Starring: Andrea Monier, Damien Monier, April Adamson, Sergio Berón, Griffin Gluck, Bob Jaffe, Bill Oberst Jr., Helen Rogers,
Director: Jesse Baget, Elias Benavidez, Andrés Borghi, Jay Holben, Mike Kochansky, James Kondelik, Jon Kondelik, Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Ryan Patch, Marc Roussel
Writer: Jesse Baget, Elias Benavidez, Andrés Borghi, Mark Byers, Jay Holben, Mike Kochansky, Michael Koehler, James Kondelik, Jon Kondelik, Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Christopher Probst, Marc Roussel, Mark Thibodeau
Running time: 91 minutes
Rated: None (for graphic violence, language)
Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Society
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE 2 is available on DVD and Digital Video on February 2nd from RLJ Entertainment
All Hallows’ Eve 2 is another anthology film from Ruthless Pictures and producer/director Jesse Baget. Baget’s films have been hit or miss for me and this film is no exception. This film marks Baget’s third horror anthology and I use the term “anthology” loosely because All Hallows’ Eve 2 is not a true anthology. All Baget is doing here is piecing together eight short films that have been released before from previous years and including them here. The only originally produced piece for this film is the wraparound segment. So essentially what Baget is doing here is shooting his wraparound film and then adding it to the other eight films that he dug up and call it an anthology. I’m severely torn about this type of production; to me it’s lazy and deceptive filmmaking. Most real anthologies are comprised of segments that are shot specifically for said film. All Hallows’ Eve 2 has nothing at all to do with the 2013 original film, All Hallows’ Eve. What made that film so good was its centerpiece character of Art the Clown but he is nowhere to be seen here; instead we get the goofy pumpkin-faced Trixter killer. What happened to Art? In fact, what burned me up is that only three of the shorts out of eight had anything to do with Halloween at all, the rest did not. To me, if you’re making a horror anthology called All Hallows’ Eve 2; all the segments should have something to do with Halloween.
As I said before, I’m torn about this film. I hate the way Ruthless Pictures put this film together using previously shot films but at the same time it’s not those filmmaker’s faults and their
films deserve to be seen.
The film opens with the wraparound segment introducing us to an unnamed woman (Andrea Monier) who sees a masked, pumpkin-faced person standing outside her second level apartment. She takes notice but doesn’t seem to think too much about it since it is Halloween night. Later on she gets a knock on her door and when she goes to see who it is, there is a raggedy VHS tape on the floor in front of her door. She ventures into the hallway and looks down the stairs and sees the same pumpkin-faced guy holding a knife down at the bottom of the stairs. Again she doesn’t seem to put much stock in this and goes inside only to decide to throw the VHS tape into her player. Guess who shows up on the video tape? You guessed it, the same pumpkin faced screwball. Then each of the eight short films begin to play out.
First up is a segment called Jack Attack. It features babysitter Elizabeth (Helen Rogers) who is teaching little Elliot (Steve Anderson Jr.) how to carve a pumpkin on Halloween night. But the pumpkin doesn’t appreciate being carved up and gets his revenge in the end. Jack Attack is one of the better segments in the film with a nifty twist ending and some gruesome makeup effects.
Next on tap is The Last Halloween featuring four young trick-or-treaters in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world on Halloween night. As the group hit up houses in the neighborhood looking for treats, they get non-traditional goodies but one well-guarded and barricaded house won’t let them anywhere near the door. The couple inside seem to have their own problems going on. The four trick-or-treaters don’t take No for an answer and decide to change the rules. This is also one of the better segments with good creature design and a nice story.
The Offering is next with a hurried father and son driving to the woods to take an offering to an unknown menace. When almost to the drop off spot, the son discovers the father has forgotten to include one important component to the offering. Will the unknown force accept it now? This story is intentionally vague, leaving a lot to be explained. The cinematography and location used are excellent and this segment looks great.
A Boy’s Life is about a young boy who pines for his father who is either currently away in the military or is deceased. He is withdrawn and morose but believes there is a monster living under his bed. His mother tries to show him the monster under his bed is not real…or is it? This short features a pretty good story with wonderful acting.
In The Descent, a woman (April Adamson) witnesses her friend being killed by a psychopath and then weeks later she shares an elevator with the psycho. This short ends up being humdrum and has a twist ending that most will see coming.
M Is For Masochist is the shortest film of the group, clocking in around three minutes long. Three young teenagers arrive at a sideshow carnival, the barker (Bill Oberst Jr.) show them a man tied up to the spinning wheel. The barker allows the boys to use real weapons to make the man bleed with an unexpected outcome. This short doesn’t do much at all and it’s not long enough to go anywhere. It’s a wasted use of the great Bill Oberst Jr. and inexplicably his name is spelled wrong in the credits. The man deserves so much more than that.
Mr. Tricker’s Treat is the third segment relating to Halloween. Each year Mr. Tricker has the best Halloween decorations in the neighborhood. A nosy neighbor gets too close and discovers his decorations are all too real. This short was decent but nothing special. It was another brief entry out of the segments.
The final segment Alexia was my favorite of them all. It is an Argentinian film without subtitles (at least on my DVD version) so there is a bit of a learning curve to figure out what’s going on. From what I could piece together, Franco’s ex-girlfriend has passed away some time ago but she is still on his social networks and he finally decides to delete her. Unfortunately, her presence doesn’t like being deleted. This film was exceptional and truly frightening with some great shocks and impressive makeup effects, top notch.
We finish up with the wraparound segment. After viewing the entire tape, the woman is spooked and realizes after it’s too late the Trixter is using the tape to find his next victim…her. This wraparound film is shoddy at best. It makes no sense and the woman makes every stupid move in the book. Andrea Monier’s performance is fine but she can only deal with what she is given.
All Hallows’ Eve 2 was a huge letdown mainly because I enjoyed the first film so much and I guess I was expecting more. There are some great shorts here, no doubt about it. Three are really good but the rest are only decent. If you’re looking for a really good Halloween horror anthology, keep on looking because you won’t find it here.
2 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
Watch the trailer here,