Movie Review: All Hallows’ Eve (2013)
All Hallows’ Eve (2013)
Director: Damien Leone
Cast: Katie Maguire, Catherine A. Callahan, Marie Maser
Synopsis: A babysitter finds a mysterious tape containing the exploits of a malevolent clown.
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While it’s undoubtedly difficult to come up with something fresh in the over-populated horror genre, you’d have to go some way to find a movie that is so lacking in original ideas as All Hallows’ Eve. It’s a low budget feature directed by Damien Leone – and if you’re reading this, Damien, I suggest you stop now, because you’re not going to like what I have to say.
Has he gone?
All Hallows’ Eve sells itself as an anthology movie, but really it’s just a collection of scenes of women being terrorised before they are butchered. These episodes are the contents of a VHS tape (!) found by young Timmy (Cole Mathewson) in his trick or treat bag on Halloween, which he persuades his babysitter (Katie Maguire) to allow him and his sister (Sydney Freihofer) to watch. The tape contains three short horror movies, two of which feature a genuinely creepy mute clown called Art (Mike Giannelli). The first of these movies is about a young girl who is terrorised by a hideous mutant when she wakes up in a basement after an encounter with Art in a deserted train station. The second episode features a young wife who is terrorised by an alien who parks his spacecraft in the garden of the remote home into which she and her husband have just moved. The final instalment features a young woman who is terrorised by Art the Clown after stopping for gas at a remote station in the woods.
Let’s face it, Leone just wanted to make a film about women having the crap scared out of them, and wasn’t too concerned about giving them any kind of character, or attaching any semblance of a plot to any of the episodes. The film’s sole reason for existing seems to pander to the fantasies of those troubled souls whose fear of the women they desire is so great that they’d prefer to kill them than converse with them. Sure, Art slaughters a couple of guys in the final instalment – which is shot grindhouse style, complete with bleached colour and fake scratches – but only so that the woman’s terror can be ramped up a couple more notches. Art does make a creepy horror figure, but we never learn his backstory, and are given little explanation for his malevolent deeds, or why he is invincible.
The gore, at least, is convincing – as you’d expect from a director with experience in special effects – but Leone is woefully lacking as a director, incapable of putting together even an effective jump scare – one of the crudest weapons in the horror director’s armoury – or creating any kind of tension.
(Reviewed 27th October 2016)