It's never too far away from October to celebrate Halloween--even during the Valentine's season. This is obviously the mentality of Crypt TVs latest short horror offering: Jack O' Lantern.
In this video, a group of teen/college aged kids (who all look much too old to be in either high school or college) are running around the city on Halloween night destroying pumpkins and jack o' lanterns with an ax. The ring leader, a jock in a letter jacket, keeps on pushing the others to join in. One of the girls is reluctant to do any smashing to the point of refusing to hang out with the group any longer. However, as is the case in many horror films, the idiot of a jock gets a satisfying punishment as the video comes to an end.
Jack O' Lantern is dripping with Halloween atmosphere, right down to an almost 80s synth soundtrack. The characters never talk the entire film, thus lending more to the imagery and sound effects. On the other hand, the mute characters come off a little odd at times, just grunting and laughing like neanderthals. This was obviously a directorial choice, which works in some respects and not in others.
Additionally, the age of the characters is a little odd, seeing as they all look like adults in their late twenties or earlier thirties. It seems strange for grown people to be acting in such an immature manner on Halloween night. However, once you get over the fact that the actors are meant to portray teens/college students, it's easier to forgive.
In the end, I enjoyed the final moments of the video, but would have preferred a little blood splatter or squishier sound effects. As it is, I think it works well, but could have been better.
It's a good little film with just the right touch of Halloween "cheer." If your looking for a spooky fix, this could scratch the itch. Just don't expect too much, either.
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
For the past few years, the legend of Krampus (also known as the Anti-Santa or Anti-Claus) has rose to popularity in horror culture. This is partially thanks to Michael Dougherty's (of Trick r' Treat fame) 2015 film of the same name. However, today I'm not talking about the feature length film.
Crypt TV, a fan favorite YouTube channel for horror, has just uploaded a short horror film also titled Krampus. In this story, an unruly teen sits unhappily on Christmas Eve as her sweet grandmother and typical middle America parents read The Night Before Christmas. When it come to her turn to read, she has her own sinister spin on the story.
Take one guess that it involves Krampus.
This short video provides a fun bit of holiday horror to wet your taste buds (with blood). There is nothing really special or new here. There isn't even a twist or surprise like many of the Crypt TV videos. However, if you're looking for a very quick horror pick-me-up, this will provide with enough Christmas spirit, blood, and chills, to make you happy--even if only for a second.
Thanks Crypt TV, and Merry Christmas!
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
Occult Concept is a horror podcast and blog focusing on discussions of horror and exploitation film from the 70's and 80's--as well as current media which is inspired by these movies.