Welcome back to the 2017 version of my Halloween marathon. I seriously don't know if I have the time and energy to get in 31 movies, much less the 50 (yes, 50!) recommendations friends gave me when I asked. So, I'm going to do my best to watch and review all of these. Wish me luck, or come visit me in the sanitarium should I lose my mind in the process.
This is a day late, as I had a technical failure, but I'm not letting that stop me. Just a quick refresher on the iByte Films review system. 8 bits = 1 byte. So, instead of stars, I'll be rating in terms of bits, from 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest).
So, let's get to it. I'll keep these short and sweet, but I welcome a conversation in the comments below or on Facebook if you'd like to talk more details. First up is Tales of Halloween, which can be seen on Netflix.
Tales of Halloween is a marathon, suggested by Tracy Gaboury Allen of PopHorror.com. Last year I watched and reviewed Trick 'R Treat (link here). Trick 'R Treat serves up four tightly woven tales, making you forget at times you are watching an anthology. Tales of Halloween doesn't attempt to do this, but presents TEN tales with an underlying theme of all taking place in one town on Halloween night. Some are hits, and others are duds.
During the title sequence, I was taken aback at the resemblance to Game of Throne's title sequence. I double-checked, and yes, this film is only two years old, so it looks like GoT's inspiration reaches places I least expected.
There are some very weak films, including the opener, "Sweet Tooth". However, some are quite clever, and offer a twist on old genres. "Friday the 31st", "Ransom Rex", and "Bad Seed" are among my personal favorites.
My favorite surprise is Sam Witwer's (Being Human) appearance in Ransom Rex. In addition to him, there are several other appearances, including Barbara Crampton, Barry Bostwick, and more.
So, let's wrap it up.
Three reasons to watch Tales of Halloween:
- You want to get in the mood for Halloween and don't have much time. Watch one or two short films when you get time.
- You are hosting a Halloween party. This is a great film to have on in the background, and there are several great moments in these films that deserve a larger audience, where all can join in the laughs and head-shaking.
- It's Halloween. When the doorbell rings by enthusiastic trick-or-treaters, you may begin to wonder if these "tales" are happening in your own neighborhood.
Three reasons NOT to watch Tales of Halloween:
- You want to watch something remarkable, and contains layers of meaning.
- You have no patience for over-the-top stories, and no stomach for excessive gore. Nearly every story has one, if not both of these elements.
- It's not Halloween season. I just don't think I can get into these kind of stories before September or after Oct 31. It's like listening to Christmas music in July.
My overall score on this anthology? 5/8 bits. Granted, this is an average over the whole film. Some are a solid 7/8 bits, while others are more like 2/8.