It’s Halloween night in a quaint, Cosby Show-esque neighborhood where we are introduced to a young boy named Jack (Tyler Rossell) and his babysitter Elizabeth (Helen Rogers of V/H/S fame) as they are headed home to do a little pumpkin carving. It’s obvious that this is Jack’s first experience partaking in the beloved Halloween tradition, and Elizabeth does a great job making it as enjoyable as she can for the young boy. After they finish their jack-o-lantern, Elizabeth bakes some pumpkin seeds while Jack gets ready to go trick or treating, and despite the fact that Elizabeth’s boyfriend is MIA, all seems as perfect as can be on this Halloween night.
Throughout this first half of this 8 minute short film, there are some genuinely sweet interactions between Elizabeth and Jack, with both actors giving good, believable performances. It’s almost heartwarming watching the two enjoy the traditions of Halloween together, and to top off the adorability, there’s even a cool little dog to hammer home the warm feelings. While this charming first half very much feels in line with the lighter side of Halloween, I think we all know that Halloween isn’t always so sweet, and things suddenly take a dark turn for both Jack and Elizabeth.
Without giving away any of the horrific goods, I will say that If you have a fear of choking or are sensitive to seeing young children in peril, you might be a little turned off from some situations. But most of you, myself included, will find these elements to be ballsy and quite effective. There are times when Jack Attack goes into some pretty gruesome and even frightening places, but It’s not done in a mean-spirited fashion. In fact, Jack Attack blends a tasty mix of horror and fun, which is really the perfect recipe for capturing the spirit of Halloween.
Written and directed by Bryan Norton and Antonio Padovan, Jack Attack features an impressively high level of production value, which is matched by great sound design and gruesomely satisfying special effects. In many ways, Jack Attack almost feels as if it could live in the same world as Trick r’ Treat (minus Trick ‘r Treat’s poor attempt at humor). In fact, if you’re a fan of the FEARnet Trick ‘r Treat holiday shorts that’ve been released over the past few years, which I am, then you will certainly want to give this one a watch.
There hasn’t been an announcement as to where or when Jack Attack will be available to the public. However, I’m guessing it’ll make a festival run in the very near future and end up making some sort of debut around Halloween, which is clearly the perfect time to drop this one on the world. Until that time, however, we’ll keep you posted on any relevant Jack Attack news.