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
company
Distributed byEpic Pictures Releasing
Release date
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Tales of Halloween is a 2015 American horror comedy film anthology consisting of ten interlocking segments, each revolving around the titular holiday. It was 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.

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 and 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"; long ago, a boy of Mikey's age named Timothy was denied his trick-or-treat candy by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Blake, but 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, including the ones already in their stomach, and thus became Sweet Tooth, a demon who appears each Halloween looking everywhere for candy. Mikey is rattled by this story and decides to go to sleep early, much to Lizzy and Kyle's amusement. They 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 Mikey has left a bar of chocolate for Sweet Tooth on the floor to take. That, combined with the fact that Mikey hasn't eaten any candy, spares him from death. 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) absurdly tries to start trick-or-treating early in the afternoon, prompting his older sister Britney (Natalis Castillo) and her boyfriend Todd (Ben Stillwell) to trick him into playing a prank, that, according to both teenagers, has been going on for years. They prepare an egg for Billy to throw at Mr. Abbadon's (Barry Bostwick) house, who's notoriously stingy and never gives out candy for the children across the years, but Billy was caught red-handed by the man of the hour, while his sister and her boyfriend fled. Billy was ushered into Mr. Abbadon's house, where he says he's going to teach Billy a lesson, and takes Mordecai, a little boy of Billy's age who has the same Halloween costume (red devil) as him. Mr. Abbadon then lets Mordecai, in a costume and mask similar to Billy, to wreck around the neighborhood, from doing harmless pranks like spray-painting the walls into more bloody terrors, including stabbing a rude neighbor who gave him a toothbrush instead of candy, and then later on tricking the same neighbor into stepping to a bear trap, severing his foot. The duo even hijack Adrianne Curry's car along the way. After all the ruckus, Mr. Abbadon returns to his house to a tied Billy and releases him, and reveals that he is the Devil himself and under the mask Mordecai is also the Little Devil. He lets Billy go, only for Billy to be surrounded by police officers waiting for him outside for the reign of terror Mordecai caused in his Devil costume. A terrified Billy puts his hands in the air but pees his pants, and the disgusted police officers shoot him.

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. As Nelson goes to greet a girl trick-or-treating, the group is alarmed when the girl 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 kids in costumes. Maria flees, but the injury causes her to drop dead on the house's pool. By this time, Nelson has succumbed to his injury and dies as well. James tries to find help, only to have his face burned by yet another trick-or-treater, and she completes her 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. It is then revealed that Caitlyn, Nelson, Maria and James are all psychopaths and have been kidnapping kids and gouging their eyes out for their amusement. The group of kids finds the shack, which turns out to be the place they tortured the previous kids, and cornered Caitlyn. A girl, whose one eye has been gouged by the adults, executes Caitlyn with an axe on her head.

The Weak and the Wicked[edit]

Written by Molly Millions, directed by Paul Solet.

Three bullies, Alice (Grace Phipps), Isaac (Booboo Stewart) and Bart (Noah Segan) proceed to torture a kid after trick-or-treating (Jack Dylan Grazer), but are interrupted by a teenager in a devil costume (Keir Gilchrist). The teenager hands Alice a drawing of a demon and warns Alice that the Demon will "spill the blood of the wicked where the wicked have harmed the weak". Alice dismisses the picture, and begins to chase the teenager away with the other bullies to the other side of the city, where the teenager stops by a burnt-down trailer car. In a flashback when Alice, Bart and Isaac were kids, they set the house on fire, which belonged to the teenager, complete with his parents inside it. When the bullies show up they recognize the teen as Jimmy Henson and proceed to beat him up and prepare to light him on fire, Bart and Isaac are attacked by an unseen force. When Alice turns around, a creature known as the Demon of All Hallow's Eve has shown up, looking exactly like Jimmy wearing his costume (as we learn in a flashback that the picture Alice dropped was actually instructions on how to summon it). As Alice is killed by the Demon, blood violently splashes on Jimmy's face, who smiles in satisfaction.

Grim Grinning Ghost[edit]

Written and directed by Axelle Carolyn.

As Lynn (Alex Essoe) prepares to leave her mother's (Lin Shaye) Halloween party after hearing her mother recount a ghost story about a girl named Mary Bailey who was mocked her whole life for her disfigured physical appearance and now as a ghost takes the eyes of those who look at her, she encounters strange occurrences on her way home. First her car uncharacteristically breaks down in the middle of the road, forcing her to finish her trip by foot. While walking, she senses that a shadowy figure, the one from her mother's story, is following her. Terrified, she runs into the safety of her house, and believes 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 that Mary is sitting beside her. We later learn in "Bad Seed" that she succeeded in taking Lynn's eyesight but the police dismiss it as "hysterical blindness".

