Horror Film Review: Halloween Party (dir by Jay Dahl)

“What is your greatest fear?”

That’s a question that I found myself discussing on Saturday night as I joined a group of friends to watch the 2019 film, Halloween Party.

“What is your greatest fear?”

It seems like a simple question but it can be so difficult to answer. I know that a lot of people, at this very moment, would probably say COVID-19. Others would probably say climate change or creeping authoritarianism or Greta Thunberg’s disapproving stare. On Saturday night, a few people identified clowns as being their greatest fear. Leonard said that he didn’t like spiders.

Myself, I struggled to come up with one. It’s not that I’m not scared of things. I hate heights. I have a fear of drowning. I’m not a fan of dogs. But when it comes to my greatest fear, that’s a difficult one to answer. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of my fears were more abstract as opposed to being physical. I fear being at the mercy of pitiless and chaotic universe, the type that Werner Herzog always talks about. I fear having to listen to a boring conversation. I fear discovering that I picked the wrong confirmation name. In fact, I spent a lot of time on Saturday bragging about how my fears were so much more interesting than everyone else’s fear.

Then, on Sunday, I watched the original Poltergeist and I remembered that my greatest fear is actually accidentally eating spoiled food. Which could totally happen! I mean, what if they put the wrong expiration date on the package? What if you’re refrigerator stopped working while you were away and then started working at the exact moment that you returned home? You would never know that the food had been sitting there, unrefrigerated, for hours.

Seriously, I think it’s a pretty justifiable fear.

Halloween Party is all about being forced to face your greatest fears. It’s about a cursed internet meme. When it shows up in your email, you’ve got only a few seconds to type in your greatest fear and then hit return. Tell the truth and hit return in time and you’ll get a cute little dancing ghost. Lie or don’t hit return in time and an evil witch appears and announces that you will soon meet your greatest fear. Everyone laughs the meme off but then their fears actually do start to show up, killing not only the person who received the meme but also anyone unlucky enough to get in the way.

College students Grace (Amy Groening) and Spencer (T. Thomason) attempt to investigate the meme and try to figure out how to stop it. It all has something to do with the fact that horribly disfigured children were once housed in their dorm. Apparently, the children got walled up and have been after revenge ever since. To be honest, I couldn’t really follow all of the stuff about the kids and the fact that the kids were made up to appear to be kind of grotesque made it a bit difficult for me to really watch any of the scenes involving them. I kind of wish the film had just concentrated on the meme and the fears. That’s fun part of a film like this.

(For the record, Spencer is afraid of bears. Personally, I think he just needs to watch Grizzly Man a few times and he’ll get over it. Grace is scared of “vagina spiders” and that’s actually a perfectly reasonable fear to have because spiders are almost as frightening as spoiled food and they do tend to get everywhere. I did some research and discovered that, thankfully, spiders cannot lay eggs under your skin but still, whether they’re laying eggs or not, there are certain places that a spider just has no place being.)

Halloween Party is a fairly derivative horror film, as anyone who has seen any of The Ring films will quickly notice. That said, it has a sense of humor about itself and Grace and Spencer are appealingly quirky protagonists. There are more than enough creepy scenes to make up for the familiarity of the story. Halloween Party is a film made for horror fans by horror fans. Watch it at your next party but be prepared to confess what you’re greatest fear is. Don’t say spoiled food, though. That’s already taken.

Here’s The Trailer For Halloween Party!

Just in case you had forgotten that Halloween is just around the corner….

Here’s the trailer for a film called Halloween Party!

Judging from the trailer, this looks a bit like a low-budget film, which can often be a very good thing as far as horror films are concerned.  Too often, spending a lot of money on a horror film will take away the film’s authenticity.  The slicker the movie, the more likely it is that you’ll be reminded that it is just a movie.  Whereas low budget films have a rougher, more authentic feel to them.  You don’t need a lot of money to be scary.  In fact, it helps to have as a little money as possible!

Here Are the 75 (yes, 75!) songs that are eligible for Best Original Song

The Academy today announced the 75 songs that will be eligible to be nominated for best original song of 2012.  That’s right — 75 songs!  And here they are:

“For You” from “Act of Valor”
“Metaphorical Blanket” from “Any Day Now”
“Let It Rain” from “Being Flynn”
“Learn Me Right” from “Brave”
“Touch the Sky” from “Brave”
“Airport” from “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best”
“Come on Girl” from “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best”
“Someday” from “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best”
“Protect the King” from “Brooklyn Castle”
“California Solo” from “California Solo”
“Casa De Mi Padre” from “Casa De Mi Padre”
“Del Cielo” from “Casa De Mi Padre”
“Yo No Se” from “Casa De Mi Padre”
“No Other Plans” from “Celeste and Jesse Forever”
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
“By the Light of the Moon” from “Crossroad”
“The Sambola! International Dance Craze” from “Damsels in Distress”
“When You Comin’ Home” from “Darling Companion”
“Death by China” from “Death by China”
“Delhi Safari” from “Delhi Safari”
“Ancora Qui” from “Django Unchained”
“Freedom” from “Django Unchained”
“100 Black Coffins” from “Django Unchained”
“Who Did That to You?” from “Django Unchained”
“How Bad Can I Be?” from “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”
“Let It Grow” from “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”
“Thneedville” from “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”
“Ain’t No Train” from “Downtown Express”
“You Don’t Have to Be a Star” from “Fame High”
“Jose’s Martyrdom” from “For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada”
“Strange Love” from “Frankenweenie”
“Voodoo” from “Halloween Party”
“Luna Nascosta” from “Hidden Moon”
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Abraham’s Daughter” from “The Hunger Games”
“Master of the Seas” from “Ice Age Continental Drift”
“We Are” from “Ice Age Continental Drift”
“Looking for a Sign” from “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”
“From Here to the Moon and Back” from “Joyful Noise”
“He’s Everything” from “Joyful Noise”
“I’m Yours” from “Joyful Noise”
“Wide Awake” from “Katy Perry: Part of Me”
“Cosmonaut” from “Lawless”
“Beaten Up and Broken Down” from “Least among Saints”
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
“When I Grow Up” from “Losing Control”
“Love Always Comes as a Surprise” from “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”
“Ladies of Tampa” from “Magic Mike”
“The Baddest Man Alive” from “The Man with the Iron Fists”
“This Gift” from “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”
“Still Alive” from “Paul Williams Still Alive”
“Dotted Line” from “People Like Us”
“Snake Eyes” from “Promised Land”
“Razors.Out” from “The Raid: Redemption”
“I’m Not Leaving” from “Re:Generation”
“Still Dream” from “Rise of the Guardians”
“Undercover Love” from “Rock of Ages”
“Big Machine” from “Safety Not Guaranteed”
“I Be Here” from “Saint Dracula”
“I Have Secrets” from “Saint Dracula”
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
“Breath of Life” from “Snow White and the Huntsman”
“Gone” from “Snow White and the Huntsman”
“One Wing” from “Sparkle”
“Not Running Anymore” from “Stand Up Guys”
“Feel Love” from “Struck by Lightning”
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted”
“Never Had” from “10 Years”
“Dull Tool” from “This Is 40”
“She Won’t Let Go” from “Until They Are Home”
“Kiss Me Goodbye” from “Virginia”
“Anything Made of Paper” from “West of Memphis”
“Hashishet Albi” from “Where Do We Go Now?”
“When Can I See You Again?” from “Wreck-It Ralph”