Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ALL HALLOW'S EVE 2 (DVD Review) - Image/RLJ Entertainment

Directed By: Jesse Baget, Elias Benavidez, Andres Borghi, Jay Holben, Mike Kochansky, The Kondelik Brothers, Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Ryan Patch, Marc Roussel
Written By: Various
Starring: Landon Ackerman, April Adamson, Ali Adatia
Color/91 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: February 2, 2016

The Film
A mysterious masked man leaves a VHS tape at the stairs of a young woman and when she puts it in her VCR (of course she has a VCR!) she finds that it holds several short films...

Jack Attack- Jack gets to carve his first pumpkin with his favorite babysitter but after eating some roasted seeds from the pumpkin Elizabeth notices something beginning to grow inside of Jack's stomach and then her own. - Enjoyable seasonal piece with a bit of well done and  believable stop motion animation. This was a nice choice to start the film off strong.

The Last Halloween - Four trick or treaters end up in the home of a paranoid doomsday prepper and we see their exploits - This particular chapter didn't do much for me at all, and the ending was much too over the top.

The Offering - A father and son drive deep into the woods to make a ritual offering to an unseen creature but forget an important part of the offering. - This entry is predictable but simple and effective. It has just enough substance and doesn't run long or feel padded in any way.

Descent - A woman gets stuck on an elevator with a man she believes murdered her friend. - Another predictable one but this one feels all too familiar and redundant.

M Is For Masochist - A short originally shot as an entrant to be part of the ABC's Of Death series that wasn't chosen. A carnival game soaked in blood, as Bill Oberst Jr (we couldn't have this movie without him!) is the barking carny promising prizes if you can draw enough blood from the victim on a spinning wheel. - I loved the idea of this, I love Bill Oberst Jr as the carny but this one needs to be realized as a bigger idea. There's something great here but it needs more meat on its bones.

A Boy's Life - A young boy is afraid of the monster hiding in his bedroom and tries at length to get his mom to believe him. - The only thing I'm afraid of is that I'll have to watch this short again. It is overly drawn out, boring as shit and really hurts the overall momentum of the film.

Mr. Tricker's Treats - The best decorated house in the neighborhood isn't going to the store for his Halloween props - Blink and you'll miss it. This one had potential to go somewhere, anywhere, but there was just not enough time to develop any sort of story or characters.

Alexia - On the anniversary of his girlfriend's death a man decides it is time to move on and delete her social media profile but something or someone won't let him delete it and is communicating with him through her profile. - I hope you're at least moderate in reading Spanish because all the communication is done via texting in Spanish except for a couple lines spoken in Spanish at the end. If you know basic Spanish you should at least be able to follow along. There's been several films like this released in the last couple of years and this one is about as successful as the rest - it's okay. Not the strongest choice to end on but a decent entry overall.

Eight stories plus the wraparound that is mostly inconsequential aside from giving a reason to be seeing these short films and we're left with similar results to many other horror anthologies with this many chapters. There's some good, some bad and it's mostly uneven but ALL HALLOW'S EVE 2 has enough worthwhile to give this one a look even if some of the better chapters leave you wanting much more.

The Audio &amp Video
Image/RLJ Entertainment deliver a nice looking DVD with an anamorphic widescreen presentation that features a clean and crisp picture. Colors and detail are good from short to short and there's only sporadic instances of black levels suffering from light compression issues. The audio features a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound mix that is even across all levels and allows the dialogue and music to compliment each other nicely. There's no background noise or damage evident. The small amount of Spanish spoken in the last chapter featured no subtitles.

The Extras
Not a one, not a single special feature.

The Bottom Line
Where I found the first All Hallow's Eve to be underwhelming at best, closer to total shit if we're being perfectly honest, I think the sequel picks up the pieces and ends up being an entertaining horror anthology that you can watch all year round.

ALL HALLOW'S EVE 2 is available HERE

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