Since Halloween is right around the corner, I figured I should do a Halloween themed review. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found Halloween Tales (2017) because it was a Halloween themed movie and it was an anthology, which I’m a huge fan of them. After watching it, I’m not really sure why it was called Halloween Tales because it had absolutely nothing to do with Halloween.
Halloween Tales is an eighty-two-minute horror anthology that was written and directed by Geno McGahee. The story is about four people that are stuck in a train station and decide to start telling each other about their worst nightmare. Through each person’s tale, they cover ghosts, monsters and a couple of slashers that are looking to shed some blood. Unfortunately, what the four of them don’t know, is there’s something waiting for each of them that’s even more terrifying then they could ever imagine.
Yeah, so four people sitting around telling stories, that’s what this one is all about. Four, boring, unimaginative stories. Yes, two of the stories cover ghosts and monsters, which could be considered Halloween-ish, but none of the stories actually have anything to do with Halloween itself. I mean come on, if you title your film Halloween tales… then make it about Halloween! They literally could have called this movie anything else. Like Killing Time, Nightmares, The Last Train or Kill Me with Boredom, but nope, McGahee decided to jump on the Halloween ban wagon and trick people into watching his miss titled movie. Why am I so certain about that? Because back in March 2015 Geno McGahee released a film called… Scary Tales: Last Stop (aptly named) and it’s the same movie down to the cast and storyline. The only difference between the two movies is the cover art. As a moviegoer, I don’t want to pay to see the same movie, but with a different title, especially if I didn’t like it the first time. I find it kind of messed up to retitle an old project just so it can get more viewings around a time of the year that people do a title search for “Halloween” movies. In my opinion, that’s a d**k move, McGahee.
Aside from using this movie to tell horror stories, McGahee also uses it as a chance to make a point about social change. One of the characters, Douglas, is a bitter and closed minded guy that has nothing in common with the people around him. As everyone is talking he tends to take stabs at them with how he sees the world. Throughout the movie, Douglas is forced to see people in a different way and we start to see a change in his ways. So, props for that McGahee.
The playthrough was so dreadful that after the first story, I was done with the movie. I stayed with it hoping things would get better, but they never did. For eighty-two minutes I got to sit and slowly choke down non-scary stories that were filled with bad acting and bad dialogue. After it was all said and done, I would say the best parts of this movie were the cover art and the song playing during the credits, which was Super Sonic Freak performed by Bad Boy Eddy. Everything else between those two points was an absolute fail.
Some of the faces you’ll see is Chris Geoffrion (Sickle), Leeann Aubuchon (Family Secret), Julian Lowenthal (Power Trip), Xoe Rose (Scary Tales: Last Stop), Ray Surprenant (Sickle) and Logan Lopez (The Trouble with Uncle Max). For most of the movie, you’re either getting bad acting or extreme overacting. I do have to give props to Logan Lopez, out of the entire cast he was the best actor they had, but he’s not in the movie very much.
Now, I understand not having a lot of money for special effects and having to do what you can with what you’ve got within your reach. That’s actually one of the reasons why I like watching low-budget films, to see how they pull everything off and still make it look good. So, with a budget of $500,000 I expected to see a solid combination of imagination and good camera angles to take the burden of the special effects, which has been done before and it looks good. Unfortunately, between the camera angles and the editing, some of the scenes come off hard and choppy, which actually made things look worse in the end. There’s no gore in the movie, the most you’ll see is bloody moments here and there and there’s not a lot of those.
Summary : Overall, if you're looking for a Halloween treat, then keep looking.
It's rated UR (unrated) but has language and violence.