Horror anthologies seem to be all the rage, be it on television or the big screen. After lying dormant in the horror genre for several years, the anthology feature has come back with a vengeance. Director Axelle Carolyn along with 10 other directors have come together for Epic Pictures’s upcoming horror film Tales of Halloween, 10 shorts directed by some of the horror genre’s most popular directors including The Descent and Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall, All Cheerleaders Die and May director Lucky McKee, Saw II and The Devil’s Carnival director Darren Lynn Bousman, Big Ass Spider director Mike Mendez and others. Nerdist spoke with Carolyn during production on the film here in Los Angeles, CA and asked her about how the idea for Tales of Halloween came about, what her segment will focus on and how the TOH will have something for everyone.
Fans of pop culture and entertainment know all the stories of woe when it comes to getting a movie off the ground. Especially when it comes to a film with more than one director, it can be particularly hard to get the stars to align and create a smooth production. But for director and producer Axelle Carolyn, getting Tales of Halloween going was actually the opposite of a nightmare. She explained, “It’s just an idea that came up over the years that came from hanging out with friends and having a group of friends that’s so talented and everybody at whatever level you’re working at struggles to make the movie they’d like to make. Getting a movie greenlit is hard enough but doing it without producer interference and making it what you like is so hard and so over the years you hear so many people say, ‘Oh, I wish I could do this,’ or ‘I wish I could do that,’ and I was finally like, ‘Let’s just do something all together.’ There’s strength in unions and putting our brains together to make something bigger and this is what happens and I think that the idea had been floating about for a while and thinking, Oh, let’s do it on Halloween, it’s Halloween themed, it’s all on the same night in the same place and that was the thing that we needed to stick together and give it a focus and I talked to a few directors about it and they were so excited… It was one of the most wonderful things, you come up with an idea on Tuesday and Saturday you go, ‘Let’s make it, we have the money!'”
With the freedom to make whatever short that she could come up with, what did Carolyn settle on? The Soulmate director filled us in on her segment. “Mine is called ‘Grimm Grinning Ghost’ because I’m a big fan of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion… and it’s about a girl who is at a Halloween party and hears this legend which I read in a book so… it’s one of those urban tales, that on Halloween night if you hear footsteps behind you, whatever you do, do not turn around because what is behind your back it might be something that you really don’t want to look at. So she goes home and obviously her car breaks down and she has to walk home and spookiness happens.”
Anthologies can be particularly challenging because it’s hard to please an audience across the board while still representing the diversity of the individual filmmakers but Carolyn feels confident in the outcome of Tales when it comes to satisfying the audience. She told us, “It was part of what was excited about putting everybody together and seeing what everyone comes up with and seeing the different styles on set. Even visually everyone is very different. One episode is completely different from the other and yet because it’s the same kind of suburban street that we go for, it’s the same night obviously, they all are fairly coherent even though its clearly not made by the same person. It sticks together as a feature but it does represent the personalities of everybody. It kind of has something for everyone. There are some people who like very spooky, there are people who like something gory, some people who like comedy-horror and there’s going to be an episode for everybody.”
Tales of Halloween is coming soon from Epic Pictures and directors of The October Society.