By Mike Watt | April 1, 2004

A group of college kids set up a haunted house, fight, drink, have sex, get trapped inside, are murdered under supernatural circumstances, get turned into their costumes…

After an impressive debut with the amazing “American Nightmare”, director Jon Keeyes gets this work-for-hire from a deplorable script by Chris Burdick and is apparently able to absolutely nothing with it. The plot is actually lifted from an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, the characters – well, no, there are no characters. There are actors playing cardboard cutouts with the words “cliché” stamped on them, but they’re not characters. Despite using the same director of photography and lighting team, the movie has a lifelessness about its look, where “American Nightmare” had a dynamic quality to its style. (Nightmare” also had the fantastic performance of Debbie Rochon to motivate it along. There’s no one in this cast that comes remotely close to Rochon’s caliber and “Hallow’s End” suffers even more for this.)

The worst crime, however, forgiving the unoriginality, uninspired plot and substandard effects, the movie is boring. It has a deadly pace to it that will likely lose all but the heartiest horror fan.

Keeyes proved with his first movie that he knows what he’s doing. “Hallow’s End” would have tried the patience of a seasoned veteran, much less one hoping to grow with each production. Hopefully, the next film will allow him to use his strengths again.

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