WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (2013)
Pretending to be a found video “VHS” recording a local tv news stations halloween special from the mid 80s.
I thought of watching this after seeing a friends post that there 31 days of horror choice of the English tv special from 1991 called GHOST WATCH which is without a doubt the inspiration for this American movie.
Ghostwatch stars actually tv news and variety show talent and luls you into believing its real as new reporters do a live tv special from a haunted house and things start to get out of hand. That was also aired live in England and due to recognisable tv faces and a super slow start it tricked a lot of people. Especially if you starting watching a quarter of the way in. Very War of Worlds effect on some people at the time. Definitely check out Ghostwatch if you can. Lots of slow parts but thats to make you forget that this isn’t just a regular ghost tv show special. So when the ghost start to actually do stuff you start to catch yourself say “wait what the fuck” out loud.
The WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL is not that slick and a tad more cheesie than that. Wnuf does not exist as a station as far as I know but America had so many tiny local stations, so what do I know.
They do a great job of making it the 80s again though with the quality of film and the cast of extras all are done up very well without going over the top with unrealistic 80s cliches. The plot is similar as a live on the spot news host is going to enter a haunted house live on the news as a audience waits outside. What makes this a little less fun is the constant joke of silly 80s commercials that are added in. Mocking the concept that 80s American 80s was really a light dressing around a flood of commercials. Obviously the commercials are fake too but they are much more obviously fake. The news segments need to make a few jokes once in a while too which takes you out of the illusion but they are enjoyable characters so i am ok with it. Some of the actors acting is so bad it takes you away a bit. However the actor that plays the host Frank (played by
Paul Fahrenkopf ) is great and you want to believe he is a news host from the 80s so much you make yourself believe you have seen him before. The psychics that Frank the host brings in to get a reading from the house are also very funny. It’s just the commercials that are the problem as they stop being funny really fast and every so often they get fast forwarded through to make it seem like you are watching someones vhs tape of it.. but why would the fast forwarding be on the recording? … Oh …wait this dvd is haunted and it’s fast forwarding itself.. son of a bitch…. I would need to be way more high to actually think that. I also don’t think it was too fool anyone it was just another of the very popular 80s retro vhs era flash back references. And unless your 12 you re member what a vhs fast forward was like. So it’s not that interesting to see them simulate a vhs players effect so often. If you don’t remember what it was like to use a vcr, I am sure you don’t read my blog or at least did not care enough to read this far. But thanks if you are.
What the WNUF Halloween Special is for is for the people like me that remember going to independent drug stores that pushed Halloween sales of plastic body suit and sharp masks kids costumes. The Ben Cooper kind and the franchised rip offs like that. Also bags and bags of gross hard taffy halloween candy with orange wrappers with witches and ghosts on them. If that’s not an aesthetic that you remember or stuck with you then the warm and fuzzy trick or treating effect that the WNUF HALLOWEEN special has may not work on you.
The ending is great though, even for modern horror fans. Without spoiling it, when this seem to get creepy and maybe the ghosts are real we get a twist that says, is someone playing a prank or is this a real ghost or is this something actually darker….. hmmm. Guess you will have to watch the movie to find out.
The film makers later made Call Girl of Cthulhu, which.. eeehh its OK. However that movies has a small cameo by the WNUF on site host Frank and that totally made my day. So check out Call Girl Of Cthulhu if you want a legit comedy with classic horror. WNUF HALLOWEEN Special if you want some real horror comedy that just brings back the kid in you. And don’t for get the much old BBC project GHOSTWATCH that is a legit landmark in scare tactics in television projects.
This is another super late night rambling mad mans review in this 31 days of horror movies… as Elvira always says… Unpleasant dreams.