Take a pinch of Carpenter’s Halloween, add a dash of A Bucket of Blood, a quarter cup Hauntedween and then mix that with every movie you’ve seen made by high schoolers for approximately 112 minutes and you’ll get Mr. Halloween.
Wait, hold on. 112 minutes?
While not an unvaliant effort for a couple of kids armed with their family and friends and a budget that might score you a used 2006 Toyota Corolla, Mr. Halloween still well overstays his welcome. You could trim a metric ton of nougat off of this treat and probably have something resembling kind of watchable.
Nothing this low-budget should be anywhere near 2 hours long. 90 minutes is pushing it, but 80’s probably your sweet spot, with a brisk 70-75 giving you just enough time to get in, show your stuff and get out before leaving a bad taste in the audience’s mouth.
I want Mr. Halloween to be that. There’s a lot of good here for some amateur fans making a go at a full length feature. Part of me wants to re-edit Mr. Halloween to be just that.
As it stands though, you have to chew through a lot nonsense to find just a small caramel center. People walking, unnecessary conversations with tedious dialogue, precious seconds of run-time just blown on the empty spaces between things. Spaces where tension could be created with the right kind of editing.
Essentially Bill Loomis is an upstate New York weirdo who runs a local garage haunt, a haunt rumored to use real bodies in its displays. Everyone in town calls this goofball “Mr. Halloween.” So why do so few genuinely suspect this guy for the disappearances of all the local high-school kids? Good question. It’ll take you about 10 minutes to figure it out and about and hour and a half for the movie to confirm your suspicions.
The Wolf brothers are clearly fans of horror and there’s some ideas and scenes here that rise above their surroundings. Particularly the early sequences in the haunt itself, which are pretty fun. I think the movie could have used more of that spirit.
It’s a genuine effort though, totally earnest in its presentation. I applaud these kids for making it and then (even more impressively) getting it picked up by a distribution company and getting it out there. Those are feats unto themselves at all stages.
In my heart I want to recommend Mr. Halloween, but I really can’t. It’s too serious to have much fun with, its shortcomings aren’t of the laughable variety and it’s simply just too long.
This one gets 1 guillotine down but a smiling jack-o-lantern up for effort.