A woman finds a VHS tape on her doorstep that shows a series of gruesome tales that could be real. But the true danger is the pumpkin-faced killer that’s using the tape to find his next victim.
I reviewed “All Hallows’ Eve” a few years back and really enjoyed it. I love that anthology movies are making a comeback, reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone” movie, “Creepshow” and “Creepshow 2.” Instead of one horror film, when done successfully, producers can incorporate several short stories and with limitless imaginations, the sky’s the limit. With “All Hallows’ Eve 2” however, although my expectations were set high, hoping that it would live up to its far-superior predecessor, sadly, while it is enjoyable periodically, overall, it is a big letdown. Part 1 had several stories and each one took their time setting up the plot and the characters within, here though, there are many more stories, some of them less than five minutes in length and it felt like the producers were more concerned with quantity over quality. Why make three short films when they can make six, or seven, shorten them and then squeeze them all into the film’s running time? There’s less time for us to connect with the characters so when their inevitable fate arrives, we don’t care about them because, ultimately, we don’t know them and weren’t given the opportunity to do so.
Like part 1, the movie starts off with a woman home alone on Halloween. As she is locking up for the night, she hears a knock on the door. Upon opening it, she discovers an old VHS tape and quickly takes it inside. Why she has a VCR in this day and age is beyond me but she does and so she begins to play it. That is where the anthology begins. We get a variety of different stories, from “Jack Attack,” about a mother and her young son who disembowel a pumpkin, cook the innards and then pay the price as the pumpkin gets the last laugh, “The Offering,” where a young man and his father must make a sacrifice, before the stroke of midnight, to a creature in the woods but upon realizing that they are missing the key ingredient, must decide which one of them is going to have to break the bad news, and “A Boy’s Life,” where a newly-widowed mother and her young son, must try and defeat the monster under his bed, utilizing her late husband’s military techniques.
There are many more stories, some only a few minutes long but overall, each segment is well-produced while the entire cast rises to the occasion and delivers admirable performances. There is no doubt that there will be an eventual part 3 but by then, I hope the producers go back to the original source and give us less stories with more concentration on character development and story exposition. After all, I want to care about the characters onscreen, not just watch them die in the most creative and imaginative manner.
Available on DVD February 2nd
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