Gruesome Reviews

“All Hallows’ Eve 2” (2015): An Anthology Worth Picking Apart

The review for All Hallows’ Eve 2 contains spoilers. So, watch the dang movie before reading this or go to my final thoughts to see if I deem it worthy of your time.

This little ditty is an anthology film and one thing I’ll say about anthology horror films is I usually enjoy them. Not necessarily every segment but I can usually find at least one or two segments to make it worthwhile. Maybe I enjoy them because I am not that guy that enjoys an epic 3 hour film or a two hour chase film (sorry guys and gals I’m sure you know to which film I am referring but in the words of Jimmy Norton’s one line from the Sam Rami Spider-man film: “it stunk and I didn’t like it”). So maybe that’s why I like anthology films — one segment can bore me but at least I know it will be short lived. Much like  Tales of Halloween (2015), I was amped for that movie but it did not deliver like let’s say Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat (can’t wait for part two now that he is done with Krampus). Most of the segments were very short, I will give a score to each segment and a final overall score and here….we…go!

All Hallows’ Eve 2 has eight segments and a wrap around that was pretty lame. We kick off with the wrap around segment where an un-named woman played by Andrea Monier is on the phone with a friend having boy talk. She hears a knock at the door and there is a VHS tape laying there and at the bottom of the steps is someone holding a knife while donning a pumpkin mask using real jack-o-lantern flesh. Naturally she puts the tape in and the segments begin.

The first segment entitled “Jack Attack” (d. Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan) gives us Elizabeth, a babysitter played by Helen Rogers and her quarry Jack played by Tyler Rossell. They carve a pumpkin and place the seeds in the oven for noshing later. Everyone proceeds to eat the seeds including the dog and baby pumpkins grow in them and their stomachs explode in an array of blood, intestines, pumpkins and vines. Not a bad start; not scary, but gory.

The Thug likes so far:  3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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The second segment is “The Last Halloween” (d. Marc Roussel). We get four children going around a rundown town trick or treating as a ghost, a witch, a devil and a grim reaper. As they go door to door we get the distinct feeling that things just aren’t quite right. The kids come upon a fenced in estate with a video monitor where the owner, Jack is telling them to go away. He and his wife live in a dismally empty home with an empty baby crib. The dialogue between Jack and his wife is very vague but you can tell some terrible things had befallen them in the past as she argues to let the children in against his refusal. The kids do get in the house but as a real ghost, witch, devil and reaper. The reveal here with the real monsters was pretty intense. After their “visit” they exit the house again as creepy kids in costumes and as the camera pans back it reveals a post-apocalyptic setting. This was one of my favorite segments. The use of grays with subtle color made it very dreary which fit the theme they revealed at the end. Again

Thugee likey:  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Thirdly we get “The Offering” (d. Ryan Patch). This one was kind of lame as it did not explain much all A father and son are in a hurry to get to a designated point in the woods by midnight to offer a plate full of bones, trinkets and meat; but hey where’s the meat? Dad forgot it so he sends the son out to plead with an unseen monster saying they will double the meat next time. In a selfishly slick move the dad locks his son out of the truck and pretends the locks are stuck as he gets taken by the monster and dad drives away unscathed.

The Thug was not a big fan  1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)

Segment four brings us “Descent” (d. Jay Holben). In this segment we get to witness the downward spiral of Andrea played by April Adamson. Andrea went to visit her friend who she finds a bloody mess in her bed while the killer is in the bathroom whistling a tune. As he is getting ready to leave he hears Andrea’s phone ringing. Good thing she left it downstairs, the killer gives it a look then exits stage right. We flash to a few months later and Andrea is working late at the office and decides to go home. As she boards the elevator someone else gets on, who? I’m glad you asked; her friend’s killer, yep apparently he works at the same building. Throughout the tense ride he tries to make conversation as Andrea becomes more unraveled. As she is hyperventilating she removes a pen from her purse. The killer begins to whistle the familiar tune, Andrea’s phone goes off revealing the tone the killer heard when he was leaving the scene of the crime and he reaches for her as she massacres him with the old pen to the neck routine. The elevator comes to rest in the lobby and as she exits security is there along with the desk clerk all having the same face as the killer. Andrea regains her senses only to discover that none of the men including her murdered victim were the killer. This was not scary but was definitely intense from the start.

Ok, the Thug is back in  3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Segment five gives us our shortest segment staring a friend of Gruesome Mr. Bill Oberst Jr., the segment is entitled “Masochist” (d. James Kondelik and Jon Kondelik). Bill plays a carnival barker named Sade who stops three teenage friends to “play” his game. A masked man is tied to a spinning wheel and the boys get a choice of a series of things to throw at the man ranging from a chainsaw to knives to shooting a nail gun. The reveal is that it is the one of the boy’s abusive father on the wheel. As the dad pleads with his son not to do anything, the son lifts his shirt up revealing multiple bruises. He tells his dad to not be a pussy as he proceeds to unload with the nail gun.

