A Halloween anthology of dubious quality, Bad Candy fails to hang together, providing neither trick nor treat. Ostensibly linked by radio station DJs Corey Taylor and Zach Galligan – yep, him off of Gremlins; there’s even a “don’t feed him after midnight” quip – telling scary stories, this throws as many cliches and varying horror tropes as it can at the wall and hopes some of them stick. Obviously filmed on a shoestring, there’s plenty of ambition here, in the vein of 80s compendium films like Twilight Zone: The Movie, Cat’s Eye or 1960-70 Amicus films like Dr Terror’s House Of Horrors, Tales From The Crypt and Asylum. Unfortunately it’s rather haphazardly put together to underwhelming effect.
There’s a demonic clown showing up throughout with a scary smiling face and long fingers which occasionally look very false, turning kids into dolls; a little girl who can draw demons fighting back against her nasty Dad; puppeteering jack-in-the-boxes; stabby devils in dirty toilets and lots of ropey CGI. There’s also a dodgy tale involving drunken necrophilia, a nasty home invasion with a man in hot pants, ghosthunters and twisted demon vigilantes. None of them really land, however, as weird pacing, confusing, strange edits and some rather amateurish acting run through all the stories, along with bursts of full-on gore.
Writer/directors Hansen and Connell riff on horror tropes with abandon, but the script is often nonsensical and direction is rather leaden, lacking atmosphere and suspense with neither the dark ‘comedy’ or the scares landing. Bad Candy is mostly just that: bad.
Dir: Scott B Hansen / Desiree Connell (18, 103 mins)
Released on DVD and digital download on Mon 4 Oct
words KEIRON SELF