Director – Dylan R. Nix (Baron Von Laugho’s Halloween Spook-A-Thon)
Starring – Ethan May, Cheyla Hyde, and Jennifer May
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Tales of horror”
A few years back I was browsing hashtags on Instagram when I came across a post for the horror anthology Baron Von Laugho’s Halloween Spook-A-Thon. This looked like a movie made just for me. I reached out to director Dylan R. Nix and was able to grab a copy. I can safely say that this film is essential Halloween viewing for indie horror fans. I absolutely loved the stories and atmosphere. It delivered on the Halloween vibes unlike many of the other Halloween centered films of recent years.
Fast forward a few years and this last Halloween season Dylan released an anthology series consisting of four tales called Sharp Candy. The trailer looked like more fun so I snagged a copy for my collection. October was a rough month for me and my family so I wasn’t able to check it out until now. Thanks Dylan for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The series consists of four shorts running anywhere between 15 to 25 minutes. The first tale, Janey’s Night which follows a young woman who is terrorized by a supernatural force. The second tale, The Pawnbroker, follows a pawnbroker who is slashing prices but soon something else is going to be slashed. The third tale, Tohell Road, follows a sibling pair who venture down an isolated road and have a run in with a sadistic clown. The fourth and final tale, American Trickers, follows two trick or treaters who decide to get even with their principal but find something else has beat them to him.**Spoiler Alert**
I watched a couple trailers for this release and was extremely excited to check it out. After watching all four episodes I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed each short for different reasons but the overall release was just missing something.
The acting in this one is solid. The entire cast is fantastic which is unusual considering almost all of them have no prior acting credits on imdb. They are extremely comfortable in front of the camera and do a fantastic job with their characters. With that being said, Nix is a scene stealer. He is fantastic in his Baron Von Laugho alter ego and brings a lot of humor and torment to the film. I hope fans get more of this character in the future.
The stories for this one are nothing new to the horror scene but they work. Their short running time works in their behalf. Most look great and really fit the Halloween mold but my biggest complaint is a wraparound segment that holds them all together. I know the shorts have nothing in common, aside from sharing a character or two, but they just play one after another without something tying them all together. I’m used to anthologies having a bookend segment even if its something as simple as Tales from the Darkside: The Movie where the witch is reading stories or the television series Monsters which followed monsters watching television. Sharp Candy really needed something to hold it all together.
Finally, this one has some blood and effects that work for the gag but nothing memorable. The focus of this series is the stories and Halloween and not so much the carnage and gore. Overall, Sharp Candy Season 1 is highly entertaining and a welcomed addition to my October playlist. I highly suggest fans of horror and Halloween in general snag a copy. You only have 9 months before October begins!