We all know how 80s horror movies start: a babysitter and a little boy alone in a house. When things go bump in the night, are they the imagination of a scared little boy, or is someone—or some thing—in the house with them?
I bet John Carpenter had no idea what he was doing back in 1978. Not the fact that his ultra-low budget feature “Halloween” would go on to become one of the most celebrated and successful horror movies of all time but that it would also become one of the most copied and parodied. How many times have we seen a horror film that starts out with a young child and their baby-sitter home alone eating popcorn and watching scary movies?
Director Corey Norman was obviously very heavily influenced by Carpenter’s masterpiece, even going so far as to imitate that movie’s clever opening titles which consisted of one slow tracking shot into that of a smiling pumpkin lit up by candles from within its carved-out carcase. As the movie begins, young Charlie (Andrew Lyndaker) is being tucked into bed by Trudy (Casey Turner), his teenage babysitter.
After telling him a scary bedtime story about a troll named Tick Tack that comes out of the closet during the night and will cut off anybody’s feet that are not tucked in under the blankets, Charlie initially laughs it off, exclaiming that he’s a big boy now and is not easily scared. However, once the lights dim and the darkness envelopes his room, when the closet door creaks open, is it Trudy or is it Tick Tack?
The movie is very evocative of “Scream,” a movie which in and of itself was a parody of previous horror films, “Halloween” included and here, you pretty much know where the movie is headed and although its terrain is immediately recognizable, getting there is half the fun. The film’s two leads are fine in their respective roles but this is director Corey Norman’s shining light. He set out not to reinvent the horror genre but simply to have fun with it and succeeded. Highly recommended.
“Tickle” has been officially selected at numerous Film Festivals around the U.S.