Tales Of Halloween is a 2015 horror anthology film which takes eleven of genre’s best filmmakers and offers them the chance to let their talent and imaginations run wild. Ten short films over the course of 90 minutes seems like a lot, but these are perfectly timed little fright-flicks. The concept, devised by Axelle Carolyn, sees a selection of disparate tales woven together by the whispery tones of Adrianne Barbeau’s local DJ (effectively reprising her roles from John Carpenter’s 1980 classic, The Fog). The main theme was composed by the legendary Lalo Schifrin, while a slew of familiar genre faces put in an appearance (John Landis, Joe Dante, Lin Shaye and the mighty Mick Garris to name but a few).
Helmed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, John Skipp, Andrew Kasch, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, David Parker, Ryan Schifrin, Paul Solet and Neil Marshall, the short films within Tales of Halloween never out stay their welcome. The film runs a trim 92 minutes and that means each sort never outstays their welcome.
The eclectic mix includes baby sitters in peril (Sweet Tooth), trick or treating gone to the extreme (The Night Billy Raised Hell and Trick), demonic revenge (The Weak and the Wicked), urban myths (Grim Grinning Ghosts), witches (Ding Dong), decoration jealousy (The Means War), serial killers vs aliens (Friday The 31st), abduction gone wrong (The Ransom of Rusty Rex) and killer pumpkins (Bad Seed). Each vignette is well made and while they’re all very different stories, they fit together nicely (they take place on the same town, on the same evening).
Of course, it comes with the territory on any anthology film that some of the films won’t be as good as others. However, all of them have something to offer. Movies In Focus was particularly taken by Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Night Billy Raised Hell, Axelle Carolyn’s Grim Grinning Ghost, Mike Mendez’s Friday The 31st, Ryan Schifrin’s The Ransom of Rusty Rex and Neil Marshall’s Bad Seed.
Despite the dark subject matter, Tales of Halloween has a playful tone. This might irk some, but it means that the film has a fun comic book atmosphere that perfectly suits the concept. This is one horror anthology film which is worth checking out!