Tales of Halloween

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Tales of Halloween
Tales of Halloween Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by
Cinematography
  • Jan-Michael Losada
  • Zoran Popovic
  • David Tayar
  • Alex Vendler
  • Richard J. Vialet
  • Joseph White
  • Scott Winig
Production
companies
Distributed byEpic Pictures Releasing
Release date
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Tales of Halloween is a 2015 American comedy horror anthology film consisting of ten interlocking segments, each revolving around the titular holiday. Segments were directed by Neil Marshall, Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Lucky McKee, Andrew Kasch, Paul Solet, John Skipp, Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson, Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, and Dave Parker. It was the film debut of Jack Dylan Grazer

The film had its world premiere on July 24, 2015, at the Fantasia International Film Festival.[2] It was released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 16, 2015, by Epic Pictures.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

The ten stories take place in a suburban American town whose denizens are terrorized by ghouls, aliens, and killers one Halloween night as a DJ (Adrienne Barbeau) adds her commentary to a few of them.[4]

Sweet Tooth[edit]

Written and directed by Dave Parker.

Mikey (Daniel DiMaggio) has just finished trick-or-treating around his neighborhood, having come home with a bag full of candy. His parents (Greg Grunberg and Clare Kramer) have left him in the care of his babysitter Lizzy (Madison Iseman), who has invited her boyfriend Kyle over to watch the film Night of the Living Dead. As Mikey begins to enjoy the candy he's collected, Lizzy and Kyle share the urban legend of "Sweet Tooth"; 15 years ago, a boy of Mikey's age named Timothy Blake was denied his Halloween candy by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Blake. One night, a curious Timothy discovered that the parents kept and ate all his candy themselves. Enraged, Timothy killed both of his parents and ate all the candy, but he wanted more after eating all there was, so he cut his parents open and ate the candy already in his their stomachs. Every Halloween since, his murderous spirit, dubbed "Sweet Tooth", roams the neighborhood looking for candy. The story concludes with the warning that children have to leave some candy to share with Sweet Tooth or he will open their stomachs for the candy already eaten. Mikey is rattled by this story and decides to go to sleep early. Despite Lizzy telling him Sweet Tooth is nothing but a story, Mikey still leaves a candy bar by the door. Lizzy and Kyle decide to make out and eat the candy, before being attacked by Sweet Tooth himself, which Mikey overhears. The ghostly being heads toward Mikey's bedroom, but spares him and leaves after taking the candy bar he left. Later, Mikey's parents come home to find Lizzy and Kyle's grotesque corpses, with Mikey standing nearby, exclaiming that they ate all his Halloween candy. We later learn in "Bad Seed" that Mikey was believed to have murdered Lizzy and Kyle himself and was arrested.

The Night Billy Raised Hell[edit]

Written by Clint Sears, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.

Billy Thompson (Marcus Eckert), dressed as a red devil, absurdly tries to start trick-or-treating early in the afternoon, accompanied by his older sister Britney (Natalis Castillo) and her boyfriend Todd (Ben Stillwell). The two teens trick him into playing a prank that, according to them, has been going on for years. They prepare an egg for Billy to throw at the house of Mr. Abbadon (Barry Bostwick), a notoriously stingy resident who has never given out any candy to the children over the years. However, Billy is caught red-handed by Mr. Abbadon, who takes the egg and throws it at Todd as he and Britney flee. Billy is ushered into Mr. Abbadon's house, which is decorated with occult paraphernalia, where Mr. Abbadon is revealed to be the Devil himself. Tired of children pranking his house year after year, he tells the terrified Billy that he is going to teach him what a real prank is. To that end, Mr. Abbadon and what appears to be Billy go around the neighborhood to cause mischief, ranging from spray-painting walls to stabbing a rude neighbor who gave him a toothbrush instead of candy, then later tricking the same neighbor into stepping on a bear trap, severing his foot. The duo even hijack Adrianne Curry's car along the way, using it to run down trick or treaters. After all the ruckus, Mr. Abbadon returns to his house and unties Billy, revealing that he has actually been tied up the entire time. The other person in a devil costume is a miniature demon known as Mordecai. Mr. Abbadon lets Billy go, only for Billy to be surrounded by police officers waiting for him outside for the reign of terror Mordecai caused disguised as him. A terrified Billy puts his hands in the air but pees his pants, and the disgusted police officers mock Billy just before they both shoot him dead.

