Since today's movie is all about Halloween, I will use pumpkins as my rating scale at the end. I wanted to try to watch something that was on Netflix that I know people can access.
So, grab a snack, sit back, and read more about this collection:
The plot to "Tales of Halloween" is difficult to explain. That's because Tales of Halloween is actually a collection of ten short films, probably by different writers and directors, all centering around the theme of Halloween.
I will give a short synopsis of each of the shorts:
1. SWEET TOOTH: A boy comes home with his trick-or-treat treasures to be watched by his babysitter and her boyfriend while his parents go out for a party. The babysitter's boyfriend tells him the story of a child who would go trick-or-treating only to have his parents take his candy after saying that it was bad for him and would make him fat and lazy. The boy comes down stairs to find his parents indulging in his candy. He kills them and eats the candy from their stomach. Now, kids are required to leave candy for "Sweet Tooth" or be killed by him. The night turns ugly when the babysitter and her boyfriend don't heed their own warnings.
2. THE NIGHT BILLY RAISED HELL: A boy's big sister and her boyfriend trick a boy into egging the home of a strange neighbor. The neighbor catches Billy (the boy), dressed in a devil costume, and takes him inside. You then see the neighbor leave with the devil and commit some funny and some rather serious crimes, including murder. Billy is in a lot of trouble when the cops come to find him, but was it really Billy doing those awful things?
3. TRICK: Adult friends are hanging out, watching scary movies, and waiting for trick-or-treaters. When one comes to the door, one of the friends goes to greet them with candy. The friends are shocked to see the trick-or-treater stabbing their friend and they soon find themselves overcome with seemingly insane children. But, is there a reason for their rage?
4. THE WEAK AND THE WICKED: A group of bullies is confronted by a teen in a devil costume. He passes them a photo of a scary beast and says that anyone who is weak wears the costume and calls on the beast for help will have their problems taken care of. What could these bullies have done to warrant murder?
5. GRIM GRINNING GHOST: An adult woman leaves her mom's Halloween party following the telling of a local ghost story. Her car then breaks down and she has to walk the rest of the way home. She feels something following her and runs home. Feeling as though she is safe, she snuggles on her couch. But what's that scary feeling that's made her dog leave the room?
6. DING DONG: A woman is distraught because she has no children. Her husband dresses their dog as Gretel, but it makes her turn into a red demon with creepy nails. The couple performs a little play for the trick-or-treaters featuring her as the witch and her husband as Hansel. A little boy dressed as Hansel visits the house and the husband tells the boy to leave so his wife won't bring him inside. But when they return inside the home, the husband shares a secret that causes his wife to lose it. What happened?
7. THIS MEANS WAR: This whimsical short features two neighbors competing to put up the best Halloween decorations on the block. One neighbor has carefully set up the same display every year for a decade while another is new in town and is trying to outshine the old timer. But, what causes the battle to end in murder?
8. FRIDAY THE 31ST: A serial killer is chasing a girl dressed as Dorothy. She runs to his shack and finds the remains of a friend. He eventually chases her down and kills her, but a small alien is dropped off via UFO and asks the killer for candy. When he refuses and steps on the alien, the alien inhabits Dorothy's body and they each attack one another continually until they both die. The alien then leaves with the killer's head.
9. THE RANSOM OF RUSTY REX: Two men see a wealthy local letting his son out to trick-or-treat. The capture the masked child and call him up for a reward. He tells them they've made a mistake and the men find out that the boy isn't a boy, but a monster who has now latched on to them. What will the men do to get their lives back?
10. BAD SEED: A man is carving up a pumpkin before a Halloween party. But his wife comes down to find that the Jack-o-Lantern he just created has turned into a killer monster. How many will the pumpkin kill before he's stop...or if he is stopped?
ACTING | 3/5
These are lower-budget shorts, so obviously there are no Oscar-nominated actresses or actors in the films, but Sam Witwer, best known for his TV series Being Human, was in the second-to-last short.
I think that some of these did feature pretty good actors and actresses. I think "This Means War," "Sweet Tooth," and "The Weak and the Wicked" were probably the best from an acting standpoint, but all the others weren't very good, if I'm being honest.
THE STORYLINES | 2/5
There was only really one short that I thought had a somewhat interesting storyline, and that was the first one, "Sweet Tooth." It was a creature story and it was rather entertaining. The story did captivate me. Most of the others were kind of lame or just didn't make sense at all. I would definitely have to rate this kind of low on the storyline rating.
SCARINESS | 1/5
If I thought I could give this a zero, I would. None of these were truly terrifying, which is something that is hard to come by with shorts and low-budget horror movies. I would say that these movies were more corny. If that is your cup of tea, you will like most of these. The corniest ones were "Friday the 31st" and "Bad Seed," but they all had a bit of corniness to them.
If you are one who likes to be spooked when you watch a Halloween movie, this isn't the movie series for you.
SPECIAL EFFECTS | 3/5
I do want to say that for low-budget horror shorts, the special effects were probably as good as they could be. However, when your short is put into a short film collection and placed on Netflix, you're opening yourself up to a bit more of criticism. The special effect makeup was really good in all situations, it was just the blood and the effect that makes it look like someone is bleeding that was just really sub-par and corny.
Mathematically, this rating results in a 2.25 rating, so we will round it down to a 2/5. I really think that is pretty fair. Some of the stories were great, which is unfortunate for them. They are kind of lumped in with lame stories or terrible acting and it keeps others from watching them. I suggest watching "Sweet Tooth," "The Night Billy Raised Hell," "The Weak and the Wicked," "This Means War" and "The Ransom of Rusty Rex." They are all still kind of corny no matter how you spin them, but they are the best in the collection.
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