A film for the child in all of us, the child who craves a thrilling adventure and a scary Halloween experience. “Tales from the Other Side” is a feature anthology that finds three young trick-or-treaters approaching the home of local legend, Scary Mary, on Halloween night. She invites them in for homemade treats and a legendary evening, regaling the children with six scary or at least creepy stories. The seven segments (six tales and the wrap-around) consist of the following:
The wraparound movie “Scary Mary,” which was directed by Pablo Macho Masonet IV, had good acting, especially from Roslyn Gentle, and some nice cinematography all over.
“Petrified Boy,” directed by Jamaal Burden, this segment of the movie definitely has a much more low-budget feel; the quality of the acting, and cinematography is not as high as in “Scary Mary,” but the story itself is certainly creepy in a very art-house style, and the soundtrack works well.
“Flicker;” directed by Scotty Baker, treats us to a creepy short about a film editor who makes “celebration of life” videos for a funeral home; we get a delightful, if gruff, performance from Vernon Wells; not a lot else distinguishes it, but the creepy ending is worth a look.
“Crystal Ball;” from director Jacob Cooney; a couple’s troubled relationship is definitely made worse with the introduction of a mystical crystal ball; the acting, and cinematography seemed fine, but the audio throughout this segment was very distracting, with an underlying noise in much of it.
“Either/Or;” by the duo Lucas Heyne and Kern Saxton; Tom, a patient at an asylum, hears the voice of God; James Duval was definitely a standout in this segment as Elijah/Tom; aside from Duval’s acting, the soundtrack for the segment was particularly effective.
“Blood Red;” Frank Merle delivers this segment about art and deception, a highlight in this film’s imagery and cinematography, with a decent amount of gore and special effects. While this may have been the best-made segment in the anthology, it also felt out of place in the context of stories being told to children; the themes here are much more adult than any of the other shorts in the film.
“Krampus vs Elf;” the second segment from Jamaal Burden; a mother reads her children a story of the origin of Christmas, which is a battle between Krampus, and an elf; definitely in the same low-budget, but creative style as Burden’s previous segment
The acting talent in Tales from the Other Side included…
Roslyn Gentle, who played Mary in “Scary Mary,” is an Australian actress who has had a somewhat extensive career since the early 1980s, appearing on television shows such as “Prisoner” and soap operas “Neighbours” and “Home and Away,” as well as more recent appearances on television series such as “Lucifer,” “American Horror Story,” and “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
James Duval, who played Elijah in the segment “Either/Or,” has over 142 film credits, including Frank in “Donnie Darko,” Freb in “Gone in 60 Seconds,” Miguel in “Independence Day,” and Blank in “May.”
Vernon Wells, an Australian character actor, who played William in the “Flicker” segment, has appeared in more than 200 films, and television series; some of the biggest of these include the epic “The Road Warrior,” “Weird Science,” “Commando,” several “Power Rangers” films and series, “Hollywood Confidential,” “Kill Giggles,” and “Thor: God of Thunder.”
Three youngsters set out to have a once-in-a-lifetime Halloween experience. On their Halloween night journey, the kids find themselves at the house of “Scary Mary,” a figure from local lore. She is said to be a nasty woman, but at least she can terrify these three youngsters with the most scary stories. A collection of six tales, each with its own strange twist, to take the kids on an adventure they’ll never forget.
Tales from the Other Side is available to stream on Tubi.
amateur film-maker, professional zombie