15 July 2017 | Michael_Elliott
Decent Low-Budget Horror Film
** (out of 4)
Extremely bizarre horror film about a Grandpa (Hy Pyke) who is the leader of a Satanic cult and who wants his oldest grandson Tommy (Gregory Scott Cummins) to take over.
HACK-L-LANTERN has a terrific title but sadly it's not really a holiday classic. It's certainly not in the same league as HALLOWEEN or even TRICK OR TREAT for that matter but the film has enough strange moments to make it worth viewing and especially if you're a fan of the 80's low-budget horrors.
Director Jag Mundhra had made OPEN HOUSE the year before and there's no question that this here is a major step up. The film lacks any real money but I will give the director a lot of credit because the film looks very professional and it certainly looks like a "real" film unlike so many of the low-budget movies from this period. Another major plus is that the death scenes are rather gory. There aren't too many of them but when they happen they are impressive and fun. Finally, the biggest benefit is that just about all of the ladies are willing to get naked so there's a lot of T&A scattered throughout the picture.
As far as the problems go, there's certainly a major issue with the pacing. I'd also argue that the setting just didn't seem right as it really didn't make me feel as if it was really Halloween. With the lack of a good setting it also caused the film to have any sort of atmosphere. Some of the performances were really, really bad and some of the dialogue was even worse. The main sister's boyfriend is especially bad.
With all of that said, if you're a fan of low-budget horror movies then HACK-O-LANTERN is worth watching but it's certainly not a good picture.