Recently premiered at London’s Frightfest 2017 and playing this Friday at Cinepocalypse 2017!
THE TERRORS OF HALLOW’S EVE (2017)
aka THE TERROR, TERROR OF HALLOWEEN
Directed by Todd Tucker
Written by Ronald L. Halvas, Todd Tucker (story), Zack Ward (screenplay)
Starring Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read, JT Neal, Mcabe Gregg, Niko Papastefanou, Kent Kasper, Christie Nicole Chaplin, Christian Kane, Brett Stimely, Eric Roberts, Reatha Grey, Jade Warner, Jentzen Ramirez, Damaris Diaz, Chelsea Marie Mckenzie, Juliet Landau, Marissa Caprielian, Wyatt McClure, Peter Jason, Emma Rose Maloney, Todd Tucker, & Doug Jones as the Scarecrow!
THE TERROR OF HALLOW’S EVE is a confusing little number. It tries to have it all and because of it, just falls short of being effective. Filled with amazing effects and stunning visuals, the film is dazzling enough to admire, but it just doesn’t seem to know who its audience is.
A shy and introverted 15-year old named Tim (Caleb Thomas) is tormented by bullies and haunted by memories of a drug addicted father. Burying himself in horror films and monster-modelmaking that would make Tom Savini and Ray Harryhausen proud, Tim happens upon a book that tells the tale of a jester-like being called the Trickster who acts as a sort of Halloween genie who makes the darkest of wishes come true. When Tim wishes his bullies would be literally scared to death, they find themselves attacked by all forms of evil beasties. Once the terrors of Hallow’s Eve are unleashed though, it is difficult to get this genie back into its bottle.
THE TERROR OF HALLOW’S EVE wants to be scary for adults. It’s got swears, some decent gore, and some semi-adult situations, leading to some dire consequences. The problem is that because the actors are so young and because of the way it was filmed, it feels more like a GOOSEBUMPS episode. I don’t want to knock the film too much because I liked GOOSEBUMPS back in the day, but it should embrace what it is because it would be much more effective trying to be what it isn’t. I think if the swears were edited a bit and some of the gore toned down, this would be a film I would have shit my pants in fear from as a kid. As an adult, though, it just is too wrapped up in teen angst from a superficial level to be effective.
What does work is the extensive and impressive practical effects work throughout the film. Diabolic little puppets, giant monsters, evil scarecrows (played by Doug Jones!)—this film really does utilize an entire funhouse of horrors. While the film functions with a sort of kid like mentality, the effects work of THE TERROR OF HALLOW’S EVE are truly excellent. So while the tone is kind of all over the place with this one, at least there’s a lot of fun monster eye candy to enjoy.