Trick[edit]

Written by Greg Commons, directed by Adam Gierasch.

On a seemingly peaceful Halloween night, friends Nelson (Trent Haaga), Maria (Tiffany Shepis), James (John F. Beach) and Caitlyn (Casey Ruggieri) are lounging around Nelson's house, smoking pot and watching Night of the Living Dead. As Nelson goes to greet a trick-or-treater dressed as a witch, the group is alarmed when the girl suddenly stabs Nelson multiple times in the abdomen, gravely injuring him. Panicked, Maria goes to her car to drive Nelson to the hospital, only to be attacked by four more kids in costumes. Maria attempts to flee, but she succumbs to her injuries and drops dead in the house's pool. By this time, Nelson has succumbed to his injuries and dies as well. James tries to find help, only to have his face burned by yet another trick-or-treater, who completes their attack by stuffing his mouth with rat poison, killing him. Caitlyn, the only adult left, flees to the backyard, where she hides in a shack. Looking through pictures on her phone, it is revealed that Caitlyn, Nelson, Maria, and James are actually a group of psychopaths who have been kidnapping kids and torturing them for their twisted amusement. The group of kids finds the shack, which turns out to be the place they tortured the previous kids and houses an assortment of surgical tools, corner Caitlyn. The kids free the group's most recent victim, a girl whose eye has been gouged by the adults, who wishes Caitlyn a happy Halloween before killing her with an axe to the head.

The Weak and the Wicked[edit]

Written by Molly Millions, directed by Paul Solet.

Alice (Grace Phipps), Isaac (Booboo Stewart) and Bart (Noah Segan), a trio of sadistic, sociopathic bullies, proceed to torture a kid after trick-or-treating (Jack Dylan Grazer). They are interrupted by a teenager dressed as some sort of creature (Keir Gilchrist). The teenager hands Alice a drawing of the creature, known as "The Demon of All Hallows Eve", warning Alice that the Demon will "spill the blood of the wicked where the wicked have harmed the weak". Alice dismisses the picture, and she and her friends chase the teenager to the other side of the city, where the teenager stops by a burnt-down trailer car. In a flashback to when Alice, Bart and Isaac were children, it is revealed that they intentionally set the trailer, which the teenager lived in, on fire, with his parents inside it. When the bullies show up, they recognize the teen as Jimmy Henson, before proceeding to beat him up and preparing to light him on fire. Bart and Isaac are suddenly pulled into the shadows by an unseen force. When Alice turns around, the real Demon of All Hallow's Eve has shown up, looking exactly like Jimmy's costume (we learn in a flashback that the picture Alice dropped also contained instructions on how to summon it). Alice is brutally killed by the Demon, her blood violently splashing on Jimmy's face, who smiles in satisfaction.

Grim Grinning Ghost[edit]

Written and directed by Axelle Carolyn.

Lynn (Alex Essoe) attends her mother's (Lin Shaye) Halloween party, where she hears her mother recount the story of Mary Bailey, a girl who was mocked all her life for her disfigured physical appearance. As a ghost, Mary rises from the grave every Halloween to laugh at people's appearances behind their backs, and take the eyes of those who turn around to look at her. On her way home, Lynn's old car breaks down in the middle of the road. She attempts to fix the engine herself, but she breaks her phone in the process, forcing her to finish her trip home on foot. While walking, Lynn hears cackling in the distance, sensing that a shadowy figure, implied to be Mary Bailey's ghost, is following her. Terrified, she runs to evade the spirit before fleeing into the safety of her house. She turns around to see nothing, leaving her to believe the figure has not followed her to her house. As Lynn settles to a couch to watch a film, her dog suddenly gets nervous and leaves the room. Lynn smiles and leans back to the couch, only to find out Mary Bailey sitting beside her. We later learn in "Bad Seed" that she succeeded in taking Lynn's eyes, but the police dismiss it as "hysterical blindness".

