The city is quiet; the streets deserted. It doesn’t much feel like Halloween and yet four young trick-or-treaters – a ghost, a devil, a grim reaper and a witch – make their way through the night, door to door and house by house, gathering up an unlikely harvest of kindness amid the devastated wreckage of society’s collapse.
In a world where the only rule is that there are no rules, it is perhaps a fitting irony that it should all come down to this … a simple choice between two starkly different options.
The Last Halloween is here at last and the time has come to make your choice.
So, what will it be?
Trick? Or treat?
Writers: Marc Roussel and Mark Thibodeau
Director: Marc Roussel
Producers: Ron Basch, Marc Roussel, Greg Machula, Jessica Menagh, Mark Thibodeau, John Nicholls
My writing partner, Mark Thibodeau, came to me with a breakdown for a comic book story called The Last Halloween. It ran to 35 panels over seven pages. I liked the story so much, I asked if we could fashion it into a short film. Mark agreed that it would be a natural for the medium.
When Mark informed me that the setting for his story was a city in a state of post-apocalyptic decay, with four kids in make-shift Halloween costumes going out for one last trick-or-treat, I knew this had to be my next film.
What first struck me about the idea was the title: The Last Halloween. There’s just something about how those three words hang together that I think is irresistible. The title instantly inspires imagery of a time-honoured tradition that every one of us remembers fondly from our own childhoods.
And of course there’s the idea of Halloween actually coming to an end. Whoa! Can you imagine the heartbreak any kid would feel to learn that Halloween was coming to an end? That the yearly ‘free pass’ their folks give them, allowing them to go out and literally beg for tooth-rotting candy from total strangers, would be forever lost?
The only change made from Mark’s original comic book script (which can be read at our film’s website) were character beats for the survivalist character (Jack) and his wife (Kate).
I felt it was important that we get a sense of their loss, that living in this dire world for so long had crushed their hope and that, for Kate, seeing the four kids maybe restored a little bit of what was lost.
As a filmmaker, I have worked in a variety of genres – everything from comedy, crime, thriller, romance and even musical. However, I always find myself coming back to the genre that made me want to make movies in the first place: horror.
My writing partner Mark Thibodeau and I are both lifelong fans of the genre, having misspent our youths watching hour upon hour of scary movies on VHS or at the local cinemas. We grew up on the New Horror Revolution spearheaded by such artists as John Carpenter, George Romero, David Cronenberg and Wes Craven.
Mark and I both feel very strongly that The Last Halloween harkens back to those bygone days without suffering from nostalgia in any way. It is a fresh, original idea that has the potential to become an ‘evergreen’ holiday classic that people are going to want to watch every year, come October 31, just like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown … only shorter and quite a bit scarier!
About Marc Roussel
Marc Roussel studied film at Humber College and The New York Film Academy and has over 16 years experience in post-production on several TV series and feature films.
Marc has written and directed the short films Dear Barry, Dead Clown, Sweet Tooth, Alchemy, Remote, Rewind My Love, The Elusive Man, and two bravoFACTs: The Sweetest Hippopotamus and The Last Halloween.
He has been nominated twice for a Director’s Guild of Canada award (for Remote and The Sweetest Hippopotamus) and has picked up multiple festival awards around the world.
Through his company Red Sneakers Media, Marc is currently in development on a feature film version of his hit short film Remote, the feature screenplays Transient, Psycho Psychic, Pinhole and All My Friends Are Dead and producing the short film Heir in partnership with Fatal Pictures.