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Film Review: The Last Halloween (short film) (2013)

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SYNOPSIS:

Four young trick-or-treaters set out on a door-to-door adventure – making their way from house to house, collecting strange treats as they go – that could very well end up being… the Last Halloween!

REVIEW:

To anyone who read my review of Remote last year (in case you’re interested,  you will know that Marc Roussel really impressed me with his ability to make a powerful, thought-provoking horror short. So, as you can imagine, when I discovered that this was Roussel’s latest film, I was instantly excited.

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For The Last Halloween, Roussel takes on a much more traditional horror/fantasy approach as opposed to the tense psychological thriller that Remote was. Set in an eerie, post apocalyptic world, a group of young trick or treaters make their way through the dilapidated urban landscape, encountering some strange folk along the way. One house that they get to refuses to take part in their game, and the viewer discovers that it is a terrified couple who suspect that there are more sinister intentions afoot. But it’s just four little children, right? What harm could they do? As it turns out, alot!

I won’t give away any more of what happens, as it would ruin your enjoyment, but things turn severely nightmarish and almost surreal even. There are a few different elements thrown into the mix, and despite the fact that simple ‘scare’ tactics are used, it still manages to be rather unsettling. I really liked the tone of the piece, as if it had come straight from a Tim Burton film (like A Nightmare Before Christmas, for example) – with odd characters, moody settings and ominous twists n turns. The Last Halloween was apparently based on a comic book by Mark Thibodeau and I would be interested to learn more about this ‘world’ that he has created. I personally felt that there was too much left unexplained throughout this piece.

It was slightly reminiscent of the 2007 Halloween ‘anthology’ Trick ‘r Treat, with lots of interwoven stories relating to that one special night of the year. I feel like if The Last Halloween were to be made into a feature length, using this format would work quite well, as there were lots of avenues which could have been explored further. Perhaps if it gains enough popularity, they’ll considering extending it in order to provide more of an explanation and back story behind the world it comes from. I’d definitely be up for watching that!

Whilst I cannot stress enough how much you should go give Remote a watch The Last Halloween doesn’t quite meet these expectations. It was a good follow up, but I didn’t think it was quite up to the same standard unfortunately. It was well made and a strong concept, but just didn’t deliver like Remote did.

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