10.31 is the anthology horror fans have been waiting for.
by Adam Holtzapfel
Clocking in at just over 90 minutes the new anthology 10.31 borrows more from 1986’s Deadtime Stories than recent anthologies (I’m looking at you Holidays).
The film starts with children watching Malvolia (Jennifer Nangle) The Queen Of Screams (think more local horror hosts in the vein of Chilly Billy and Fritz The Nite Owl and less syndicated ones like Elvira) as she shows 5 tales of terror on Halloween night. This wrap around tale directed by Zane Hershberger does an effective job of drawing the viewer in.
The first tale Old Hag directed by Justin M. Seaman follows what happens when a commercial is directed at the Montgomery Mansion on Halloween. Is it haunted, is it the director’s mind playing tricks on him, or is it just an old house?
Up next we have Trespassers directed by Zane Hershberger. Partially filmed at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, PA this vignette follows an awkward first date. After seeing a shitty movie that produced no scares, they’re out for the holiday thrill. Ending up at the abandoned Martin residence where a massacre occurred they find more than they hoped for.
Killing The Dance directed by John William Holt is a story that surprised me. In this story we meet Ashley and her brother Mikey who communicates through an electronic voicebox. Set in a skating rink has a real 80’s feel to it. It started off slow but had a good pay off with a couple of unexpected surprises.
Halloween Blizzard of 1991 directed by Brett DeJager was one that didn’t work for me. I liked the look and the fx, but overall this tale of Halloween being canceled just didn’t grab me like the others did.
Samhain Slasher directed by Rocky Gray is exactly what the title says. At times it seems to jump between possession and slasher inspired fare. This is another one that fell short for me.
Overall this series had some good FX and gore and a soundtrack that at times seemed like an updated Carpenter score. While the anthology take has been getting beaten like a dead horse this is one fans should have on their shelf. Fans of The Barn, BoneJangles, Close Calls, and Volumes Of Blood will also notice familiar faces peppered through out the tales.
If you’re looking to change up your Halloween night viewing replace the same old same old with a triple feature of The Barn, 10.31, and Tales Of Halloween. If you missed the premiere at The Hollywood Theater on 2/9 you can purchase a copy here.