One of the things that I love about the horror genre is that its reach is so wide and you can have fans on both sides of the spectrum. While some people love their thrillers where the body count is low and the blood is seldom, others enjoy the grindhouse films with buckets of blood and some seriously twisted story ideas. Then there are people, like me, whose pendulum swings both ways depending on the mood. All Hallows’ Eve is not a movie for the faint of heart and will satisfy the bloodlust of those Grindhouse fanatics.
The idea behind All Hallows’ Eve is not entirely original, but they deliver it freshly. A babysitter finds a mysterious VHS tape in one of her kids’ trick or treat bags and, against her better judgment, decides to pop it in. She is shocked and disgusted to find what seems like a snuff film filled with short and brutal stories. While each of the stories is different, there is one thing that ties them all together: a creepy clown with a nasty smile.
After she sends the kids to bed, the babysitter can’t help but continue watching the mysterious tape. As the carnage continues, she begins to think that there is more to the tape than just a sick prank, especially when strange things start to happen around the house. It all culminates with an ending that gives proper closure to the film and satisfies those fans of blood and guts.
I didn’t especially enjoy All Hallows’ Eve for the simple fact that I thought it lacked in storytelling. The idea is not bad, but the short stories mail in decent plots in order fit in as much blood as possible. I may be getting old and soft, but I don’t think that most of the stories are scary at all; they are just gross. Being a grindhouse film, All Hallows’ Eve oozes with buckets of blood and body parts galore. The effects of this film aren’t going to pass for real, but I have to say they are pretty good for a small budget production like this one.
One thing that this movie did well was creating the villain Art the Clown. Art’s look is so simple, yet somehow that makes him even more terrifying. He is not a colorful “Tim Curry as Pennywise” clown, but instead, a black and white face-painted mime with a set of teeth that would be a dental hygienist’s nightmare. He doesn’t say a single word throughout the film, yet somehow manages to be one of the best parts about it. I think it was a mistake to not market him as a bigger villain. They even made a sequel to this film and didn’t bring him back.
All in all, this may not be my favorite horror movie of all time or even my favorite Halloween horror movie, but it is worth at least one watch if you are a fan of ultra-violent grindhouse movies. It’s kind of like watching an adult film; you are not there for the plot anyway. My one hope is that they will eventually give Art the Clown his own bona fide spinoff to explore that character and the mayhem he causes a little more.