With a cast that includes Barry Bostwick, Cerina Vincent, Adrienne Barbeau and John Landis, Tales of Halloween is a welcome addition to a genre that is the mainstay of the low budget artist. With a bunch of horror tales woven together in a manner that recalls the iconic Creepshow, this movie works because the people behind it are "horror people." They understand what an anthology series needs to have. With halloween around the corner, Tales of Halloween is truly a movie of, for and about its time.
There hasn't been a movie like Tales of Halloween in a long while. This probably explains why it feels so fresh, even though horror films are well worn in the anthology realm. Set in suburban neighborhoods that make Tales of Halloween imminently relatable, this starts off by instantly letting you know it knows what it is doing. In fact, from the moment the title sequence unspools, we know we're in a for a Halloween ride that is going in the right, ghastly, gothic and macabre direction. The movie contains ten short stories revolving around ghosts, ghouls, monsters, the devil, aliens, and ax murderers who terrorize a suburb on Halloween night.
Whether we are are seeing a story about a Halloween decoration battle, or a kidnapping that doesn't go as planned for the kidnappers, we are always on edge. It isn't that Tales of Halloween is the scariest film of 2015, rather it really knows how to work the tension on screen. We want to see blood and gore, at the same time, we want it to be safe. Tales of Halloween toys with this in the most gruesome of ways.
It is as if this film, directed by such genre heavyweights as Darren Lynn Bousman, Neil Marshall and Lucky McKee (among others), found the perfect way to link the stories. As a viewer, I never got the feeling that I was being beaten over the head by any one theme. At the same time, the directing styles also didn't clash in such a way to make this project feel disjointed. All in all, Tales of Halloween is that perfect blend of fear and storytelling that make horror movies so enticing in the first place.
Now, this is isn't to say that Tales of Halloween is the best horror film of 2015. That distinction clearly lies with a film like It Follows. However, as long as horror is going to be a mainstay in the low budget world, Tales of Halloween is clearly in this years Top 10 (or 5) of the best in this genre. Here's hoping it can find its true audience via all the platforms it's released on.
With a tip of its ghoulish hat toward horror films both past and present, Tales of Halloween is a tale indeed. Masterfully put together by some of the best the horror genre has to offer, this film will certainly attain a cult following. And far as the Halloween horror genre that might just be enough. The holiday only comes around only once a year, right? (NOTE: This review was written by Evan 'Mushy' Jacobs!)