Ding Dong[edit]

Written and directed by Lucky McKee.

A year prior, Jack (Marc Senter) and his wife 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. This leads things to get heated and ends up with Bobbie suddenly turning into a red demonic witch and clawing Jack's face with her long, devilish nails. In the present time, Jack and Bobbie have prepared to greet trick-or-treaters, dressed as Hansel and a witch respectively, to Jack’s worry. Even though everything goes normally, with Bobbie excitedly performing a skit to the delight of the children, something feels uneasy between the couple every time there's children on their front porch. Finally, when a boy also dressed as Hansel is visiting the couple's house alone, Bobbie prepares to lead him inside, but Jack, aware of his wife's intent, alert the boy's mother, who's 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 way she treats him. Bobbie then appears to transform into the witch from Hansel and Gretel who eats children, and when Jack reveals he's secretly had a vasectomy to prevent a pregnancy, she becomes distraught and furious. She drags Jack into the house's oven, which resembles more like hell, and ends up melting herself.

This Means War[edit]

Written and directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp.

Boris (Dana Gould) has proudly finished his Halloween-decorated house. But when children are about to greet his house, they are scared away because of his neighbor, Dante (James Duval) has set-up a rock and gore-oriented Halloween decorations on his 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 wrecks the sound system and halts the music, but 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 fight, placing bets and egging them on until the police come. Boris charges Dante towards a sharp piece of standing wood, killing both of them instantly, shocking the crowd.

Friday the 31st[edit]

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

A deformed serial killer (Nick Principe) who resembles Jason Voorhees hunts a girl dressed as Dorothy for Halloween (Amanda Moyer). The girl runs to a barn where she discovers several of the killer's 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 beams down a small alien that tries to trick-or-treat. The killer proceeds to stomp over the tiny alien, seemingly crushing him, but the alien instead turns into goo and possesses the victim's body, chasing the panicked killer into his barn. The possessed girl and the killer then proceed to attack each other with sharp objects, which eventually concludes with both of them decapitating each other. The alien then leaves the girl's decapitated head to teleport back to his spaceship, taking the killer's head with him.

The Ransom of Rusty Rex[edit]

Written and directed by Ryan Schifrin.

When they spot millionaire Jebediah Rex (John Landis) letting his son Rusty (Ben Woolf) out for trick-or-treating, former bank robbers Hank (Sam Witwer) and Dutch (Jose Pablo Cantillo) set out their plan to kidnap the millionaire's son. After succeeding doing so, the kidnappers tied up a still-masked Rusty into a chair and call his father. However, the father seems overjoyed that his son has been kidnapped 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 the son is actually a deformed monster that clings to the people near him. They try to sink him in the river, but he comes back to their lair. Hank calls Jebediah once more, only to be told that Rusty has been holding Jebediah and his wife hostage for five years as he would not leave them, and thanked the kidnappers for taking him away from them. Hank and Dutch once again tied Rusty and set him on fire, but as Hank comes back from buying food, Rusty, who has gotten hungry, has eaten Dutch's entire body up to his head. The segment ends with Hank screaming.

Bad Seed[edit]

Written and directed by Neil Marshall.

After a man has his head bitten off by a massive pumpkin he has just carved, Detective McNally (Kristina Klebe) investigates the crime scene. At first she refuses to believe the description of the victim's wife, but after the forensics team member, Bob, confirms the killer was indeed a carved pumpkin, she works to put a stop to it. The pumpkin proceeds to eat a trick-or-treating child and terrorizes the neighborhood, which has already suffered from the events portrayed earlier in the film. McNally manages to track the killer pumpkin down to a backyard, where it attacks her; though she initially runs out of bullets, Bob appears with a shotgun, and she is able 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 discover thousands of genetically-modified pumpkins, all potentially dangerous, 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.[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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  7. ^ Tales of Halloween at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Gingold, Michael. "'TALES OF HALLOWEEN' (Fantasia Movie Review)". Fangoria. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  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.
  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.
  11. ^ Hunter, Rob. "Fantasia 2015 Review: Tales of Halloween Has Bloody Fun With Your Favorite Holiday". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  12. ^ Harvey, Dennis (October 19, 2015). "Film Review: 'Tales of Halloween'". Variety. Retrieved January 2, 2017.

External links[edit]