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ALL HALLOWS’ EVE (2013)
Directed by Damien Leone
Written by Damien Leone
Starring Katie Maguire, Catherine A. Callahan, Marie Maser, Kayla Lian, Cole Mathewson, Sydney Freihofer, and Mike Giannelli as Art the Clown
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Iconic characters have saved many a film, and it does so again here in ALL HALLOWS’ EVE, another Halloween horror tale that tries to become the next big horror franchise. But while it did its homework on ways to make a movie monster scary, it kind of forgot to squeeze some kind of story into the mix too.
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE swipes a bit from THE RING, as a videotape turns up inside a trick or treater’s goodie bag. The kid doesn’t know where it came from, and though the babysitter doesn’t want them to watch it, the kids she is babysitting insist on putting it into the VCR. The film that plays is a short about a clown attacking some people intercut with images of brutality, insanity, and the bizarre. While the kids seem to love the show, the babysitter is thoroughly creeped out, and when she begins to get prank phone calls and hear creepy things in the house, her creep-o-meter goes off the scales.
While the story is highly derivative of everything from THE RING to WHEN A STRANGER CALLS to STEPHEN KING’S IT, ALL HALLOWS’ EVE stands out mainly because the killer clown, who goes by the name of Art the Clown (Mike Giannelli), is pretty terrifying. The black lipstick around corroded yellow teeth and bulging eyes makes for the stuff of nightmares, and seeing him pop up in the background and waddle his way towards the camera is bound to be enough to make any viewer shiver. Giannelli offers up a somewhat iconic role here as the creepy clown, making the most simple gestures and actions look as if they are coming from the most pants-filling nightmare you can think of.
It’s just too damn bad the story doesn’t match up, as what is not lifted from other iconic films is pretty paper-thin. The film serves as one random act of violence and stalking after another, as not only Art the Clown terrorizes the babysitter, but simultaneously another young girl is pursued by an alien robot thing for no apparent reason. There are also huge pacing issues in this film, as in between the clown and robot-alien attacks there are huge lulls of scenes of people slowly moving through houses being scared. I wish more content in regards to this found videotape and the origins of both the clown and the alien-robot were delved into and less was spent to add to the runtime with these dull scenes of young girls with flashlights.
As it is, ALL HALLOWS’ EVE has one damn scary clown that’s sure to cause you to sleep with the lights on. I can only imagine the fear would have been multiplied exponentially had the filmmakers spent as much time on the story as they did with coming up with the creepy as all get-out monster.
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