Screencap from the Jack in the Box short film, 'Feeding Time.' In the foreground is an elementary school age Black Girl dressed as a witch for Halloween. She has curly, shoulder length red hair and has a frightened expression on her face. Behind her is a little white boy in glasses dressed like Frankenstein's monster, also looking scared.

Did a Fast Food Joint Just Drop the Best Horror Short Film of 2023?

And they're also dropping FREE TACOS??

As I’ve been doing my Big Baby Horror Fest scary movie marathon this month, I’ve been watching a wide variety of horror movies with varying degrees of quality. It’s surprising, then, that one of the best horror offerings this Halloween has come from … a fast food place.

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Jack in the Box, a fast food chain you’re probably very familiar with if you live in the Western United States, hired Hollywood horror writers Kara Lee Corthron (Servant, You), Asha Michelle Wilson (American Horror Story, Archer), Patrick Melton (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Final Destination 6), and Marcus Dunstan (The Collector, Saw IV) to create a seven-and-a-half-minute short film for Halloween called Feeding Time.

The short manages to spark the sweet nostalgia of trick-or-treating with friends as a kid while also providing some genuine ’80s/’90s horror movie vibes. Check it out:

The short film was created not only to provide some Spooky Season fun, but also to promote Jack in the Box’s seasonal Monster Tacos and Angry Monster Tacos. Which, hey, if all ads were like this, I’d be fresh out of money.

Teenage bullies getting their comeuppance at the hands of an “Angry Monster” luring them with free tacos? I’m absolutely here for it! And so too are horror and taco fans, who seem to love Jack in the Box’s Spooky Season offering.

Freddy Kreuger aficionado @Sassysledgehmmr on TikTok posted a video saying “We need more commercials like this!” Plenty of people in her comments agreed.

And over at the Jack in the Box YouTube channel, people were not only loving the short film, but loving the little details that make the film quality marketing, like using “Pop Goes the Weasel” for the taco truck, which is a popular tune also used in—you guessed it—toy jack-in-the-boxes.

“Jack in the Box needs to make more of these Halloween videos every single year it needs to be mandatory”

@SacKingJOSER916 on YouTube

“This is why jack in the box is the best fast food chain. I genuinely admire their commitment to make a 7 minute feel-good horror film. Kudos”

@FffffffffffffffffffffffffffffL on YouTube

“Anyone notice the 4 pieces missing comment? Each of the three bullies had one. Which means the monster had one also. Nice little call back easter egg. Most probably won’t notice.

Awesome short film. I hope they make more of these.”

@vinylpenguin2651 on YouTube

Apparently, Jack in the Box isn’t only giving folks a cute, nostalgic horror short. They’re also actually giving away FREE TACOS! Here’s what the company says in Feeding Time‘s YouTube description:

“The first 1,000 people to find our hidden code can redeem it for two free Monster Tacos or Angry Monster Tacos (with purchase) only on the Jack app. Happy Halloween from Jack in the Box.”

The short dropped on Friday the 13th, so who knows if those 1,000 people have already come forward with the code or not, but if Free Tacos are your love language, look for the code in Feeding Time and get you some! Food (and candy!) always tastes better when it’s free.

Happy Halloween!

(featured image: screencap / Jack in the Box)

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Image of Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.