Sunday, 23 October 2016

Tales Of Halloween

Cast: Hunter Smit, Cameron Easton, and Adrienne Barbeau       
Creator: Axelle Carolyn

92 minutes (18) 2015
Widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Arrow blu-ray region B
[Released 24th October]

Rating: 6/10
Review by Steven Hampton

Narrated by the heroine from John Carpenter’s The Fog, this is a compendium of 10 comedy-horror short films. Should the dead of night be just kitschy fun or something else... that’s genuinely scary? Do today’s genre fans prefer traditional spooky chills or undomesticated rawk ‘n’ roles? The first segment concerns a sin like gluttony, and it hints at better things to come but, sadly, nothing very interesting happens, especially in terms of neo-gothic narratives or gore scenes or sudden frights.

There are lots of bad kids, good kids, cute kids, and edible kids, with practical jokes that inevitably backfire, low-brow humour and macabre slapstick, grisly torments and motive-free violence. Lacking any fresh ideas beyond its undeserving fascination with all-too-familiar horror mayhem stuff like comicbook monsters and sadistic teens scampering about through the un-breathable smog of atmosphere, anthology feature Tales Of Halloween offers nothing more than just another empty celebration of the American holiday season’s darkest day.

Like a recurring dream or a genre obsession, the original Night Of The Living Dead appears on TV screen during various home intrusions. This is far less experimental than The ABCs Of Death or those V/H/S features, although it is trying hard to rank alongside Creepshow and its many imitators. The revenge of a pumpkin-head is one geeky nightmare of remarkable absurdity. Horror icons, like John Landis and Joe Dante, are reduced to mere guest cameos. Half tired, half tiresome; TOH is rather a nonsensical flick that is nevertheless an amiable timewaster, quite likely to please followers of the Masters Of Horror TV series.

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