I just caught this one as it came in the mail from Netflix today. I was pretty hyped for this movie from the get-go. Honestly, all you really need to do is give me a Halloween-themed horror movie and I’m there.
It’s just too bad it took two years after the initial release date for us to see this one. It was originally slated to be released theatrically in October 2007 by Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures, but for some reason I’ve never heard, they pushed the release date back and eventually they gave it a direct-to-video release this month. Seems like a very strange thing to do, I can understand a movie getting pushed back, but for it to be demoted to a video release seems highly suspicious. Did the director sleep with some WB exec’s wife? The only other thing I can think of is perhaps the studio was uncomfortable with a few of the murders and didn’t want to put up with the inevitable backlash that a theatrical release would bring about.
So here’s the deal, while the title and movie/DVD art may make you think this is some Halloween ripoff, it isn’t (though I do think Sam has potential to be the next great modern horror icon). It’s anthology. There are four different stories running concurrently, some more connected than others. I don’t think the movie ever says so (maybe they’re in the credits) but the stories are titled “The Principal”, “Surprise Party”, “The Halloween School Bus Massacre Revisited” and “Meet Sam”.
The movie is rated R, but this isn’t some extreme horror that takes things over the top like Wolf Creek or Saw. There’s blood and gore, but it is never overdone and mostly the movie is just plain fun. With the twists this movie kept having, I could help but get the feeling this was a rated R Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode because this is obviously a horror movie, but really is meant to be a fun ride and not necessarily a scary one. It is an obvious labor of love and I really think this movie can become a cult classic and Halloween tradition for years to come.
Definite recommend and one of my favorite horror movies from the last few years.