An 80s throwback that never quite makes enough of its premise, The Terror Of Hallow’s Eve is certainly a watchable affair.

High on style and with a pleasant focus on practical effects, it’s a pretty simple tale, handled well.

Actually we shouldn’t be too surprised by the practical effects slant as the film comes courtesy of writer/director Todd Tucker, famed up to this point for his creature work on the likes of Hook, the Pirates movies and much more.

Based in part on his own experiences as a child, the film follows Tim/Timmy/Timothy, a high school horror nut who spends his time creating his own model monsters in his basement.

Pretty much a loner (and stunted emotionally after his father walked out on the family home some time previous), Tim comes a cropper thanks to a handful of stereotypical school bullies – the jock, the airhead etc.

Handily for Tim, he happens upon the ‘Book Of Halloween’ while scouring his attic, which tells the tale of the Trickster, a villainous jester-type character who is capable of wreaking havoc on behalf of those that request it.

Wouldn’t you know, one chopped pumpkin and a splash of blood later and this same Trickster (Doug Jones) is very much real, but how will Tim use him/it…….

We are told right from the off that the film is set in 1981 and there are certainly some neat flourishes to place the film in that era, most notably the use of some John Carpenter music.

We even get an opening scene which could easily have been lifted from the file marked ‘Laurie Strode walking home from school with her pals deleted footage’.

However (and this may simply be a budget/rights thing) not enough is made of this avenue – the posters plastered over Timmy’s walls are from fake films (with uninteresting posters) and, if you squinted, the film could just as easily be set in present day.

I also had a problem with the character of Tim (Caleb Thomas) – yes, in many ways he is your stereotypical teenager, but he also comes across as pretty unlikeable at times, complete with giving his mother a ridiculously hard time (unfairly it must be added).

The film also has a postscript which is totally superfluous, other than allowing Tucker to crowbar in another Carpenter reference that is pretty clumsy.

Anyhow, enough of the negatives as, like I said right at the outset, I did enjoy The Terror Of Hallow’s Eve – it is slick, well put-together and the effects look great (most notably in a nightmarish puppets sequence).

Throw in a neat soundtrack and a pace that never flags and I am pretty sure most genre fans will find something to enjoy here.

Horror Channel Frightfest Review: The Terror Of Hallow's Eve
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.