The Terror of Hallow’s Eve – USA, 2017

The Terror of Hallow’s Eve is a 2017 supernatural horror film directed and co-produced by Todd Tucker from a screenplay by Zack Ward (Bethany; Circus Kane; Restoration), based on a story by Ronald L. Halvas and Todd Tucker. The Illusion Industries/Quixotic production stars Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster and Annie Read.

Fifteen-year-old Timmy Stevens is brutally beaten up by high school bullies on Halloween.

Yearning for revenge while carving out a pumpkin head, he unknowingly summons up the evil spirit of the hideous scarecrow. Before long Timmy has unleashed a mighty supernatural force offering to grant his dark desires to scare his hated enemies to death…

The Terror of Hallow’s Eve will be available in North America via Redbox from December 11, 2018 onwards.

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“Director Todd Tucker (Monster Mutt), who also plays the older version of the protagonist in a contemporary-set coda, has a background in practical effects, and this is the main draw here. Elaborate puppets are aptly used, as the jester-like Trickster (Doug Jones) vivifies antique dolls, giant spiders and a mutant alien pumpkinhead to terrorise the unwary. The particular charm of this approach pays off with vintage creepiness…” Kim Newman, Screen Daily

“The tone of the film is pitch-perfect and it utilises some great locations to evoke some classic Halloween-inspired nostalgia. There are a few nice in-jokes too, paying homage to horror classics from the past, and Todd Tucker has populated his movie with a great bunch of genre actors […] The Terror of Hallow’s Eve also puts real stock into some practical effects and puppets …” Jason Palmer, Entertainment Focus

“What starts serious and upsetting morphs into something magical, twisted, and strangely fun. It’s reminiscent of Eerie Indiana and Gremlins, and there’s something about how the Trickster materialises that feels very Labyrinth; basically it’s a winner. An 80’s throwback to its core, The Terror of Hallow’s Eve taps into a strong vein of nostalgia.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

“If your audience is sitting there nit-picking and paying attention to the next Halloween tribute or Carpenter inside joke – and waiting for them – then your characters and indeed, your story as a whole – can only suffer […] Technically wonderful, but with too many fanboy call-outs and a clunky story – The Terror of Hallow’s Eve is worth a look, but I’ve got plenty of reservations.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News

“Screenwriter Zack Ward has put together a cool mythology and matches that with a strong command of the rules, which is a touch that I think is always appreciated by horror fans. […] The Terror of Hallow’s Eve is a horror-loving holiday treat with that will freak you out, if not scare you.” Benedict Seal, Bloody Disgusting

“…The Terror of Hallow’s Eve is relentlessly inventive even when it stops making any sense; The Trickster is a particularly vivid creation, a kind of Gollum character crossed with The Crypt Keeper (brilliantly played by Guillermo del Toro’s go to creature actor Doug Jones), and the rest of the pleasantly non-CGI and rather colourful effects are also well rendered, if not actually scary.” David Dent, Bloody Flicks

” …bucks the trend and goes for a more downbeat, sombre ending. And though many will say the ten years later epilogue seems tacked on merely to set up a sequel, I for one would welcome more evil escapades of the Trickster. As brilliant, warm, inventive and fun as his first film, only this time with an added evil streak and a dose of black humour…” Phil Wheat, Nerdly

“‘The Trickster’ in particular is a fantastical creation with subtle VFX used to add those finishing touches that obtusely bring the mischievous evil one to life alongside Doug Jones’s seamless performance.  Hallow’s Eve is a fun watch with inventive, gruesome moments as the supposed bad guys get their comeuppance.” Stuart Wright, Britflicks

…The Terror of Hallow’s Eve comes with a Joe Dante-esque merger of monsters and psychology, while also revisiting the hide-in-the-slatted-closet business of the original Halloween (1978) and the Haddonfield Memorial [here Mental] Hospital setting of Halloween II (1981). It is endearingly old school, yet still manages, in the end, to show how we are all, even today, informed and influenced by the legends of the past.” Anton Bitel, SciFi Now

“Acting across the board is strong – you really do care about Tim and April – the visuals, as mentioned, have a lovely throwback feel, and Tucker keeps up his pace well enough. So there’s plenty of good to be had. Tucker also isn’t afraid to shove quite a nasty sting on the end of his tale… ” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

Main cast:

Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read, JT Neal, Mcabe Gregg, Niko Papastefanou, Doug Jones, Kent Kasper, Christie Nicole Chaplin, Christian Kane, Brett Stimely, Eric Roberts (Sorority Slaughterhouse; Evil Exhumed; Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs; et al) Reatha Grey, Jade Warner, Jentzen Ramirez, Damaris Diaz, Chelsea Marie Mckenzie, Juliet Landau, Audrey Huynh, Allegra Copeland, Troy Verso, Baylie Hileman, Enrique Tito Contreras, Wyatt McClure, Marissa Caprielian, Peter Jason, Emma Rose Maloney, Todd Tucker, Tom Harrison, Eric R. Evans.

Filming locations:

Burbank, Los Angeles National Forest and Santa Clarita, California, USA

Trivia:

The film’s working titles were The Terror and Terror of Halloween

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