Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Horror Of...Halloween Night, Tales of Halloween (2016), In Short

Halloween is finally here! Let's party.

But maybe it's not time for that, or maybe you just need your horror fix to continue. So what will we watch. Something about Halloween, obviously. But what to pick?

So hard to choose. So let's go buffet on this. Let's go anthology film. So...

Tales of Halloween.

Tales of Halloween is a film from a collection of directors and writers. All of the tales take place in the same town on the same Halloween night. It's an offering of a range of horror tales that often have twists and turns that are dark, and sometimes strange.

We are brought TEN tales in this film. So it just doesn't seem feasible to start listing and describing them all. (Perhaps I'll break the movie segments down sometime, like another Halloween.) So let's look at the title screen the film gave us near it's start.

So we have ten stories over two hours. That is interesting to me. Usually when I see an anthology film it limits itself to four tales. So you can have up to half an hour for each tale. But with this breakdown, we are looking at shorter tales that are around ten minutes each, on average.

That calls for an economy of storytelling. Quick tales. Tight tales. Just like a good story you tell by the fire. (It also means that the stories are hopefully brief enough that you won't get bored in them if one doesn't work for you.)

But I do love having this wide range of tales, as it gives me a grab bag of options. It's like a bulging Halloween bucket, full of candy and promise. You can stick your hand in and see what you get. Enjoy the experience and adventure!

So let's talk about what these tales are made of.

The film's wraparound is built to be a strange and visually striking popup book world. The city is largely flat. But places do pop up, and beings, vehicles, and weather move around overhead. It's quite dynamic and fun, offering a playful sense to these dark and macabre tales. I enjoy when these things mix well.

To tie these tales together, we have the local radio station, and a DJ on the air this Halloween.

The DJ is played by Adrienne Barbeau. She is more of an ethereal character, momentarily appearing at the film's start. She then is a voice that is threaded into the film at certain points. She sometimes will take you into one story, or out of another.

It acts as a fun and instantly recognizable homage to The Fog, where she also played a radio DJ.

And being a Halloween film, you know there's a love and respect for John Carpenter's work. If you watch through all the tales, you can pull out numerous little shout outs to him.

And these tales had some surprising impacts on me. For instance, after a couple of them, where candy givers were stabbed by kids in costumes, I started to get worried. Should I...Should I be afraid of these kids coming to my door tonight?

It's never occured to me before...But...Can I trust these kids?

Any kid that comes to my door?

"I'm hewe to swawow youw souw."

I just love that the film was able to mess with me a bit.

And this film is full of monsters.

The supernatural type.

 The X-Filey type.

And some actual GMO monstrosities.

But the film does not leave out the far too human monsters along the way.

You can decide who you find the more unsettling.

And the range of conflicts take us from fights of families and couples...

...to fights within the community.

Along the way there will be spots and characters that will pop up over and over again, helping to further tie together this world.

As well, we have Romero's Night of the Living Dead. You can see the film playing in homes throughout the tales, it helps to show far apart in time each of your Halloween terrors are separated.

Thinking of back on everything happening this night, this town is certainly going to look interesting come morning. But at least you can go to the credits, and move on to other chilling tales on your Halloween.

I hope Tales of Halloween finds a spot in your list of To Watch films this Halloween. How else will you learn to ready yourself when Sweet Tooth comes to your house?

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