The idea of piecing together multiple short stories to create a movie is nothing new. For the most part, these anthology series always turn out to be decent, at the very least, because they follow a tried and true strategy that has worked especially well for the horror genre. I am a fan of short story collections, so it stands to reason that I would be a fan of this entry into the horror lexicon, but my liking of this film goes a little past appreciation and straight into full-on fandom. If you haven’t heard of or seen Tales of Halloween, I will tell you why this needs to be a must watch every year.
Each of the stories is rather short, which is a good thing because most of them are great with no need to extend the story any longer, and it allowed the filmmakers to fit ten stories into a single movie with a standard run-time. There is a little something for everyone in these mini-movies, which are all expertly crafted to tell a big story in a few minutes. Each story is unique, but they manage to weave in details that tie a lot of the other stories together. What I like the most is that almost every one of the ten is a fresh idea, something you don’t come across in horror very often and not in horror anthologies.
Even though this is obviously not a big budget production, Tales of Halloween did a fantastic job with makeup and special effects. There was never a time while I watched this movie that I found myself scoffing at unrealistic scenes. Something that probably helped is that none of the stories are so outlandish that they would need unrealistic special effects. For the most part, this movie had great makeup artists and costume designers that created people and creatures that good actors brought to life.
Obviously, I was genuinely impressed with the acting in this film. I guess when you only have to act for four minutes of film, you can give it your all, but I didn’t think there was a weak link in any of these stories. Of course, none of the actors were asked to give an award-winning performance, either. Each performance was believable and engaging, which is more than you can ask from a B-level horror movie.
I don’t usually like sequels, especially when they are rushed to capitalize on the success of the first movie (See the V/H/S franchise) but I would love to see another Tales of Halloween movie. It is rare that a movie delivers the way that this one does. It is too bad that it should only be watched at this time of year because I think that I would watch it more often if it weren’t Halloween-centric. Other than the Michael Myers classics, this may need to be the go-to for this Halloween and all of those yet to come.