All Hallows' Eve (2013)

November 1, 2013 - 7:02pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: All Hallows' Eve, anthology, Art the Clown, Brandon deSpain, Catherine A. Callahan, clowns, Damien Leone, Katie Maguire, killer clowns, Michael Chmiel, Mike Giannelli, Robyn Kerr, Ruthless Pictures

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Damien Leone
Katie Maguire, Mike Giannelli, Catherine A. Callahan, Michael Chmiel, Robyn Kerr, Brandon deSpain

This has been a movie I've been waiting for since I saw Damien Leone's previous shorts The 9th Circle and Terrifier, which was put him on a lot of people's radar. They were both creative, featured some decent practical and makeup effects and were pretty gory. Not only that, but they featured a mute and very creepy antagonist named Art the Clown. I knew that Leone was planning to incorporate his shorts into this anthology, but I was hoping he would change them in a way to where it wouldn't seem like we're just watching the same old shorts all over again. Unfortunately that's exactly how it is, which is the biggest issue I have with this, but I'll delve more into that later.

Much like any anthology we begin with the wraparound story about a babysitter and a couple kids having recently returned from a night of trick or treating. Upon emptying one of the bags a mysterious VHS tape falls out. They pop it in and Leone's short The 9th Circle starts playing. If you've already seen the short film then nothing has changed--a woman is abducted by a creepy clown at a train station and gets chained up with other women; tries to escape and encounters a bunch of creepers, etc.. The short is only 11-minutes long and was made in 2008, so it looks really out of place from the rest of the flick. However the makeup effects still held up pretty well.

The second story is actually something new from Leone, but sadly is also the weakest entry. It revolves around a woman who is alone and unpacking in her new home when she spots a light beaming straight at her from outside her window. Moments later she starts hearing things and before she knows it some shitty looking alien shows up and I guess tries to abduct her. I say "I guess" because it's sort of unclear at first what its intention was since there are scenes that seemed like the alien couldn't give a shit about her and spends most of its time looking like it's miming how to swim as it roams her place creeping through her stuff. The story is boring, Art the Clown is barely even in it, and the look of the alien is really poorly done.

The third entry is the only reason to even watch the movie, because it's Leone's short film Terrifier. In it we focus on a young girl who stops at a gas station where she witnesses that pesky Art the Clown mutilate the gas attendant. She spends the rest of her time trying to get away from him. If you haven't already seen Terrifier than you're in for a treat, because this is a solid entry featuring some great effects and delivers loads of Art the Clown mayhem for us fans. The only problem is the film was originally edited to look old and "grindhouse" so it seems out of place from the rest of the entries.

In the end All Hallows' Eve was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping to see something new and great from Damien Leone since he showed promise and seemed to get better with each short, but instead all we essentially have here is a couple short films that were originally free and available online tacked on with a boring new entry about aliens. Though, I did enjoy the wraparound segment (despite being a bit of a Ring ripoff), which is rare since most anthologies have really bad and seemingly pointless wraparounds. Either way, if I hadn't already seen two of the shorts I definitely would have dug this a bit more. Hopefully Leone's next venture shows a bit more thought and creativity behind it.

If you've seen Damien Leone's previous shorts then you've already seen half the movie. The only new aspect to the film was the second story and wraparound segment. While the wraparound was surprisingly decent, the new story was really half-assed, boring, and poorly done. If you've never seen the shorts before then the film is worth a look, but I'd skip it otherwise.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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