All Hallow's Eve

Let me just start off by saying that All Hallow’s Eve is, as you might guess, horrendous. It’s not scary, it’s unnecessarily brutal, and it serves little purpose even existing at all.

The movie features a babysitter and two young kids…brother and sister, who just returned from a night of trick or treating on Halloween. In his treat bag, the boy finds a VHS tape. He’s 11, but somehow knows exactly what it is as soon as he sees it. Now, first off you’re thinking, wow- the writer has blatantly ripped off the entire premise of the also terrible horror anthology, V/H/S and it’s sequel V/H/S 2. The kid begs the babysitter to play the video, she argues they’re too young, he says they see worse on the internet (probably true), so she plays it. The kids watch the first of three frame stories on the tape with the babysitter…they are put to bed after story 1, and the babysitter finishes the last two alone while waiting for the kids’ parents to return home.

There are bits of homage to past horror films, especially Night of the Living Dead, which is playing on the TV before they start the VHS. You have to wonder what family today even has a VCR, let alone one that’s still hooked up and ready to be used. Silly things like this don’t matter when you can’t write a story to begin with. To be fair, the wrap around story with the kids is the best part of it all. The main actress, despite the scowl she wears the entire movie, is decent enough, and the two kids are both adorable and probably the best actors of the entire movie. They have nice chemistry as bickering siblings and the dialogue here is pretty spot on. The rest of the dialogue, however, is stilted and badly written for the most part, even in the wrap around story.

There are three segments/short films in this “anthology” (tho all were written and directed by the same guy)the first one features the clown character in what seems like a bus stop. A woman is kidnapped…and well, not a lot happens. There’s too much brutal violence and zero scares, and the violence serves no greater purpose than simply being there. The second story is even worse and includes what I assume are aliens and a terrible actress who screams a lot and falls down every ten seconds. The third and final story is the best, though it’s still pretty terrible. Again, terrible acting, bad dialogue, and no scares to be had here. All ending with a ridiculous special effects scene that should have never been included in any film, not only because it’s unnecessarily violent and semi-sexist (it’s weird stuff), but because it looks so insanely fake and dumb.

The wrap around story has a nice twist ending, but I won’t spoil what little fun might be had here. Thank God this movie was less than $10, because it’s not even worth that. I suspect writer and director Damien Leone has a future career of poorly written direct to video DVD releases, but then again, there’s really only one direction he could go from here, and that’s up. I will say one thing, the clown character is well done, the actor gives him nice movement, and his mannerisms are truly very creepy. If given better material to work with, even some of the really violent stuff would have made sense, given a few scares. There’s just nothing here to work with.

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