Ding Dong[edit]

Written and directed by Lucky McKee.

One year ago, married couple Jack (Marc Senter) and Bobbie (Pollyanna McIntosh) watch as children trick or treat on Halloween night. Bobbie is distraught by the fact she has no children of her own, to which Jack tries to cheer her up by dressing their dog as Gretel. Angered at the gesture, Bobbie suddenly turns into her true form: a red-skinned demonic witch with multiple arms (who presumably wants children of her own so she can eat them) and claws Jack's face with her long, clawed fingers. In the present, Jack and Bobbie have prepared to greet trick-or-treaters, dressed as Hansel and the witch from Hansel and Gretel respectively. Even though everything goes normally, with Bobbie excitedly performing a skit to the delight of the children, there is a sense of uneasiness between the couple every time children arrive on their front porch. When a boy also dressed as Hansel visits the couple's house alone, Bobbie prepares to lead him inside, but Jack, aware of his wife's intent, alerts the boy's mother, who is looking for him. A disheartened Bobbie goes back inside, and Jack persuades her to stop what they're doing, telling her that it wouldn’t be right to have children of their own with the abusive and unstable state she is in, and mentioning that he secretly underwent a vasectomy to prevent a pregnancy. Upon hearing this, Bobbie snaps, and proceeds to transform back into her witch form. She captures Jack and throws him into the house's oven, which resembles a cavernous inferno, and ends up melting afterwards.

This Means War[edit]

Written and directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp.

Boris (Dana Gould) has proudly finished decorating his house for Halloween, setting up many classic, graveyard themed displays. But when children are about to greet his house, they are scared away because his neighbor, Dante (James Duval) has set-up a rock and gore-oriented set of decorations on his own house, complete with loud rock music blasting from the speakers. Boris walks up to Dante's yard to ask him to turn the volume lower, but Dante and his colleagues just laugh at him and mock his decorations. Enraged, Boris ends up wrecking the sound system, putting a halt to the music. Dante exacts revenge by planning to throw a huge bucket of blood to Boris' slick Halloween decorations. As Boris runs up to stop Dante, the latter splashes the blood on the former instead and declares a war. Spectators begin to crowd as the two engage in a fistfight, placing bets and egging them on until the police come. Boris charges Dante towards a sharp piece of standing wood, impaling and killing both of them instantly, shocking the crowd.

Friday the 31st[edit]

Written by Mike Mendez and Dave Parker, directed by Mike Mendez.

In a wooded area, a deformed serial killer (Nick Principe) who resembles Jason Voorhees hunts down a girl dressed as Dorothy for Halloween (Amanda Moyer). The girl runs to a barn where she discovers several of the killer's dismembered victims, among them her friend Casey. The killer hunts her down to the barn, and when she manages to escape and flee, he kills her by throwing a spear through her chest. As the killer celebrates the slaying, a UFO flies overhead beams down a small alien that tries to trick-or-treat. Unable to give any candy, the killer proceeds to stomp over the tiny alien, seemingly crushing him. The alien's remains slither into the victim's mouth and possess her body, chasing the panicked killer into his barn. The possessed girl and the killer then proceed to attack each other with a meat cleaver and a chainsaw, respectively, which eventually concludes with both of them decapitating each other. The alien then leaves the girl's severed head to teleport back to the spaceship, taking the killer's head with him as his 'treat'.

The Ransom of Rusty Rex[edit]

Written and directed by Ryan Schifrin.

