The Terror of Hallow’s Eve: An homage to the 80s golden age of horror

1 of 2

The Terror of Hallow’s Eve – Courtesy of Think Jam and Michael Garcia

The Terror of Hallow’s Eve, Todd Tucker’s second directorial feature is a throwback to the age of Carpenter, Craven, Romero and Hooper. An indie film with a very poignant message disguised as a horror film.

Be careful what you wish for.


Stephanie (Christie Nicole Chaplin) is walking home from school with her friends. This is a picture-perfect moment of 80s suburbia. Everything is well manicured, nothing is out of place.

After saying goodbye to her friends, she heads up a hill toward her house. At first, you will think, this is a familiar scene. It is very reminiscent of Laurie Strode’s walk in Halloween. Stephanie is hearing strange noises so she is a little spooked.

She comes upon a trail of blood leading to a row of trashcans. There she stumbles upon what appears to be a dead body with the guts splayed out. She screams only to be doused in blood splatter from the body. After she runs away, Tim (Caleb Thomas) gets up smiling and tells her, “See you on the flip side, Steph!”

While he is cleaning up the mess, he is collared by Stephanie’s irate father, Ed (Eric Roberts). Ed drags him to his house and confronts his mother, Linda (Sarah Lancaster). Demanding to know what Tim has done, Ed explains that there is something wrong with him and proceeds to tell her about the prank.

The Talented Misfit

After his altercation with Ed, once inside his house, Tim takes refuge in his workshop. He immediately starts to work on the creature he is building. Looking at him and his soulful eyes, you can tell he is fighting valiantly to hold back tears.

As a viewer, you hurt for Tim. For those of us who have ever been on the outside looking in, it is a potent moment. Linda trying to ease her son’s torment explains that she knows how talented he is but the other kids can’t see it.

Even though she means well, it still doesn’t make the realization that you don’t fit in anywhere less painful. In looking around Tim’s workshop, it is evident that he is a gifted artist. The fact that no one can see it is heartbreaking.

I can’t help but be reminded of the 1986 movie, Trick or Treat starring Marc Price. Similar circumstances for the main character of Eddie in that film that mirror Tim’s issues.

It Begins with a Book

Later on, that night, Tim is sitting in his bedroom eating cereal when he hears a noise. Following it into the hallway, he walks toward the attic. He pulls the stairs down and climbs up.

More from 1428 Elm

Nothing is amiss until he sees something move in a clothing rack. Opting to investigate, he moves a little closer and a demon like creature jumps out at him. Slightly spooked, he shakes it off and notices a box of family photos. He pulls a Halloween photo of him, his Dad and his Mom out to look at it.

Remembering the altercation on that day between his Dad and Mom is frightening and unsettling for Tim. After he goes down Memory Lane, he turns his attention to the Book of Halloween. Unfortunately, he reads from it and much like another famous horror movie, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, it is the beginning of the end. The portion that Tim reads is very much like an incantation to conjure some entity up.

About A Girl

The next day finds Tim and his Mom in a local convenience store. After an embarrassing episode with the beautiful cashier, April (Annie Read), Tim retreats to the safety of his Mom’s VW Bug only to accidentally nick the paint on April’s knuckle dragging boyfriend, Brian’s (JT Neal) car.

When Brian and his friends Spaz (Mcabe Gregg) and Chuck (Niko Papastefanou) confront Tim, the action soon turns physical. Linda happens to see this and reads the boys the riot act thinking she is helping her son. Obviously, this was not the right thing to do because it only exacerbates the situation.

Angry at his mother, Tim alienates himself by hanging out in his workshop. Profusely apologetic, Linda tries to breakthrough to her son but she is met with hurt indifference. As a peace offering, she gives Tim some money to go back to the store so that he can pick up the magazine that he wanted and milk. Reluctantly, Tim agrees to go.

While at the convenience store, he has a pleasant exchange with April that leaves him filled with hope. Which is soon dashed once he is confronted by Brian and his thugs in the parking lot. Incensed at the fact that Tim’s Mom dressed them down, they proceed to beat the crap out of Tim.

Battered and bruised, Tim struggles to make it home. It is on his journey that he happens upon a special item that will change life as he knows it forever. He will be introduced to the Trickster (Doug Jones) and a wish he made just might come true. Now, the “fun” will begin for some, for others it will be a nightmare come to life.