The quality of these three Halloween horror flicks I’m adding to the complete holiday horror page vary greatly. Each one has a slasher element to it, but for different reasons, none of them fully commit to the subgenre. Let’s find out why.
HARVEST OF THE DEAD: HALLOWEEN NIGHT (2020)
Crazy that this is a sequel to a film from five years ago, especially considering Harvest of the Dead was an unexpected combination of horror anthology turned slasher.
Running only 72 minutes long (yay!), the sequel takes place literally the next day, on Halloween, when friends of the girls who went camping in the first movie are having a Halloween party.
Before that we see how it ends for the final girl from the first movie. Her parents are out in the woods looking for her, and a couple of detectives get in on the case, and spend a little too much time with exposition.
The film gives us a backstory for the killer from the first movie as well, and eventually the killer the masked baddie shows up at the party to wreak havoc.
The kills are bloody and use practical effects, plus there’s sex and nudity, including some fuzzy man booty. Now that’s how real slashers are made.
And just like the first movie, the sequel throws caution to the wind and crosses subgenres. As the masked killer is doing his thing, fricking zombies show up!
Any complaints I have about the first film or this one are kind of pointless, because I’ve got to give credit to a franchise that never sticks with one subgenre in each installment.
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE HORROR (2017)
72 minutes is more than long enough for this home video style film from the director of Easter Holocaust. As bad as this is—and it’s bad—there were a few moments that made me chuckle. Not that I’m recommending the film. So how bad is it?
Here’s a perfect example (see pic above). A guy in a hockey mask is attacking a woman in the first scene. There are cartoonish hitting sounds, and a cat even strolls by in the background at the bottom right at one point. Plus, we get the absolute worst CGI blood ever.
Next, friends gather for a Halloween party in what was the house of “Nancy Myers”, the woman attacked by the killer in the beginning. They literally show a shot of the actual Amityville house as the exterior of the house.
From there it’s just chaos for most of the movie. One girl starts babbling about supernatural stuff, then we are gifted with a short story with a guy in an alien mask, which makes the whole scene look like a sixth grade school play.
Next we get a short sequence concerning a detective that was on the hunt for the killer and became haunted by demonic entities.
Two characters suddenly watch a zombie movie starring and directed by the filmmaker. I really think he’s trying to be tongue-in-cheek about how bad his movies are.
Finally, a masked killer shows up. There’s one fantastically melodramatic stab kill scene that made me laugh, and then suddenly the movie starts taking itself really seriously as a slasher, complete with a final girl sequence.
This one gets the trophy for most Halloween spirit in this batch. It takes place in a house all decorated for the holiday, with four girls in costume awkwardly reuniting for some seasonal fun.
The tension between them becomes a little repetitive with too many uncomfortable pauses that hurt the pacing for the first few minutes of the film. We get it. Pussies are catty.
They decide to play a Japanese Q&A game that reveals some of their deepest feelings, after which they drink some sort of special tea that gives them each their own delusion.
That’s where this movie shines. Essentially it becomes a slasher anthology of sorts, with each girl having a delusion of being terrorized by a different freaky killer.
There’s some good gore, a nice twist at the end, and even mention of Hocus Pocus. Yippee!