Sunday, October 13, 2013

Night of the killer naked mannequin: The Fear: Halloween Night (1999)

The Fear: Halloween Night (1999) (AKA "The Fear: Resurrection")
starring: Gordon Currie, Stacy Grant, Phillip Rhys
Just when you thought films like Tourist Trap and Maniac made mannequins quite the unnerving object to appear in a horror flick, you'll be in a big surprise...

A follow-up to the rarely discussed 1995 horror flick where a small group of friends in a cabin gets killed off by their own fears, Halloween Night brought us yet another group of teenagers who are planning to celebrate Halloween in a friend's countryside farm, as well as join him in a ceremony to help them harness their fears. My memory of how exactly this ceremony goes is a complete haze (nor do I recall anyone ever discussing it in the movie now that I think harder) but all I can tell is that it includes dressing up as whatever scares these teens the most in Halloween, which is quite unfortunate for this film's costume department as these kids dress in the lamest costumes ever. (one guy's afraid of taking risky decisions. You know what he dresses up as? A lame sheet with sharpie drawings of question marks all over it. charming...)

Anyway, our hero's biggest fear is his dad, who happens to be a serial killer who murders his victims based on their fears. Suggestions say that he's dead now, but our lead is so disturbed about this, he himself is in risk of snapping out crazy and might be the killer who soon starts murdering the casts after the hour mark. But then again, we also have a disturbingly (and suspiciously) life-sized wooden mannequin named Morty, who looks close enough to being alive. If you know your clichés, or love spoiling yourself with spoilers, then you wouldn't be surprised that it is...

Being made under the success of post-Scream teen slashers, Halloween Night is closer to a dead teenager bodycount flick than its predecessor and yet it fails to be anymore exciting. Even if we do treat this film on its own footing, it's hardly a decent watch as a lot of mumbo-jumbo about phobias and Native American rituals were tossed around but it never led to anything but lame teen talk. It strolls along like this in a lovely sluggish pace until Halloween night finally comes and the teens start to drop dead. Unfortunately, even at that the film hardly broke it's blandness streak; kills were tame and occur mostly off-camera, and a lot of uninteresting survivors popped up in the end, with all the good ones dead.

The biggest complain I have with this movie, however, is that it never utilizes its villain's full potential. Halloween Night tries to play around suggesting our troubled lead is the killer; sadly, this mystery isn't done well, so the revelation of a talking wooden totem isn't much of a shock. (or maybe it is depending on how much of a newbie you are when it comes to these kind of flicks. If you are, then you got a long way to go, buddy...) When Morty begins his killings, he stays with his MO of using fears to do murder, something that has its moments despite its cheesiness, but it's overall underused with so little victims and overly simplistic fears to exploit.

There's nothing to recommend about this movie save Friday the 13th's Betsy Palmer appearing as a kind ole' granny (the one you could hug and feel warm about without the risk of getting a knife on your back), so if you're browsing the stalls of your favorite video shop and/or rentals and sees this title, please take notice of the amount of dust and cobwebs hanging all over it. It's there for a good reason...

1 female hacked with axe
1 female hacked to death with axe
1 male bucked on the head by a horse
1 snake decapitated with switchblade
1 female found slaughered inside a box
1 male thrown through window, falls to his death
1 female had her head smashed against and drowned in toilet
1 male attacked by rats
1 female immolated in car explosion
total: 9
Seriously, what the heck is this guy wearing?


  1. This film sucks. Betsy Palmer intonates she knows what was going on and nobody asks her about it, nor does it come up again!

    1. We must respect her, then, by pretending this film doesn't exist.