Darren Lynn Bousman, Adam Gierasch, Mike Mendez and Neil Marshall. There are also four bonus commentaries by select filmmakers for the shorts “Ding Dong,” “Sweet Tooth,” “This Means War,” and “Trick.” There’s a deleted scene for “Grim Grinning Ghost,” an Anatomy of a Scene for “Friday the 31st,” pop up facts for select moments in the film, a photo gallery for “Bad Seed,” a storyboard segment for “Ding Dong,” and finally twenty three Behind the Scenes Videos and Interviews with select filmmakers and cast for “Tales of Halloween.”
For more information on purchasing the Special Edition, or if you want to digitally rent or buy “Tales of Halloween,” visit the official website.