Originally broadcast live on October 31, 1987, the "WNUF Halloween Special" is a stunning exposé of terrifying supernatural activity that unfolded at the infamous Webber House, the site of ghastly murders.
Got to see this little gem the other week. For those who do not know what this concept is about, it's a tribute to those 80's NEWS TV Halloween Specials. The special is a full fake news cast before the actual "Halloween TV Special" happens along with fake TV commercials that do look real from back in the 80's. The lead reporter that takes you inside of the house reminded me of actor J.K. Simmons. They have a psychic couple that mimic the Warrens along with their psychic cat...lol. It's funny. There is also a reluctant priest who is there if an exorcism is needed however he keeps repeating to the Reporter that he can't do an exorcism without the Church's approval. Keep watching to you see the end credits. This special is fun and hilarious. The actors in it are great! Again...This is NOT a film loaded with jump scares or too much gore. It is a dark comedic recreation for those of us who grew up back in the 80's to re-live those news broadcasts that tried to keep the Halloween spirit alive. This DVD has commentary, trailers for low budget yet graphic films from their website, how they made their picture look so old looking and some other behind the scenes stuff. No subtitles or closed captions.
___Spoiler to those who haven't seen it____ Do Not Read Below if You Haven't seen It
I subtracted one star for the finale of the special because I wish they would've kept it in the supernatural sense. Due to the budget, I can understand why they went where it went.
Once again I was on my search to find a good horror movie on Amazon Video, when I came across this title. The description sounded interesting and being that it was aired on TV (which we'll get to in a sec) made it even more worth watching.
So I booted up Amazon Video and clicked "Watch this" and only to see the classic VHS static screen and footage that was from the 80's. The movie starts off as a news segment about Halloween and the news casters feed off one another with cheesy jokes (much like the TV anchors today). The anchors advise the viewers of a Halloween Special that comes on after the news and it's about a haunted house where a son has murdered his parents because he was playing with a spirit board and the evil spirits told him to do it. Now a reporter, camera man, 2 paranormal experts (and their cat) and a priest enter the home to hopefully not only catch the paranormal experience on TV but also try to get rid of the evil spirit that haunts the home.
I honestly thought this was an actual TV special until I looked up the TV station WNUF Channel 28 (which there is a station close called WDNU Channel 28). The commercials, the news cast and the halloween special are so well done in the film, you actually start to believe it's real footage. The movie even goes to the length of fast forwarding and the static screen with authentic VHS sounds. The actors in the film deserve an award (he'll, the film does too!) because they play their roles so great, you not only feel apart of the experience but you don't feel like it's forced much like other horror movies today. The ending can be predictable but can also be shocking to some.
Overall, I'm giving this a 5 star rating. I absolutely love this movie! It was such a breathe of fresh ideas and originality. Loved the classic 80's feel, the VHS style footage, the acting and story.
This is definitely a movie to watch for anyone who is looking for something fresh. I could only hope that they consider a part 2 which there are so many ways they can do this.
This isn't the type of movie to watch if you're looking for a gripping story, scares, or clever plot twists, but it doesn't seem to be made for that purpose. If you're the type of person who fondly remembers watching shows taped onto VHS in the late 80's/early 90's, or if you like stumbling across vintage TV commercials and local programs, you may appreciate this one.
It's more of a nostalgic experience, and it's definitely not for everyone. Having enjoyed a whole library of taped specials and Saturday morning cartoons for the commercials and special reports just as much as the shows themselves (and having spent part of my childhood in the whole anti-Halloween "there are goblins in that candy" environment), I thoroughly enjoyed it. The moments fast-forwarding parts of the program and the "snow" between recorded segments were a nice touch. With this one, it's best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
For a lover of Halloween who came of age in the 80s this "found-footage" experiment is a treat. I was impressed by the generally flawless interpretation of an 80s local news program (with commercials). I have scads of old VHS tapes I recorded from the television in the early 90s that are a lot like this. They must have pored over old VHS dubs for months to fashion such a faithful reproduction. There are a few disappointments. There are a few bits of dialogue that I feel takes the viewer out of it/exposes the ruse. The ending is not quite what I would have wanted. I think they missed the opportunity to slip a few sight gags and easter eggs in, though I suppose that would have endangered the realism that they worked so hard to capture. Finally, I'm not sure it holds up to repeat viewing especially well. But just the same I'll probably watch it around Halloween from now on.