Photo Courtesy of Sideshow Pictures

It’s October, and you know what that means. Halloween, the season of horror, is upon us! AMC has scheduled its month-long marathon of horror movies to get us in the mood. Stores have stocked up on candy and the uniforms of the undead necessary to harvest that candy. Seasonal pumpkin beers and pumpkin pies have found their way into fridges across the globe.

Halloween also means that the hard-working horror fanatics at Sideshow Pictures, who brought us Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, are preparing their latest film short. In 2011, they brought us the slapstick horror of a killer jack-o’-lantern in Night of the Pumpkin. In 2012, they brought us the hauntingly bloody story of Old Lady Death in The House that Cried Blood.

Now, in 2013, Sideshow Pictures is set to tell the tale of what happens when those centuries-old traditions of Halloween that keep the demons at bay are broken with their latest tale of terror, Children of the Witch. With a story touting undead children, an all-female slumber party, and a fearsome theme of Halloween that we have all but forgotten, Children of the Witch is primed to take this horror holiday back to its roots in order gain back the foreboding it has missed for years. The film gang is back together for the short: Frank Sabatella writes and directs; Frank Mosca of Harrington Talents produces; Jeremy Selenfriend of Monster in My Closet heads up the gruesome makeup and FX; even Samantha Hahn, who acted in Blood Night and NOTP, has been cast.

Photo Courtesy of Sideshow Pictures

When asked about what direction this short will be going as opposed to his past shorts like Night of the Pumpkin, Frank Sabatella explained, “Children of the Witch is not so much comedy, but it has a high exploitation factor, with girls running around in their underwear the whole time. That element gives it an intentional B movie vibe, so in a sense there will be some underlying dark comedic tones, but I think the scares are going to genuinely be scary and the death scenes are quite violent and gory. The humor will come organically as opposed to in NOTP where we went straight for the laughs and gags. It is going to be its own piece with its own tone.”

Photo Courtesy of Sideshow Pictures

When asked about how these shorts have been reflective of legendary Halloween rules, Sabatella said, “I think they have been reflective of some Halloween rules for sure, that is part of the fun. If I had to point out a lesson for Children of the Witch, it might be always check your candy.”

While we must still wait for Children of the Witch to be completed, there can be no denying that the movie will invest itself in the creepiness of horror movies featuring ghoulish children. But really, what makes killer kids so damn terrifying? It’s a theme that runs from Richard Donner’s The Omen and David Cronenberg’s The Brood to supernatural films of today. “Haha, I don’t know exactly. Maybe they reflect the oddness of childhood we forget as adults. I’m not too sure. But creepy kids are certainly a staple in horror, though, and I think they just add a frightening twist to any situation,” explained Sabatella.

Sideshow Pictures has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help gather funds for pre- and post-production of the film short, as well as giving us fans a chance to get some awesome swag for giving a helping hand. Rewards include onscreen film credits, DVD copies of the film, shirts, signed posters and scripts, and even props like the old-school masks worn by the actors and actresses.

You can give until you bleed HERE, as well as view a hilarious promo video by the creators.

By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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