The Curse of Halloween Jack
In the years that follow an awful massacre of local townsfolk, the mayor has banned Halloween and all its festivities from the small town. But two years after the brutal attack, a local cult known as the Lords of Samhain conjure up the dead Halloween Jack, who spends October 31st hunting, hurting, and killing Halloween party-goers and others around the town. It's a fight for their lives as the local townsfolk try to escape the clutches of the evil-doer Halloween Jack, and it's up to an unlikely hero to put an end to Jack's Halloween madness. Will they banish Halloween Jack back to Hell, or will he escape the townsfolk, only to forever haunt and kill?!
Readers beware: possible spoilers past this point, proceed with caution!
The Curse of Halloween Jack caught my attention right away from the trailer; it seemed like a great addition to any Halloween watchlist, just judging by its brief video introduction. The story is a relatively simple one, but with a few random (and cheesy) wrenches thrown into the machine, so to speak. But the main appeal here was this Halloween Jack villain - a tall scarecrow with light-up eyes, cool bucket hat, and a massive scythe. The promo poster for the film prominently features the character, and it's hard to miss how wickedly awesome this dude looks. I'm a sucker for a sick looking villain, so it was an obvious choice to throw down some money on The Curse of Halloween Jack. Was it worth the time and money? While the film isn't exactly bad, it isn't exactly good, either. But let me just get it out of the way now: hardcore horror fans need not spending any time on Halloween Jack, it's something you're probably going to feel like you've seen before and ven if you haven't, it's predictable enough that you won't be able to at least take something good from it. But for the way more casual horror-goer, honestly, you'll probably walk away from this flick satisfied to a degree. So while it's not entirely an award winner, it's not a shitshow either.
Right off the bat, Halloween Jack is fucking cool. I love his look, his love his presence, I love his (incredibly brief) voice, and I even love his backstory. Unfortunately, his kills definitely leave more to be desired. For such a bad-ass looking villain, he's really only got one memorable kill that you'll leave the film caring about. All the others are relatively weak and boring; it feels like you're waiting the whole time for a really fucking sick kill along the likes of Jason Voorhees or Victory Crowley, but it never comes. The crew behind the film clearly didn't set out to make a gore-fest of a film - which is totally cool - but the kills were just not good for how awesome Halloween Jack looks. The potential was there - I really had such high hopes for it - but it just drops the ball when it comes to sickening punishment by Jack.
The acting and story feel very subpar; again, never really hitting any expectations or creating any memorable elements worth mentioning here. If it wasn't for Halloween Jack's back story of how he became what he is, there would have been nothing really good to write about it, to be honest. Like I mentioned, there's some really cheesy, predictable elements to the plot that are just weak and boring, and don't add any type of "wow" factor to the film. I found some of the acting humorous to the point of not really being able to tell if the film was trying to feel campy and it just wasn't working or if it was just not good. I also found it weird that a nineteen year old Daddy's girl finds out both of her parents are dead, and she doesn't shed a single fucking tear; she just sits there, not even looking shocked. I dunno, it just played out feeling really weak and unbelievable.
For a $4 rental, hardcore horror fans will undoubtedly feel cheated of both their four bucks and their hour and a half. But like I said, if I put this on for my mom, she'd probably think it was super spooky and love it. Chances are if you're a regular reader of Soulless Cult, this movie is just not for you; you'll gain nothing from adding this to your queue. But throw it on a Halloween playlist for some of your non-horror fiend friends, and I'm willing to bet they'd dig it more than we did. With all of that said, Halloween Jack is still fucking cool in my book; I'd love to see him come back again in a more sinister role!