10/31 (2017)

January 25, 2018 - 6:29pm | Meredith Brown

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Brett DeJager, Rocky Gray, Zane Hershberger, John William Holt, Hunter Johnson, Justin M. Seaman
Jennifer Nangle

Since recently reviewing the fun film anthology, Volumes of Blood, I was eager to give this a go around. Especially since it features work from Hunter Johnson, Jennifer Nangle and P.J. Starks. The screening paid off. This is just plain ENJOYABLE! With 5 gruesome tales over Halloween nights, (think Trick ‘r Treat!) all ending in some nasty twist, I was drawn in immediately.

Let’s begin with The Old Hag…

A pair of young, entrepreneur men are interviewing with a bed and breakfast caretaker for a commercial shoot to promote the property and services. The house is beautiful, the gentlemen are eager and the caretaker, Kathy is, well…tired. She’s very pleasant and extremely excited to begin the filming process, even offering the young men rooms in case the filming goes late into the night. Of course, she continues yawning and guzzling coffee like it’s going off the market.

Meanwhile, Tyler immediately inspects the home to take notes and begins to have visions. He literally, walks in on an elderly woman in the bathroom and assumes she is a guest at the Inn. But when she appears on camera, in “empty” rooms and then grabs his hand, Tyler gets spooked and wants to bolt. This old hag has an agenda and it’s deliciously clever when we find out what that really is at the end.

Trespassers is just creepy. A first date on Halloween ends up disastrous, as two twenty-somethings  venture out to an old estate to check on a haunted scarecrow that apparently drove a farmer to slay his entire family. Yes, I also hear the Amityville Horror distinction here, but this goes in a different direction that give it a unique twist. Brutal fun!

And then, on to a homage for Friday the 13th. “Killing the Dance” is my favorite horror short in this anthology. It features 80’s clothes, a roller rink of cheesy music and guys with mullets. How could you NOT love this? Ashley is a pretty teenager who clearly loves her little brother, but is at odds with their mother. On Halloween night, she takes her masked brother to work (a roller rink) with plans of NOT going home after her shift. Arguing with her older looking boyfriend who sports a porn-stache and a cliché amidst every other statement, it’s clear that Ashley is not a happy girl and wants to escape this hum-drum life.

And just when things can’t get any more dismal…a costumed cowboy begins swinging a sharp razorblade around the roller rink. It’s such bloody fun and a throwback to the glam decade of pop horror. The ending will definitely spark the Jason reference I made earlier. *clears throat.* With a few additional tales of terror, and our sultry host Malvolia (lookout Elvira!), this is a home run of blood-soaked tricks and treats!

Tales From the Crypt, Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents…this was my childhood. And to my delight, it seems that horror anthology films are making a comeback! Do you enjoy a good short? Is your favorite holiday, Halloween? Look no further…add in a little anecdotal comic relief and 10/31 makes for an enjoyable fright-night. 

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Meredith Brown's picture
Meredith Brown




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