The WNUF Halloween Special is a great retro throwback to older local tv specials. Set in 1987 at the height of Satanic panic and the war on drugs, this movie parodies the state of local news during that time. What helps make this movie so authentic is the way it is filmed and shot. Shot on old VHS stock this movie looks like a worn VHS tape that has been sitting on your shelf for too long.
The main portion of the movie is a local TV special exploring the mythical Amityville-like house where a boy named Donald Webber murdered and mutilated his family’s body. Webber apparently claimed to be possessed by demonic spirits. We follow Frank Stewart, a local news reporter, a husband and wife duo, Louis and Claire Berger, who along with their alleged clairvoyant cat Shadow investigate paranormal incidents; the cast is rounded out with a priest, Father Joseph Matheson, and Frank’s producer Veronica.
Preceding the special is a local WNUF newscast that features stories about a dentist offering $1 deals to kids to bring in their candy and prevent cavities, political rivals going at it, a cheesy weather report, and a report about a local Christian organization who wants to ban Halloween for being demonic. This helps add to the authenticity of the special by creating believably old local newscasts.
The big highlight of this movie is the wonderfully authentic commercials. We get political attack ads, law office ads, an advertisement for a store that sells rugs and carpet, tv show commercials which include shows such as Chicago Lightning, and my personal favorite ad for a breakfast buffet strip club.
This movie is an excellent throwback to old tv specials and is a great movie to watch for the Halloween season-I know it is now required viewing for me. I would highly recommend this movie. Check it out on Shudder.