This modern horror anthology collection is every bit as entertaining and effective as its reputation suggests. Director Michael Dougherty has crafted a polished genre effort that arrives with the look and feel of a labor of love: There’s a solid cast of recognizable actors with genre credits, the special effects are terrific, and each of the individual tales are entertaining and scary in their own way. It’s particularly effective how Dougherty manages to capture the funhouse-like atmosphere of Halloween night, filling nearly every frame of every shot with Halloween-related or Halloween-adjacent visual iconography, which has the effect of reminding viewers of the dangers and thrills of the holiday as they’re watching those very aspects unfold throughout the five tales. It’s easy to see why this has become a beloved cult classic among genre lovers, and its audience will surely grow as the years pass because its jubilance over the holiday and the horror genre itself is palpable in just about every shot.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)