All Hallow’s Eve 2 may require work to enjoy, but that’s not unique. Horror anthologies are a dime a dozen, with nearly all of them being of a mixed bag of quality. Some stories you might like, others your probably won’t. Then again, it’s possible that all the candy sucks…or, like Charlie Brown lamented so often while out Trick-or-Treating: “I got a rock.” Some people think All Hallows’ Eve 2 is like a collection of disappointing, dull rocks. Maybe they’re made out to look candy, but most people don’t find them sweet, and would actually regret putting them in their proverbial mouths.
However, All Hallows’ Eve 2 probably isn’t hated by everyone. For those of you looking for a relatively mild anthology horror, you could probably do worse than watch this collection. And yes, this movie is nowhere near as freaky/gory/violent as the original. Its directors — Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Marc Roussel, Ryan Patch, Jay Holben — also keep the stories oddly short. Most lack sufficient time to develop any characters, or even a coherent plot. Still, that’s not exactly a new phenomenon in horror, and some wouldn’t even care about that detail (or lack of detail, one supposes).
The Best Story? That Would Be “Descent”
Directed by Jay Holben, “Descent” is both the scariest, goriest and possibly most tragic story of the bunch. In fact, it could have easily been extended to a full-length movie, though likely plays better as a short. It features a woman, Andrea (April Adamson), who witnesses a murder, and her ongoing fear after that tragedy lends itself to another. There is a decent buildup of paranoia, and the average viewer should have no hard time understanding the character’s motivations and reason for panicking. It’s also great for its initial premise of finding a killer in his daily, non-murdering life (which is equally as interesting as when a killer kills).
The second best story may be “Jack Attack,” directed by Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan. It stars Tyler Rossell and Helen Rogers in a tale of a Jack-o-Lantern carving gone wrong. It’s actually not very clever, but potentially fun, reminding one of the simple joy of carving into a good ol’ pumpkin. The 3rd best story is probably Elias Benavidez’s “A Boy’s Life,” starring Griffin Gluck as a boy (Christie Lynn Smith) trying to prove that his monster under the bed is real. While some call this story boring and predictable, that may be attributed to short attention spans or jaded horror film viewers who require gore or obvious villains to be interested in a story. This one’s not bad, but could have been broader in scope.
Where is Art the Clown?
Damien Leone’s original All Hallows’ Eve featured a sinister (and fairly memorable) evil clown named “Art” (Mike Giannelli). While his presence dominated much of that film, he doesn’t even pop up to say “Hi” in Part 2! Well, some people don’t like that fact, and will quickly let you know that in reviews. However, it does raise the question: Must a horror sequel continue the same themes and rely on the same menacing mascot?
Keep in mind that John Carpenter originally wanted to ditch Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise sequels, and actually did so with Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Many didn’t like switch, for obvious reasons. However, that film has come to be a bit of a cult classic over the years, and perhaps more so because it’s not universally loved (making its enjoyment seem more personalized). It seems a similar fate could be had for All Hallows’ Eve 2, which may work as a good introduction to horror for younger viewers.
What are your thoughts on All Hallow’s Eve 2? Let us know in the comments!