Out There Halloween Mega Tape

12/08/2022 06:33

Film: Out There Halloween Mega Tape

Year: 2022

Director: Chris LaMartina

Writer: Chris LaMartina

Starring: Ted Geoghegan, Katie Hidalgo and Shawn Jones



This was one of the movies at Nightmares Film Festival that I was excited to see. I was a fan of the original, WNUF Halloween Special. When I heard that writer/director Chris LaMartina was doing a follow-up, I knew I had to see it. I also got to see the Nightmares Cut for its World premiere as well.

Synopsis: a daytime talk-show host finds herself placed on a new program and investigating a farmstead with a long history of alien encounters.

For this sequel, we are picking up where the last one left off. It is years after those events. We are watching a VHS tape that was recorded of a talk show during Halloween. It is hosted by Ivy Sparks (Melissa LaMartina) and these are reminiscent of Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake or like Sally Jessie Raphael shows. This one is also in the 1990s if I’m not mistaken. She has different guests on with spooky takes on different things.

Once that episode ends, we learn that it was cancelled. Ivy Sparks has joined a show called ‘Out There’. This is like ‘Unsolved Mysteries’. If memory serves, it is hosted by Perry Trenchard (Ted Geoghegan). The episode being shown is on Halloween. There is a cult that is like Heaven’s Gate and believe that information has been provided to them that aliens are going to take them away that night. Aliens might also explain the events that happened that fateful night of the WNUF Halloween Special years ago.

Then sprinkled within are different commercials that reminded me of my childhood as well. This just gives it that touch of realism as well.

Now that should give you the gist of what this movie is doing. If you’ve seen the original, this is just like that one. Where I want to start is that I had fun with this one in a nostalgic way. The talk and investigation show reminded me of things I’d watch during my childhood. The commercials as well. Listening to LaMartina talk afterwards, I realize that we had similar upbringings with things that we watched. That adds fun to this movie for me.

Where I want to go to next would be that I like the shift. This time around we are getting two different shows on the same tape. For a certain age group, this is what we did with VHS and recording things. It is fitting as it is one of the last Ivy Sparks shows and then her joining on ‘Out There’. They are building on what they did in the original where that was just the Halloween special. I don’t know if this works as well though. It is fun, but it also doesn’t necessarily do anything aside from hoping you enjoy this bygone era of television.

What I will say though is that they do an excellent job at capturing that feel. From the commercials that they created for this to the talk show and to the show that ends out what we are seeing. There are items that are being sold during the ads that I had growing up, or a version of it. There are in jokes with jingles or seeing a commercial, then seeing a quick news report that will follow up what we are seeing for the late evening news. I’d say that the acting was good in being these characters. I’ll give credit to Geoghegan, Melissa LaMartina, Katie Hidalgo, Shawn Jones, Mikael Simpson and Michael Varrati. No one stands out, but they shouldn’t. This is supposed to feel like a real show.

The last things that I’ll then go into would be with the filmmaking. I think they do a good job at making this look like it is on a VHS. I’m glad they didn’t go overboard. It can be hard to see since the quality of it is poor. That feels real. The look of the characters from their clothes to the hairstyles are on point. We don’t get a lot in the way of effects, but what we do are cheesy. That fits the tone though of what they’re going for so I won’t knock that down. Other than that, the soundtrack is solid for what they needed as well.

In conclusion, I’m not sure if I enjoy this one as much as the original. That’s not to say I didn’t have a good time. I do think this is a bit tighter with the filmmaking so that is good. Capturing the feel of the era this is set is well done. I think that the performances are good for what they needed. This does meanders though as there isn’t as strong of a story through it. I do like the tie in of Ivy Sparks. This won’t be for everyone. I think this will hit the nostalgia for certain viewers and they’ll enjoy the ride like I did.


My Rating: 7 out of 10