We’ve had several Halloween themed anthologies lately inspired by the success of TALES OF HALLOWEEN which personally I thought was pretty overrated. The latest of these is 10/31 a collection of five tales and a wraparound set on October 31st. And it may well be the best so far.
We start with two kids, dressed as an angel and a devil eating candy and watching a horror show hosted by Malvolia: the Queen of Screams (Jennifer Nangle IRRATIONAL FEAR). This sets us up for the stories we’re about to see.
First up is “THE HAG” directed by Justin M. Seaman (THE BARN), in which two amateur filmmakers think they’ve gotten a break being hired to shoot a commercial for a bed and breakfast. Problems arise when the owner can’t seem to stay awake and one of them repeatedly sees an old crone in unexpected places.
The second tale, “TRESPASSERS” concerns a first date on Halloween eve. When the movie they’re watching turns out to be awful the couple takes off for a local haunted house. With a history of gypsy curses, mass murder, and a malevolent scarecrow it’s the perfect place to go. Except the stories are true. Directed by Zane Hershberger who was the cinematographer on THE BARN, this is the best of the segments with some delightfully bloody effects.
John William Holt (THE DOOMS CHAPEL HORROR) directed the next segment, “KILLING THE DANCE” concerning a young woman who has to take her little brother to the roller rink where she works with her on Halloween. When somebody starts killing off the skaters things quickly take an unexpected turn. This segment has a bit too much skating and builds up, it could easily have been trimmed by a few minutes. It does deliver at the end though.
Next up is “THE HALLOWEEN BLIZZARD OF 91” directed by Brett DeJager (BONEJANGLES, THE LEGEND OF COOLEY MOON) in which a family snowed in on Halloween find an argument over whether Christmas is better than Halloween invokes some supernatural support for both arguments. Like BONEJANGES this is as funny as it is scary.
Finishing up with “THE SAMHAIN SLASHER” from Rocky Gray, who composed soundtracks for THE BARN and VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES as well as being Evanescence’s drummer for several years. It concerns a killer at a Halloween party. It’s fun if a little overly familiar.
And then we get the second part of the wraparound which ends with a nasty little twist.
Surprisingly for an anthology 10/31 doesn’t have any segments that are actually bad. A couple are less than great, but they’re still fun. It’s also good to see some non-directors get a chance to show they have the chops to do more in the future. And for those who can’t get enough of our hostess Malvolia, you can check out her YouTube channel.
10/31 is a film to add to your Halloween Eve playlist.