Tales of Halloween (2015) Arrow Release Review

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tales-from-halloweenTales of Halloween (2015)

 

Tales of Halloween is a horror comedy film anthology comprising of 10 shorts and very much in the vain of Joe Dante or John Landis films both of which guest star here.

Though the stories take place in the same town and you see the same characters in the background during the other shorts thy aren’t linked together in any way other than a comment made by the police chief during the last bit.
The stories simply move from one to another and with 10 of them in a film running for just over 90 minutes I did find that some ended abruptly not really explaining the ending unless I missed some important plot piece during the segment.

That said I did enjoy all of them which I couldn’t say for Trick ‘r Treat (2007) but Trick ‘r Treat did have fewer segments so could expand on the stories a bit more and give more of a budget to each piece.

Not that Tales of Halloween has that cheap modern horror look to it.
The production values were very good even throwing in some good old stop-motion animation even if it wasn’t the best done.
Effects wise there was lots of lovely claret and not much of it CGI along with with plenty of practical effects for limbs being severed especially in the Friday the 31st segment that goes from a Friday the 13th copy into well… something quite unexpected.
But again the effects vary though I will say overall they are very good and in keeping with the film.

Obviously the different stories also vary in quality.
Ding Dong has potential but is let down by its ending and Grim Grinning Ghost doesn’t have too much going on in it yet was very entertaining but would’ve suffered if it went on any longer.
This Means War had lots of potential that it mostly didn’t live up to and another one that ends suddenly yet satisfyingly.
Sweet Tooth, The Night Billy Raised Hell and The Ransom of Rusty Rex on the other hand are my favourites. Just great to watch from start to finish.

Despite some flaws if you liked Trick ‘r Treat or horror anthologies that have an 80’s\90s throwback feel to it then you should like this and if people want to keep making Halloween anthologies like these that go some way to capturing that old offbeat irreverence that is largely missing these days then I say good.

Among the other guest stars are Adrienne Barbeau, John Savage, Barry Bostwick, Adrianne Curry, Lin Shaye, Barbara Crampton, Mick Garris and Sam Witwer to name probably most of them.
Or at least most that would be known to those outside the US.

Another good quality Arrow release that has further shorts on it as extras.

Here is the trailer which makes the film look to be of a lower quality than it actually is.
I don’t know how they managed that but good work. (sarcasm)

 

  • Deleted Scene / Grim Grinning Ghost – directed by Axelle Carolyn
  • Behind-The-Scenes / Sweet Tooth – directed by Dave Parker
  • Anatomy of a Scene / Friday the 31st – directed by Mike Mendez
  • Fun Facts / pop-on video commentary for selected segments (caption file)
  • Photo Gallery / Behind-The-Scenes of Bad Seed
  • Storyboards / Ding Dong
  • Video Diaries: – 2-3 Video Diaries for each segment of the anthology, featuring interviews with the directors, cast, and crew, and sneak peeks behind the scenes on set. Total Run Time: Approximately 60 minutes, Stereo/Mono Audio

 

Exclusive Shorts:

 

  • Brain Death (21 minutes) – directed by Neil Marshall
  • The Halloween Kid (7 minutes) – directed by Axelle Carolyn
  • Boilly (00:30 seconds) – directed by Lucky Mckee
  • Thirsty (14 minutes) – directed by Andrew Kasch & John Skipp
  • Hot Rod Worm (4 minutes) – directed by Andrew Kasch & John Skipp
  • No Rest for the Wicked (15 minutes) – directed by Ryan Schifrin

 

Three Audio Tracks:

 

  • Commentary – Feature
  • Commentary – Sweet Tooth, with Dave Parker
  • Commentary – Ding Dong, with Lucky McKee
  • Commentary – Trick, with Adam Gierasch