PLOT: The WNUF Evening News broadcasts a séance live on their broadcast at a supposedly haunted local house.
I can appreciate a clever concept and WNUF Halloween Special is about as clever as you can get when it comes to a horror film. It sort of redefines the “found footage” subgenre, by turning the actual film into a completely unique viewing experience.
The film is presented as a news broadcast that was recorded onto a VHS, crappy local commercials and all. You even get moments in which the video is Fast-forwarded in order to get to the better parts. Never does this film show the edges of the ruse, and it is 100%.
In fact, it is almost too effective. The film is style over substance, to an extent. There is never anything more dramatic or entertaining than what you would find in a normal news broadcast. Sure, the ending delivers on the horror aspect, but more or less, this is exactly what it sounds like.
Paul Fahrenkopf, who does a fantastic job playing the veteran news reporter Frank Stewart, does the heavy lifting in the film. He never lets up in his shtick as a world-weary reporter who has reduced himself to gimmicks for ratings. It anchors the film and adds to how real it all feels. This film really captures the spirit of the season.
There’s some gore at the end and a cat gets mutilated, but nothing much.
Gore Rating: 1.5 out of 5
This is more of a parody than a straight horror film, so there are not many scares to have. It does a great job at creating an atmosphere, but it’s not a particularly scary one.
Scare Rating: 0 out of 5
Sex/Nudity Rating: 0 out of 5
This is a well-put together film and it’s incredibly authentic, but on a story level, it kind of gets bogged down in concept. Anyone that has ever seen a local news broadcast knows that they’ll spend the whole broadcast teasing the one thing you want to see, only to wait until the last 10 minutes to deliver, and this film does exactly that. The fake local commercials are fantastic and really add to the whole experience, but it gets a little monotonous after a while. This film could have really benefitted if it were 10-20 minutes shorter. It’s clever enough to sustain interest, but it does get a little long in the tooth.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10