It's Halloween Time. You can feel it in the air. All those displays of Halloween candy that have been on sale in stores since early August no longer seem out of place. The Christmas merchandise now on sale does, though. (By the way, if you actually bought a bag of candy in August, with the intention of saving it to distribute on Halloween, would you be able to do so? In our house that sucker would be eaten long before the first day of school, let alone Halloween! We have to buy candy about an hour before the kids come knocking, and even then it's not a certainty there will be any left for the trick and/or treaters!)
Every year at this time, we try to find a spooky film that will fill us with the "Halloween Spirit". We have our traditional favorites, like, "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein", and the original "Halloween". This year we also added "Hocus Pocus" to the mix. Not a great film, but it's entertaining, and Bette Midler is always creepy, of course. A personal favorite of mine is, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space", but that film addresses my own pathologies and isn't everyone's cup o' tea. Perfect Wifey pretty much refuses to watch it again. This is understandable, as she has had to sit through it more times than the director of the film probably did.
Every year, we try to find a new film to fill us with a fun dose of fear. I thought I had found a winner when I heard about a straight-to-video film called, "Trick 'R Treat". This film received raves from various online wags, so PW and I rented it last week. The film is a comedy/horror anthology set in a small town on Halloween Night. On the surface, it seemed like a winner. It had all the elements of a perfect creepy movie: A great atmosphere that really captured the feel of a small town on All Hallow's Eve and warnings from the film's characters about the perils of not respecting Halloween traditions. Best of all, it featured a creepy little character tying all the stories together: The mysterious, pint-size Trick or Treater, Sam.
Unfortunately, the film was a disappointment. Not a complete failure, but not something I'd rush out to see again, either. The various stories attempted to emulate the tone of the old E.C. Comics, but the stories just weren't interesting, and the payoffs were weak. The character of Sam was a real winner at first, creepy and mysterious with his dirty little footie pajamas and burlap mask over his big round head. Sam lost all effectiveness though, when his head was revealed to be a lame ghoulie head. (Oops! I should have preceded that sentence with a SPOILER ALERT! warning. Sorry.) He would have been scarier if the filmmakers kept his appearance a mystery.
PW didn't care for vampires and werewolves being randomly tossed into the mix (Oops, again! SPOILER ALERT!). I think that was the point of that story, though, so I didn't mind. In the end, the film failed to deliver the fun, scary experience we wanted. We'll have to look for our Halloween scares someplace else.
Maybe Wal-Mart™ is open late.