The Terror of Hallow's Eve Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
Released by Illusion Industries
Directed by Todd Tucker
Written by Ronald L. Halvas, Todd Tucker and Zack Ward
2017, 80 minutes, Not yet rated
Frightfest world premiere on 28th August 2017
Caleb Thomas as Tim
Sarah Lancaster as Linda
Annie Read as April
JT Neal as Brian
Screening at FrightFest last weekend was Todd Tucker’s Terror of Hallow’s Eve which promised an old school horror charm to get us in the mood for the impending Halloween festivities. So, does it deliver?
The film follows Tim (Caleb Thomas), an awkward teen that no one understands. His best friends are the monsters in the horror movies he watches and the comics he reads. Being a bit of an outcast, he finds solace in his basement making his own monsters and thinking up gory pranks for his peers. While out one Halloween he is terrorized by the local bullies in front of his high school crush. Fuelled by anger, he summons The Trickster who promises some payback on those that wronged Tim.
The movie starts out strong with a fantastically grisly prank played on a neighbour by Tim. The effects are very cool and the general atmosphere of the location is really beautiful. It’s a warm Autumn day with Halloween hanging in the air even without those gory props, Tucker has done a great job of capturing that magical time of year.
The whole film has that very popular air of nostalgia tingeing its every scene, think Stranger Things etc. This works in small doses but here the movie drowns in homages to films that inspired it. It’s great to have a nod to the genre here and there, but in this movie there is John Carpenter music, actors from his movies popping up and a mental institution named Haddonfield Mental Hospital, and these are just a handful of examples. It gets a little too much and it becomes harder to see this as a movie on its own merit.
The story itself is very basic and there are not many (if any) likeable characters, so when things get going, there’s no one to root for. Also, the ending may lose a lot of fans also as it feels more of an afterthought in an attempt to get a sequel going.
The acting, however, is great, Tim is a whiny little teen but possibly too much, he’s not the kind of character we warm to and possibly if there had been a bit more humour injected to his character, when things begin to spiral we’d feel a bit more for what he was going through. His mother (Sarah Lancaster) really displays the stress of being a single parent after being in an abusive relationship and Doug Jones is fantastic as always at making things creepy.
Considering it’s Tucker behind the camera, it’s no surprise the effects are pretty superb, one scene in particular that involves puppets coming to life is incredibly well done however The Trickster, although uses impressive use of practical effects and CGI, does at times look a little too much like Dobby the House Elf (Harry Potter) to really be anything truly terrifying.
The Terror of Hallow’s Eve is a fun monster movie for those looking for a quick trip of spooky nostalgia, but it lacks some genuine heart to set it apart to stand the test of time.