Today’s selection for 31 Days of Halloween is WNUF Halloween Special, a fun, retro-feeling film currently streaming on Shudder, as part of their 61 Days of Halloween.
WNUF Halloween Special (which was released in 2013) makes viewers feel as if they are watching a VHS recording of a local television channel’s news report from 1987. It feels very authentic, because we even see commercials, though some of them are fast forwarded. The commercials vary from local businesses to political ads to fictional national ads but they all have that nostalgic 1980s feel to them.
The beginning of the recording is WNUF’s news report, with the two anchors dressed in Halloween costumes, and throwing out corny puns and dumb jokes, but throughout the news program, we are continually reminded that the WNUF Halloween Special is coming up next.
Reporter Frank Stewart will be conducting an investigation of the supposedly haunted Webber House, which was the site of the brutal murders of a couple by their son Donald. Aiding him in the investigation are renowned paranormal experts Louis and Claire Berger, who are clearly modelled after Ed and Lorraine Warren, right down to Claire’s hairstyle, sensible dress and heels.
The Bergers are joined by their cat Smokey, who is psychic and aids them in their paranormal experiments. Also joining this group are a priest, who balks when Frank suggests that an exorcism might be in order.
Of course, we all know where this is going. What is supposed to be a fun Halloween experiment (which will hopefully garner big ratings) quickly turns into real horror. Frank seems to be somewhat happy about the turn of events, because ratings.
WNUF Halloween Special is not particularly well-acted, but that is very likely intentional, and it still rings true to the feel of the 1980s. The reporters are all spot-on, because I can remember the dumb jokes and the tones of voices from my youth. There is even plenty of focus put on that 80s staple, “satanic panic.” And the ending is pleasantly dark compared to the campiness of the rest of the film.
Shudder is doing a great job with their October programming this year, an WNUF Halloween Special joins the rest of the quality offerings on the horror streaming service.
WNUF Halloween Special is streaming on Shudder. New subscribers can receive a free 7-day trial subscription by visiting the website.
Have you seen WNUF Halloween Special? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments section.