Overall Grade: B
Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker
So this might be one of the best movies to watch on Halloween I know of. Weaving together five tales that all occur on the same night in the same town, it isn’t, strictly speaking, a phenomenal story. It contains several plotholes. The acting is sub-par. There’s some needless gratuitous sex and violence. You know…Halloween in a nutshell. Spoilers from here on out, so wrap your head in a burlap sack and read on! If you can read through all that burlap.
The stories it tells involve a woman who hates Halloween, a group of kids going to an abandoned rock quarry, a group of college girls looking for dates, a father and son who have a twisted definition of the holiday, and an old man with a secret that’s coming back to haunt him.
The first story is more a prologue, but, as it turns out, happens at the end of the movie, chronologically speaking. It does a really good job of preparing the viewer for what they are about to see: A story with sex, fake blood, a hint of the supernatural, and lots and lots of pumpkins. Seriously, this movie must be set in Morton, Illinois, pumpkin capital of the world (though this is heavily debated) based on the crazy number of jack’o’lanterns seen throughout the movie. Each story has its own dark twist, including a man who seems to regularly kill children and women, a bus driver who killed a bus full of mentally challenged children, and a bunch of werewolf whores.
The number of child deaths in this movie is staggering. Something like 13 or 14 of the deaths in the movie are children. The one point where this movie loses me is in the climax of the film when the old man is fighting the burlap-sack-covered large-headed child that keeps cropping up from story to story. He’s a creepy, creepy kid until that sack gets ripped off, and we see hokey effects that remove the fear and cause more chuckles than anything else. Sticking with my propensity for letting the audience’s imagination take over rather than show something and give a goofy, childish looking face to it.
All in all, while it’s not a great movie, it’s a great Halloween movie, and I highly recommend curling up with a pumpkin beer, lighting some bleeding candles, and breaking out the candy you told trick-or-treaters you were out of while watching this movie. It adds to its ambience.
My Rating: 84
Body Count: 22