Thursday, October 8, 2015

Horrors of October - WNUF Halloween Special

WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

A VHS tape is played before the audience, as an unknown viewer watches their taped recording of their local news-station WNUF 28 one Halloween night. After sitting through the evening news, complete with costumed anchors and many commercials of rural businesses, the station airs a very special live event where reporter Frank Stewart and two paranormal investigators inspect a murder home for ghostly and demonic activity. Most people will sadly label this fantastically fun indie a BLAIR WITCH PROJECT rip-off when it has more in common with GHOSTWATCH, the infamous BBC news special/movie where real British reporters snookered the nation with their faux-documentary on a ghost haunting. This movie, however, rests on the everyman quality of American TV and its history, how local stations would be flooded by cheaply made but catchy adverts for arcades, the mall, creepy dentists, the MTV wannabe shows, and special events (all with specific addresses that only natives would know) and also brief previews of syndicated fare, the "movie of the week" or its resident horror movie host. All of these faux yet believable promotions, coupled with the stilted and sometimes sardonic attitudes of the reporters, makes the movie a utterly charming nostalgia trip and a well-blended mixture of straight-faced comedy and biting satire. The majority of the film is devoted to Frank's live broadcast, as the mustached microphone holder proceeds to belittle the audience at home or outside the house, spins answers or re-ask questions in order to stay on his page and seemingly tries to keep you from seeing the strings of the entire story. What is and isn't real about this ordeal is later shown at the very end, bequeathing a disturbing final trick to this goofy treat.


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