It may not be Halloween anymore, but that isn’t stopping me from popping in a Halloween themed movie and on top of that, it’s an anthology one as well, which I did not know going in, so colour me super surprised and happy. With that excitement out of the way, is All Hallows’ Eve any good? Well, do killer clowns freak me the frak out? Yes, the answer is yes…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: While watching two children on Halloween night, a babysitter finds an old VHS tape in the kids’ trick or treat bag. The tape features three tales of terror, all linked together by a murderous clown. As the night goes on strange things begin to occur in the house. It isn’t long before the babysitter learns the horrifying truth… the maniacal clown is slowly working his way into her reality.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: Sarah is babysitting two spoiled brats, both of whom can kinda act, but not really. One of the kids finds a blank VHS tape in their candy bag and miraculously enough, the family happen to still own a VCR. So, Sarah decides it’s okay to watch it with the kids (hey, I’m all for loose parenting and watching horror movies, but random blank tape, from random stranger, with the potential to have nasty granddaddy porn on it? Count me out!). The tape starts playing and we get introduced to the first tale of terror, about a girl who gets kidnapped by a creepy killer clown, called Art the Clown and is chained up in some tunnels. The girl wants to escape and in the process, she meets a bunch of sick monsters and the devil himself.
The second tale is about a woman, who is alone in her new house and during the night, a bright light flies overhead and cuts the power out at her house. Strange noises start occurring in the house and the woman finds herself being terrorized by an unknown and not of this world assailant.
The last story is about a woman who is travelling the empty roads and stops at a gas station, only to run afoul of the killer clown.
Tatlock’s Opinion: Wait a minute! This movie premise sounds awfully familiar. If you guessed V/H/S, you would be right, as the basic premise is very much the same, but in All Hallows’ Eve’s case, the movie doesn’t suck. The three stories on the tape are loosely connected with each other, with the second story being the one that is farthest from the other two. The clown is a character that unites each story, with the babysitter story being the wraparound that ties everything up, with the killer clown trying to break into our reality. If it wasn’t for the clown, most of the scariness would be absent from the movie, but thankfully besides the second story, he has a pretty predominant role in the scares.
It’s hard to explain why I enjoyed All Hallows’ Eve so much, especially when you take in the fact that the acting is just okay, with the kids being pretty bad (no offence children). I enjoyed looking at Sarah, the babysitter, who was played by Katie Maguire. She does a pretty good job at portraying a girl who should’ve heeded the warnings of every single Halloween movie ever; you don’t babysit on Halloween night! Mike Giannelli steals the show with his speechless portrayal of a clown, who is out for some blood and doesn’t mind getting a little dirty in the process.
Speaking of blood, All Hallows’ Eve has some pretty impressive practical effects going for it, with no CGI that I could tell. It’s got lots of blood and gore, especially with the last of the three stories and the ending of the wraparound, which will probably put some people off, but I was grinning from ear to ear (call me a sadist if you like). Also, throw in a nod to the annoying Halloween III song and a soundtrack that incorporates clown music, you got some creepy shit on your hands.
Verdict: All Hallows’ Eve won’t be for everyone, as the stories are loosely connected and the acting is just okay (save the clown and babysitter) by low budget horror standards. As for me and why I recommend the movie, I loved the creepy clown and the gnarly gore. Combine those two things together and throw in a Halloween III reference and baby, you’ve got my Halloween appetite quenched.