Plot: In 1987, local television station WNUF decided to celebrate Halloween in style, with a live special. The local news show even got into the spirit, with the anchors dressed up and all kinds of Halloween related stories presented. From safety tips to people who find the holiday offensive, WNUF had all the relevant news. But the real show was after the news ended, as local reporter Frank Stewart (Paul Fahrenkkopf) was live at the infamous Webber house to explore the supernatural secrets within. Inside the house, a young man murdered his parents and claimed demons had ordered him to do so, since then the house has been vacant. Rumors of ghosts and demons have run rampant since, but Frank is determined to find out the truth, live on television. He is joined by two experts in the paranormal and even a priest, but if the rumors are true, perhaps he will need even more help than that to survive. Can Frank put the talk of ghosts to rest once and for all, or will the evil spirits show up live on WNUF?
Entertainment Value: The WNUF Halloween Special is presented as found footage, so we see the news broadcast, the Halloween special, and all of the commercials, just as if someone taped it from television in 1987. This is easily one of the most entertaining found footage movies I’ve seen, as it captures the essence of local television and pays tribute to the horror genre, all while being a total blast to watch. Even the commercials are hilarious here, from carpet salesmen to tampons to more Halloween related stuff like monster makeup and pumpkin carving kits. The premise here is good and the writing is rock solid, especially for Frank Stewart. Stewart is played by Paul Fahrenkopf and is a highlight for me, as he rings true as a local newsman trying to be hard hitting in his reporting. As a horror movie, there’s not much in terms of scares, but it has a strong horror/Halloween vibe throughout. This is in essence a comedy wrapped with a horror ribbon, but genre fans are likely to find a lot to like here. I think WNUF Halloween Special is a creative, well crafted tribute to Halloween in general, as well as a fun chunk of 80s nostalgia. If you’re a fan of the 80s, horror movies, or Halloween, you’ll want to give this a look.
No nakedness. There is some blood, but it is infrequent and limited to a couple of scenes at best. We see the aftermath of some attacks, with victims dripping with crimson, as well as a solid tongue removal sequence. But again, while this does have a horror vibe, most of the movie is comedic in nature. So if you’re looking for intense scares or buckets of blood, that isn’t this movie. The dialogue here is quite good, from the awkward banter between the news anchors to Frank Stewart’s in depth reporting tactics. Hearing Frank ask the paranormal experts if their cat does indeed have ESP is just classic. I think some of my favorite lines came from the commercials, with the tampon ad being a personal highlight for hilarious interactions. I love the premise here and it is pretty wacky, but the movie never goes hog wild with the craziness. The attention to detail is remarkable, but to capture an authentic feel, that means keeping things reined in a bit.
Overall Insanity: 1/10