It may only be July, but it can take a while to get in just the right mood for certain annual festivities. So, thank goodness for the early arrival of a trailer for Tales Of Halloween – an anthology horror movie featuring ten different segments, directed by eleven different directors.
“Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only, to terrorise unsuspecting residents.”
In many respects, an advantage of a horror anthology is the fact that it allows for many filmmakers to showcase their work, giving the whole project a fascinating blend of flavours. However, what is notable about Tales Of Halloween, is that – despite – featuring the work of very individual directors, there is an overall tone that snakes through each one, making it feel very much like part of a larger whole. Happily, that tone is very similar to the work of director Joe Dante (Eerie Indiana, Gremlins, Burying The Ex), who is legendary in the genre.
Dante himself crops up as a cast-member, along with John Landis – famed for directing Twilight Zone: The Movie and An American Werewolf In London, among other titles. Joining them in front of the camera are Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries), James Duval (Independence Day), Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Keir Gilchrist (It Follows), Barry Bostwick (Cougar Town) and Lin Shaye (Ouija).
The directors assembling for the film range in experience, and each head up their own segment.
Trick by Adam Gierasch (Fractured)
Bad Seed by Neil Marshall (Game Of Thrones)
Grim Grinning Ghost by Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate)
The Weak And The Wicked by Paul Solet (Grace)
Friday The 31st by Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers)
The Ransom Of Rusty Sex by Ryan Schifrin (King In The Box)
This Means War by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp (Stay At Home Dad)
The Night Billy Raised Hell by Darren Lynn Bousman (The Barrens)
Sweet Tooth by Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red)
Ding Dong by Lucky McKee (All Cheerleaders Die)
It is clearly disappointing that, of the 11 participating directors, only one is a woman. The solitary non-male director – Axelle Carolyn – does pull double-duty as a producer, but that simply makes the gender imbalance all the more troubling. Tales Of Halloween is certainly not the only horror anthology movie to function with such a male-heavy directing group (see V/H/S, for an extreme example), but at a time when films such as the horror anthology movie XX are showcasing exclusively female horror directors, there really is no excuse for not including more as a matter of course.
Beyond that, Tales Of Halloween will be hitting the festival circuit over the summer, ahead of a wider release on October 16th 2015.