Studio: Entertainment One
Director: Sean McGarry
Writer: Ray Mamrak
Producer: Mary Boregino, Roy Koriakin
Stars: Danielle Harris, Ashley C. Williams, Courtney Baxter, Stephen Medvidick, Raymond Mamrak, Josh Flitter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Matthew Nadu, Tiffany Shepis
A mysterious killer uses a Halloween attraction as the setting to take revenge on a group of former childhood bullies.
“Hallows’ Eve” is a mess. Although a writer is credited in the title cards, at no time does it feel as though the film is actually working from a finished script. “Hallows’ Eve” has a Halloween attraction as a location and a basic concept for a slasher to kill a group of loosely affiliated teenagers. The dialogue and the story then fall around that skeleton framework by happenstance and without any noticeable passion at all to create a memorable film.
Because she is a stutterer, a half dozen bullies lob pumpkin innards and demeaning insults at little Eve Bates while she pulls a wagon in the cornfields of her family farm. Eve runs for safety, but flees face first into an oncoming tractor and becomes permanently disfigured. Ten years later, the farm is gearing up for its annual haunted hayride event, making it the ideal milieu for a hooded maniac to kill unsuspecting teenagers.
Whose face is under the hood? Is someone taking revenge for the tragic accident that scarred Eve’s face ten years earlier? Are these teenagers being punished for their roles in that incident? Well, it is difficult to know for certain. “Hallows’ Eve” features a revolving door of nondescript characters that come and go as they please, without offering any clear explanations as to how they relate to the story, or if they even do at all.
Only three of the six bullies have their names spoken in the opening scene, and those include Donna, Sandy, and Tommy. Going by the credits, which list actors for character names preceded by the adjective “young,” the others may include Nicole, Beth, and Matthew. Except Matthew is later referred to as the person driving the tractor, even though the younger and older actors look nothing alike, so the second boy cannot be him.
Things move into the present, and the film introduces a wannabe Slim Shady named Rudy. Rudy and two of his delinquent cronies turn Eve’s private dressing session into their own personal peep show. Rudy and his pals are spooked when they see that they have been ogling Harvey Dent in underpants, although the visual violation upsets Eve even more.
Rudy’s two buddies then disappear. But not the kind of horror movie disappear where they turn up later as corpses. They just vanish altogether, as though completely forgotten by the script. Rudy instead moves himself to a group that includes Joe and his sister, Ashley, Roy, and sisters Tina and Kate. Bodies then start dropping from this septet, although it is not clear how they relate to the flashback scene of Eve’s accident. This is one more person than was responsible for chasing Eve out of the cornfield and none of these girls are named Donna, Sandy, or Beth. Already flush with more characters than the story can keep straight, additional stoners Kerone and Marty are tossed in just to confuse things more.
An older Donna finally shows up late in the movie and greets a grown up Beth. Donna mentions that she is at the haunted hayride to bring jackets to her kids, one of whom is apparently Kate, while Beth implies that she has a college-aged daughter named Ashley. Okay, so this must be the same Ashley and Kate that are part of the new group of friends. Except that Donna and Beth were at most high school age just ten years ago and now they have kids going to university. That would mean Beth and Donna were pregnant at age six or seven.
Biological impossibilities aside, maybe this indicates that the killer is offing relatives of the bullies who teased Eve in the past. But figuring out who is related to who is a task that the movie does not even bother tackling. Roy is alternately referred to as both Nicole’s brother and her stepbrother. So does that mean Nicole is or is not a member of the Bates family? If not, how is she related to Matthew or Eve? We know for certain that Marty is Kerone’s cousin. Though we are less sure if Kerone is actually the character’s name, since he is listed as Ricky Rude in the credits. But a misnamed credit is more than Joe’s sister gets, as her name is never even spoken in the movie. She also appears to be a different ethnicity than Joe, although this could not be verified since there is no way to positively identify who the girl was. However, we can be sure that Tina and Kate are sisters, since one of them literally exclaims, “I’m your sister!” There is also a sass mouth box office attendant named Sarah and a shifty looking farmhand named Eugene. Aside from existing as possible suspects or potential victims, they are about as pointless as anyone else.
Confused yet? If not, the dialogue pushes things over the top with a word soup of possibly ad-libbed blah blah blah that can be partially forgiven for not making sense since the story it supports does not make any either. At least no one has to listen to it when the hayride tractor is in operation since the engine noise completely drowns out the audio.
The smartest thing the production does is cast Danielle Harris, ensuring that at least her dedicated fanbase will be forced to ignore better judgment and actively seek out the film. Just know going in that this is among her briefest roles in recent years. Human Centipede link Ashley C. Williams also models her underpants in two scenes, while a pair of unnecessarily bared breasts fills the shameless nudity quota in other sequences.
Ghostface, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers all have their signature looks, while the slasher in “Hallows’ Eve” is content to slum it in a boring black hoody and blue jeans. “Hallows’ Eve” fancies itself as a horror whodunit, but there is no redeeming quality in the production that would make anyone care about the outcome. Poor acting, poorer editing, and somehow still poorer splatter effects ensure that “Hallows’ Eve” more than earns its concrete slippers for a burial at sea.
Review Score: 20