It may not be the right time of year for a film so heavily based on Halloween, but is there really ever a wrong time for horror? No, I didn’t think so either. Even more so, there is never a wrong time for a flick that seems to get everything right! Enter horror anthology sequel, All Hallows’ Eve 2, featuring shorts directed by Jesse Baget, Elias Benavidez, Andrés Borghi, Jay Holben, Mike Kochansky, James and Jon Kondelik, Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Ryan Patch, and Marc Roussel.
When a woman finds a random VHS tape left on her doorstep, she can’t help herself from popping it in the old VCR and pressing play. What she witnesses is a collection of gruesome footage, one piece more unnerving than the last. The true horror, however, lies in the pumpkin-faced psycho who seems to be making his way closer to her with every passing scene.
Without ever actually seeing the first installment in what now seems to be an ongoing series and hearing some pretty negative stuff from Rottin’ Roger, I had never really expected to see an All Hallows’ Eve 2. When whispers of only good things started sprouting up around the internet, however, I decided to get my hands on a copy and see for myself. The verdict? This is definitely one I am glad I invested my time in!
With shorts covering everything from vengeful ex-girlfriends to monsters under the bed, All Hallows’ Eve 2 has it all. From watching the trailer for the first flick multiple times, I got the sense that the production quality wasn’t so great. With this 2015 sequel, on the other hand, overall production value is fantastic, especially for a low-budget independent flick with so many people involved in it. Each short looked impressive, featured great acting performances, and had a unique story to tell, without ever causing me to lose my interest one bit.
I have been involved in the horror genre in one way or another for as long as I can remember, so I still find it strange when an anthology film comes along and I have not heard of one name tied to the director’s chair. More often than not, this is a bad thing, but this time around, it wasn’t a problem one bit. Each filmmaker was able to prove that they have what it takes to make it in the already over-populated horror genre. Each short varied in length, but it didn’t matter if the segment was five minutes or close to a half an hour; Everyone was able to make their point perfectly clear, and did so wonderfully, I might add.
There really is no bad entry in All Hallows’ Eve 2, but I still feel it necessary to point out one of my favorites. The best thing about this flick is that it starts off strong and never really lets up. The first tale entitled “Jack Attack,” directed by Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan, is about Elliot and his babysitter who are getting ready to go out trick or treating. Before doing so, they decide to carve a jack-o-lantern and cook some of the seeds for a snack. After they enjoy some of the delicious goodies, however, things go horrible wrong. In something that would fit right into Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat universe, pumpkins immediately start growing inside of the duo’s bodies and burst out, leaving a trail of guts along the way. It is gory and amazingly entertaining all at once. The practical effects are impressive and this was a perfect way to get things started.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about each entry, so just know that you are in for a treat when it comes to All Hallows’ Eve 2. Like I’ve stated in the past, anthology films are perfect for the ADD generation and this is no exception. It will keep your attention the entire time and even had me begging for more. I hope to get another sequel in the near future and am pretty confident the quality will continue to increase. It is almost a night and day difference between these first two films and I can’t wait to see what could possibly be in store the next time around.
If you love anthology horror flicks as much as I do, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of All Hallows’ Eve 2. It is available today on DVD and digital from RLJ Entertainment.
I give this one 4.5 monsters under the bed out of 5.