When criminals Hank (Sam Witwer) and Dutch (Jose Pablo Cantillo) spot millionaire Jebediah Rex (John Landis) letting his son Rusty (Ben Woolf) go out for trick-or-treating, they set out on a plan to kidnap the millionaire's son and hold him for ransom. After succeeding doing so, the kidnappers tie up a still-masked Rusty into a chair and call his father. However, Jebediah seems overjoyed that his 'son' has been kidnapped, tells the kidnappers that they made a terrible mistake, and promptly hangs up the phone. Hank calls him one more time to discuss the ransom, but the father coldly tells them they can have his son. Exasperated, the kidnappers find out that Rusty is actually a cat-like imp that clings to the people near him. After a vicious fight, they try to sink him in a nearby swamp, but he comes back to their lair. Hank calls Jebediah once more, only to be told that Rusty is not his son. He came to Jebediah's doorstep five years ago disguised as a trick-or-treater, and has been holding Jebediah and his wife hostage ever since. Thanking the kidnappers for taking him away from them, he warns them to never forget to feed Rusty. Hank and Dutch once again tie Rusty, deliver him to Jebediah's door, and set him on fire. Some time later, as Hank comes back from buying food, he finds Rusty in the backseat, who has gotten hungry and is currently feasting on Dutch's severed head.

Bad Seed[edit]

Written and directed by Neil Marshall.

Ray (Greg McLean) is seen is his kitchen, carving pumpkins, where his wife Ellen (Cerina Vincent) appreciates his work. When she leaves the room and comes back in, changed into her cat costume, she watches as the latest pumpkin he carved bites his head off, before growing spider like roots for legs and fleeing out the back door. Detective McNally (Kristina Klebe) is called in to investigate the crime scene (as most of the police department is busy dealing with the emergencies portrayed earlier in the film). At first she refuses to believe the description of the victim's killer, but after forensic analyst Bob (Pat Healy) confirms the killer was indeed a carved pumpkin, she works to put a stop to it. Meanwhile, the pumpkin proceeds to disguise itself among the jack o' lanterns on a nearby porch, where it eats a trick or treater. It then proceeds to terrorize the neighborhood, where McNally manages to track it down to a backyard. The pumpkin discovers her and attempts to attack her as she continually shoots and misses it. When she initially runs out of bullets, Bob appears with a shotgun, allowing her to destroy it. Among the broken pieces of pumpkin, she finds a sticker from a company called Clover Corp. advertising the pumpkin as a "100% organic super-pumpkin." McNally and Bob visit the Clover Corp. headquarters and meet with professor Milo Gottlieb (Joe Dante). Gottlieb takes them to a warehouse where they discover thousands of genetically-modified pumpkins, all potentially dangerous, all waiting to be sold.

Cast[edit]

Wraparound[edit]

Sweet Tooth:

The Night Billy Raised Hell:

  • Barry Bostwick - Mr. Abbadon
  • Marcus Eckert - Billy
  • Christophe Zajac-Denek - Mordecai/Little Devil
  • Ben Stillwell - Todd
  • Natalis Castillo - Britney
  • Adam Pascal - Dentist
  • Adrianne Curry - Herself
  • Rafael Jordan - Alien

Trick:

  • John F. Beach - James
  • Tiffany Shepis - Maria
  • Casey Ruggieri - Catilyn
  • Trent Haaga - Nelson
  • Marnie McKendry - Princess
  • Rebekah McKendry - Mother
  • Mia Page - Girl/Witch
  • Clayton Keller - Alien
  • Sage Stewart - Devil Girl

The Weak and the Wicked:

Grin Grimming Ghosts:

Ding Dong:

  • Marc Senter - Jack
  • Pollyanna McIntosh - Bobbie
  • Lily Von Woodenshoe - Gretel
  • Vanessa Menendez - Lone Child's Mother
  • Lucas Armandaris - Lone Child
  • Daniel DiMaggio - Mikey
  • Mia Page - Girl/Witch
  • Sage Stewart - Devil Girl
  • Ben Woolf - Rusty Rex
  • Aidan Gail - Child Fireman
  • Mo Meinhart - Witch
  • Gavin Keathley - Child Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Felissa Rose - Parent

This Means War:

