An omnibus film in the style of films like Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow, four different stories take place during Halloween night. One involves a high school principal (Dylan Baker) who loves to kill children with tainted candy. The second involves a group of children who want to play a prank on a young geek girl in a place where there was a tragedy many years ago, but the prank may come back and bite them on the ass, since most ghosts don’t like people to fuck around with them. The third involves a young girl (Anna Paquin) who has become the object of attraction for a vampire, but the vampire might find out that this girl belongs to a sorority that’s, well, a little hairy. And our last story involves an old shut-in (Brian Cox) who hates Halloween, and for his hatred he is visited by a young child named Sam, who has homicidal tendencies against those who hate the holiday.
This movie has had a sad history. It was made in 2006 and supposed to have been released in 2007, but the movie kept being pushed back again and again. As a horror fan, I waited anxiously, since every trailer made it look like a really fun Halloween romp. And now, almost three years later, it finally comes out, only direct to DVD. What the fuck was the studio thinking? They keep releasing the same remake tripe and Saw sequels/clones, but this, one of the greatest and most original horror films of the last 20 years, has to be placed in the direct to dvd line? The story is very old school, very similar to the EC Comics of the 1950’s in that they’re basically morality tales, of sins that visit the people who are evil. The acting is spot-on in every single performance, particularly with Dylan Baker, who is funny, menacing and scary all at the same time. Anna Paquin did her job well, too, but it was a little unrealistic that such a knock-out couldn’t get a date on Halloween and stay a virgin at 22. I believe the werewolves and ghosts a lot more than that.
Last but not least I have to give credit to the excellent production values this film has. It has been a while since I’ve seen a story of this kind with such a slick look, and credit must be given to Michael Dougherty for doing a great job with such simple material. His ‘Sam’ character is also very cool, and I predict will become something of a horror icon in the years to come. This is a really scary, really fun film that represents the feeling of the holiday it’s set in. It’s one of the best horror films to come out in the last twenty years, I only wish I had seen it in the theatre.