Under the Radar
Here we have another anthology feature just dripping in Halloween. The film is guided by a radio DJ as she goes through a significant amount of Horror stories for Halloween night. How many is significant? How about ten stories for an hour and a half long movie? The beautiful part of it - it doesn't feel like too much at all! As much as it might sound like the film is trying to cram too much into a short time, everything seems to flow surprisingly well, with some stories overlapping others. It works like 'Trick r' Treat' in that every story takes place in the same town, but it's presented something more like 'Creepshow'.
With those ten stories, there seems to be a little something here for everyone. Some of them have a good amount of dark humor to them, others are just straight up horrifying, and others are just okay. It ends up being an interesting balance. 'Sweet Tooth' and 'Grim Grinning Ghost' focus on urban legends while 'The Night Billy Raised Hell' and 'The Ransom of Rusty Rex' are more focused in comedy. 'Friday the 31st' is even a tribute to 'Friday the 13th', adding it's own dash of 'Evil Dead' gore, yet is probably one of the funniest shorts throughout the film. I could be here all day describing what each short is about, but I figure a Wiki page will save some space.
This year was my second viewing of this title, and I'm happy to say that I got more out of it the second time. I think when I first saw it, I wondered if things went a little overboard here. Watching it this year though, it just kinda struck me as doing it's job. There's some pretty gruesome body horror that goes on here from time to time, but I'd like to think that the creepy-factor of things outweighs that.
You're not gonna find a lot of recognizable faces here, save a few minor leaguers. Greg Grunberg might be the most easily recognized actor here. One might recall him from 'Heroes' as Matt Parkman, or more recently 'Star Wars Episode VII' as Snap Wexley. The only other face I recognized here was Madison Iseman, who can be found in the upcoming 'Jumanji 2'. Otherwise, it's a whole new group of actors and actresses, all of whom do a pretty good job with what they've got.
It's no 'Creepshow' OR 'Trick r' Treat', but it's definitely up there as far as good horror/Halloween anthology films go. I also have to give this one a bit of extra credit for it's opening credit sequence; a well done animation that one by one shows you the stories you're about to see, leaving just enough for you to wonder exactly what each story is gonna be about. I think that personally, I've found something new to watch on an annual basis.