  • Dana Gould - Boris
  • James Duval - Dante
  • Elissa Dowling - Velma
  • Graham Denman - Ziggy
  • Thomas Blake Jr. - Axl
  • Sean Clark - Tytan
  • Buz Wallick - Danzy
  • Joshua Lou Friedman - Butch
  • Jennifer Wenger - Vicki
  • Michael Monterastelli - Goober
  • Graham Skipper - Cop/Hellman
  • Adam Green - Cop/Carlo
  • Lombardo Boyar - Gambling Neighbor
  • Cody Goodfellow - Drunken Neighbor
  • Frank Blocker - Judge Moustache
  • Andy Merrill - Neighbor
  • Frank Dietz - Neighbor
  • Noel Jason Scott - Nosferatu
  • Shaked Berenson - Detective/Masked Wrestler

Friday the 31st:

  • Amanda Moyer - Dorothy
  • Jennifer Wenger - Possessed Dorothy
  • Nick Principe - Killer

The Ransom of Rusty Rex:

Bad Seed:

Release[edit]

The film had its premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal on July 24, 2015.[5][6] It was also selected as the opening-night film at Wizard World Chicago as well as London FrightFest Film Festival, where it closed the annual event on August 31, 2015, tying with its European premiere.[5] The film was released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 16, 2015.[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception for Tales of Halloween has been positive, with Rotten Tomatoes certifying it "fresh" with a 79% rating. The site's consensus reads, "Tales Of Halloween boasts a number of fun scares and is overall more consistent than many horror anthology films, even it isn't quite as dark or nasty as the classics of the genre."[7]

Michael Gingold, writing for Fangoria, called it "Well-produced on its modest budget" and gave it three and a half out of four skulls.[8] Kalyn Corrigan of Bloody Disgusting called it "a fun, exuberant addition to the subgenre of horror anthology films."[9] Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave it a "B" saying the film "might make it a new annual tradition in horror-loving households."[10] Rob Hunter of Film School Rejects wrote "Tales of Halloween is good fun, but it’s difficult not to wish that more of the stories had aimed for darker, more terrifying and affecting goals. Still, the EC Comics attitude finds a new home with Carolyn and her crew, and with any luck the film will spawn a new Halloween tradition of fun, gory, spooky anthology films highlighted by short, messy bursts of genre talent."[11]

Dennis Harvey of Variety gave the film a mixed review, calling the segments "polished enough but utterly routine" and saying "Even the best of these, however, are held back by brevity from developing silly ideas into anything truly memorable."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006277/reference
  2. ^ "Tales of Halloween - Fantasia 2015". Fantasia Festival. 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Barlow, Wil (October 5, 2015). "Get Ready for October Scares in Exclusive 'Tales of Halloween' poster featuring Neil Marshall". Indiewire.com. Retrieved October 6, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Jen Yamato (January 8, 2015). "Barry Bostwick, Joe Dante, John Landis Set For 'Tales Of Halloween'". Deadline Hollywood. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e The Deadline Team (July 10, 2015). "'Tales Of Halloween' Trailer: First Look At Horror Anthology Film – Comic Con". Deadline Hollywood. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Clark Collis (July 11, 2015). "Trailer for horror anthology Tales of Halloween promises one hell of a pumpkin season". Entertainment Weekly. (Time Inc.). Retrieved July 12, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Tales of Halloween at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Gingold, Michael. "'TALES OF HALLOWEEN' (Fantasia Movie Review)". Fangoria. Retrieved 14 August 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Corrigan, Kalyn (October 9, 2015). "[Review] 'Tales of Halloween' is a Fun Addition to an Exciting Resurgence of Anthology Films". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 2, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Rife, Katie (October 15, 2015). "Tales Of Halloween is a seasonal treat that's (mostly) free of razor blades". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 2, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Hunter, Rob. "Fantasia 2015 Review: Tales of Halloween Has Bloody Fun With Your Favorite Holiday". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 14 August 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Harvey, Dennis (October 19, 2015). "Film Review: 'Tales of Halloween'". Variety. Retrieved January 2, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]