Very short but we do get Bill at his usual best and for that the Thug was entertained 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Segment six throws us a little tale called “A Boy’s Life” (d. Elias Benavidez). Max played by Griffin Gluck is a young boy dealing with the loss of his soldier father and living with a single mom played by Christie Lynn Smith. Max thinks there are monsters in his room at night which wears on his already emotionally drained mom. She feels it’s his way of dealing with the loss of his father. In this short segment we get to see a wide range of emotions and eventual reconciliation between Max and his mother when she indulges him and they play Army in the room and he kills all the “monsters”. Max hears a noise that night and yells for his mom who comes to remind him they got all the monsters. Well apparently they didn’t, she gets dragged beneath the bead and we get a screaming Max to end the segment. Very well acted, you can feel the strain and raw emotion of dealing with loss and apparently monsters.

Thugalicious 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Segment seven brings us yet another very short treat entitled “Mr. Tricker’s Treats” (d. Mike Kochansky). Right from the start you can tell that Mr. Tricker played by Michael Serrato is just not right. The gig here is he invites kids in for treats and poisons them. He keeps them in captivity and uses them for his Halloween decorations by either drugging them unconscious or killing them. He just recently hung one of the boys in the front yard and Monica played by Carrie Seim compliments him on how real his props look. As she turns to walk away, Mr. Tricker decides to get himself a new prop.

Short and fun, my big bro Santos would love this segment and as did the Thug:  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Segment eight gives us a foreign language subtitled piece called “Alexia” (d. Andres Borghi). I like Dave Dreher do not dig subtitles; that’s right Thomas, there are more of us out there. However, I did enjoy Alexia. It is set in a dreary apartment where an unnamed late teen to early 20’s guy played by Sergio Beron is on a Facebook like site chatting with his new girlfriend while struggling with unfriending his last girlfriend who has apparently passed on. In a Ring-esque type fashion a ghostly figure whose face is covered with hair keeps showing up on the monitor with some cryptic messages. He gets freaked out and unplugs the computer. His new love stops by and as he is in the bathroom, she decides to go in the computer room. In a creepy scene he comes up behind the chair where his girlfriend is watching something on the monitor of the computer that is still by the way unplugged. He spins the chair around to reveal his current and old girlfriend have switched places and she’s not that pretty anymore. The dingy and dark grays used in this segment make you feel the struggle that is going on inside the boyfriend that is still dealing with the struggle of his depression and moving on.

Not bad for a subtitled segment, Thug approved  3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Now the worst part of this movie was the wrap around (d. Jesse Baget) which just showed the pumpkin masked killer getting closer to the camera between every segment. As the masked killer gets face to face with the lens our un-named “star” pulls the tape out and the camera turns to her with psycho pumpkin killer behind her about to pull the old “slit the throat” routine. The wrap around was by far the weakest point of the film.

Thugadud  0.5 out of 5 stars (0.5 / 5)

All in all I will say that I did enjoy this film. As horror fans I would venture to say if you don’t like all of the segments I’m fairly confident that you will find at least one of them to make watching worthwhile as there is a number of horror genres mixed in here. I will not put it on the same tier as Trick ‘R Treat but if I had to choose I would say I liked this better than Tales of Halloween. The Thug recommends this, go ahead and get you popcorn and give All Hallows’ Eve 2 a watch, oh and save me a seat and some popcorn!

All Hallows’ Eve 2 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)  on the Thug Meter

 

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JJ Fitt
Joe lives in the coal region of Northeastern PA with his beautiful wife Mary and their French Bulldogs Watson and Xander. He's a huge fan of all things horror and can't explain why especially since he was afraid of everything as a kid. He co-hosts the Indie Infestation podcast which gives a platform for those involved in the indie horror scene to get their name and projects out there. When he's not working he is usually watching the latest horror movie or show, at the gym with his wife or taking in a sporting event, Eagles! His all time favorite horror movie is the original Halloween, still effective to this day. Hit him up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or drop an email, let him know what's awesome.
JJ Fitt
Joe lives in the coal region of Northeastern PA with his beautiful wife Mary and their French Bulldogs Watson and Xander. He's a huge fan of all things horror and can't explain why especially since he was afraid of everything as a kid. He co-hosts the Indie Infestation podcast which gives a platform for those involved in the indie horror scene to get their name and projects out there. When he's not working he is usually watching the latest horror movie or show, at the gym with his wife or taking in a sporting event, Eagles! His all time favorite horror movie is the original Halloween, still effective to this day. Hit him up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or drop an email, let him know what's awesome.