Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tales of Halloween - Review - @BrandonCSites

Tales of Halloween (2015) *1/2
D: Katie Silverman, Neil Marshall, Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Lucky McKee, Andrew Kasch, Paul Solet, John Skipp, Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson, Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, Dave Parker
C: Barry Bostwick, Katie Silverman, Lin Shaye, James Duval, John Savage, Pat Healy, BooBoo Stewart, Grace Phipps, Cameron Easton, Alex Esso, Kristina Klebe, Greg Grunberg, Keir Gilchrist, Samuel Witwer, Adrienne Barbeau, Caroline Williams, Tiffany Shepis, Robert Rusler, Adrianne Curry, John Landis, Trent Haaga, Pollyanna McIntosh, Barbara Crampton, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, Felissa Rose, Joe Dante

Plot Synopsis: Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.

Review: Tales of Halloween is a shapeless blob of short horror movies, some more successful then others, that have been stitched together to form an anthology.

At the base of every movie is a story of sorts. Every story requires a beginning, middle & end. The easiest way to achieve that, in an anthology, is through a wraparound segment usually involving a character reading a book, telling stories around a campfire or something to that degree. Simply start things with a character reading a book and conclude by having that same character finishing the book. As a result, a beginning, middle & end have been established.

To achieve some semblance of an actual movie, outside of a wraparound segment, each story is usually connected in theme. One of the more popular examples is George A. Romero's Creepshow. Each segment was connected by having vile characters who get their just deserts.

Other then a brief intro, involving a radio DJ, there's no real wraparound segment. Other then the stories taking place on Halloween, there's no sense of theme or cohesion between the segments. On the most rudimentary level, Tales of Halloween fails, because it's not really a movie. After all, the reason people watch movies is to see a story unfold that interests them. This is a compilation or a short film festival crammed into 92 minutes.

To give this a point of interest, they have gathered an all star assortment of directors & actors who have worked extensively in the horror genre. For the directors & cast members involved, we've seen them deliver far better work. Their participation fails to evoke the magic that makes you remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Tales of Halloween is simply an exercise in commercial appeal and marketability. If you look at the actual film, none of the tales, none of the cast members, none of the elements involving Halloween make any kind of distinct impression. You know why? It's because there's no way that any of the directors could put together a film that holds any kind of resonance or personal attachment within the scope of 7-10 minutes. There's no way that the actors involved could develop a fully thought out character in a matter of a few frames. 

Tales of Halloween embodies the very worst of the genre in that they put the word 'Halloween' in the title and have marketed it as 'directed by and starring....'.  All of this is done in an effort to play up to nostalgic memories that horror fans hold dear without actually delivering upon a movie that dives into what makes horror fans love these directors & actors and, most importantly, Halloween. [Not Rated] 92 minutes.

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