All Hallows’ Eve – Terrifier The Beginning

(Terrifier – The Beginning)
Directed by Damien Leone
USA 2013

It’s Halloween night, and a babysitter is tasked with looking after two kids who have just returned from the “trick or treat” routine. Bored with the evening, they decide to watch a mysterious videotape found among the candies collected during their afternoon wanderings. The contents of the VHS tape will turn out to be mysterious and unpleasant.

An episodic film marking the debut of the talented Damien Leone. It’s a low-budget production that tells the story of a babysitter dealing with a videotape that recounts three gruesome episodes at the boundaries of reality. Originally released as “All Hallows’ Eve,” and later renamed “Terrifier, The Beginning” due to the success of subsequent films, it features the debut of the iconic clown Art, portrayed by Mike Giannelli here, a role that would be later taken over by David Howard Thornton in the two subsequent Terrifier films.

The film is composed of a framework (the babysitter, the VHS tape, and the kids) encompassing three episodes that tell three different stories: the first is a monster movie, the middle one is a sci-fi horror, and the finale is a slasher. The plot is compelling, and all the stories provide enjoyable entertainment.

Of course, what stands out is the presence, acting as a sort of connecting thread, of the killer clown: Art already seizes the scene with his distinctive body and facial mimicry, managing to create discomfort and anxiety before assaulting the viewer with extreme ferocity and highly effective homicidal solutions.

Obviously, All Hallows’ Eve is a raw product, with rather limited resources, but in terms of special effects, makeup, and execution, this lack of means is not noticeable at all. The entire cast, made up of relatively unknown actors, is credible and perfectly in character. It’s worth noting that much of the screenplay comes from short films predating this movie: “Demons,” the first episode, had previously been released under the title “The 9th Circle,” and the same goes for Terrifier, which had been circulating in the underground circuit for a while.

Leone strongly believed in the potential of his twisted and sadistic clown, and this debut would prove to be a real launching pad for the circus villain, who would find ample breathing space seven years later in the now-cult Terrifier of 2018. The locations chosen for the episodes are noteworthy, as they often exude dirt, filth, and decay.

However, returning to this All Hallows’ Eve, we are still talking about an extreme and extremely violent film that does not skimp on gore and splatter details, all of excellent quality and curated firsthand by the director himself. Leone delivers a sequence of imaginative and ferocious homicides where we will see his creatures devour faces, sever limbs and heads, torture victims, and leave behind a trail of blood… so much blood.

Today, this anthology of episodes has been marketed under the title “Terrifier – The Beginning” by Midnight Factory, in a box set including the two sequels Terrifier and Terrifier 2. It’s not available for free on any platform; you can find it for purchase on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.

A young costume designer captured by Art wakes up in an operating room, where her “surgeon” is the clown himself. Terrified, she realizes that while asleep, her hands and legs have been amputated, and her body is covered with offensive words incised with a scalpel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *