While watching two children on Halloween night, a babysitter finds an old VHS tape in the kids’ trick or treat bag. The tape features three tales of terror, all linked together by a murderous clown. As the night goes on strange things begin to occur in the house. It isn’t long before the babysitter learns the horrifying truth… the maniacal clown is slowly working his way into her reality.
“All Hallows Eve” earns its weight in just being plain damn creepy off the bat. There isn’t much here that isn’t creepy whether you are you gazing at the disturbing eerie clown poster or jumping right into its Halloween centric plot line. And on that note, I’m happy to say that the top Halloween movies list has just added a new entry into its yearly checklist of holiday films to watch for seasonal preparation (not to mention the top clown horror movies list)
While director Damien Leone might be new to the game of horror features, he certainly is no stranger to the kind of material that genre fans want. His immediate sense of classic horror techniques and usage of fright tactics is quite refreshing to one who has seen too many horror films emerge without soul, impact, or purpose. Damien Leone who is also the writer on this production knew full well before creating “All Hallows’ Eve”, that by combining the impact of one damn scary clown, a Halloween baby sitter setting, and the clever way of interlacing it all within an anthology style makeup that the imagery from this film would sit long after the credits rolled on.
“All Hallows’ Eve” begins on Halloween night after Tia (Sydney Freihofer) and Timmy (Cole Mathewson) have returned from an evening of trick or treating. Their baby sitter Sarah (Katie Maguire) becomes concerned when Timmy pulls out a VHS tape from his candy bag. Not knowing what level of adult content it “might” contain, Sarah is reluctant to let them view its contents.
Though as the kids persuade Sarah to let them watch some of it, it is soon revealed as a anthology style horror film compressed of 3 short films. They view the first which introduces a rather unsettling clown who drugs a young girl only to set her within (what I’m calling) a form of Hell’s dungeon. This in itself is rather shallow consisting of a coven of demons who sacrifice a young pregnant girl to Satan.
This provides the evening’s entertainment before Sarah sends the 2 kids to bed. While waiting for their parents to return, Sarah decides to continue watching the rest of the video tape. 2 more stories emerge that range in impact full of gory moments interwoven between more classic horror film settings. Horror fans will recognize a twisted version impact mash up from films like “Stephen King’s It”, “Creepshow”, When a stranger calls” and “The Ring” as a base for inspiration here.
As each short fleshes out, it becomes clear that this demonic looking clown is the glue that links them together. When reality and fiction start to blur it is Sarah who finds herself in the real horror show here.
There are plenty of edgy portions that make “All Hallows Eve” a can’t-stop-watching experience. Without spoiling the fun, I’ll just say that the cleverness ramps up to match the pace of the film itself. Actor Mike Giannelli plays the role of “Art the clown” who upon research is actually reprising his role used in 2 earlier short films. Though fiction or not, Giannelli is not the Halloween clown you want to run into on a dark night. In other words, if Hell hired a clown, then “Art the clown” would certainly fit the bill.
As the film itself is subjected to a mix of good to mediocre reviews, I for one support the immense effort here that “All Hallows’ Eve” brings to the table by claiming it easily one of the scariest films I’ve seen this year. Dark and twisted, this movie just simply rocks.
It might be just enough marketing attraction to pull in interested viewers on the poster art alone, but marketing aside, the film simply delivers like a bullet to the head. “All Hallows’ Eve“, an instant scare classic in itself, tends to transcend its own setting by playing on viewers fears and sense of nightmarish realism. This in itself carries its theme right up to the end to make for a truly edgy creep show. If in doubt, the trailer alone will gear you up. As of the review the film is available on DVD, but I for one am holding out for a proper blu-ray release.