A frequent reoccurring influence into the horror genre of late has been the incorporation of anthology films, as a great way to introduce new filmmakers and stars to the fans, in one stellar moment, allowing them to experience a wider audience for their short films, aside a film festival or lost among the others on the internet. WildEye Releasing steps to the plate with the delivery of another highly budgeted indie production, with colorful DVD artwork, and the suggestion on it of a volume 1, hints more to come, and why not a collection of talents usually pays off well in the horror genre. However, with these flicks, sometimes the material finds itself either as hit or miss, and depending upon the theme if they have a collective association on a topic or just random stories, simply they resemble a gift basket, always one in the package finds itself frowned upon by various fans.
The package herein contains stories with a high degree of violent grotesque actions, and emotional baggage to disturb the audience with colorful and dangerous levels of random performance to sicken some while others find delights. As with all anthologies, a wraparound story needs to bookend the movie, for this movie “3 A.M.” has a woman retreating to an isolated cabin only to find herself plagued by weird tormenting sounds and odd calls hammering upon into the night, using the forgotten usage of sound design and the elements of shadow play. This short comes from director Lee Matthews, and stars Charlotte Armstrong understanding and communicating the torments incorporated in the scary short film. Moving on, to the travels of unearthing the next superstar of horror, leads to the story called “Edward”, rotating around a psychiatrist Dr. Aleksey (Artem Mishin) and his patient Hal (Nick Frangione) and the dangerous fates of his sleepwalking have in his life. Director Joseph Graham sets forth an uneasy tale of spookiness emotional urges and borders on a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde bizarreness to set everything on end. Matthews penned “The Quiet” a story of a school deaf girl, Alice (Jenni-Lea Finch) stalked by unknown assailant, the story heightens the handicap girls vulnerable and paranoia swirling around her with unnecessary twist ending. Now, some fans in the horror community frown upon foreign horror flicks, however one should welcome the telling of stories not only in other languages but also in the manner of conveying the horrors, as film is one of three international languages (the others are mathematicians and music). This Spanish horror flick “Merry Little Christmas” from director Manuel Marin, present a solid segment tale of struggling family tensions, resulting from excessive rage explosive emotionally and physically scarred inflicted on Lola (Blanca Rivera). This tale generates the most effective and powerful trauma and definitely might have some clicking the fast forward button to the next chapter, to escape the bleakness of family violence and rape suggestive scenes. The final tale, mirrors a true crime storyline of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and has very dark story film in black and white, again likely to cover the budget issues of special effects, but director Brian Dorton, delivers another distributing tale, in silence with an arty flair, of interjecting bible verses as title card placement. He uses the images to an unsettling point of showing how an outward normal individual appears as deviant criminal with scary intentions, leading to mutilation of an animal and man, sodomy, coupled with dismemberment, finishing with relaxing manual necrophilia fellatio, in a bath tub.
A true series of complex darkness incorporates the film in its entirety and explores the human monsters which find and present themselves more sickening and twisted than any creature feature or Freddy, Jason or Michael franchise sets forth on a regular basis. The films give the exploitation market some caveats and gore-hounds to rejoice for the plenty of good horror moments scattered throughout the film. The collection obviously contains the theme of deep psychological tortures and torments in mind to cascading and ooze a maniacal maddening of brutality.
This film has everything a mature horror fan desires, and what Hollywood flees from even in the mildest form, having an unrelenting display of disproportional violence fueled impacting shocking imaginary and emotional harm to the naive horror fan. A must purchase for the serious fan of anthologies.
This review originally posited in February of 2016 on the defunct website of Rogue Cinema obtaining a view count of 1,812 thanks to readers and fans.
Side Effects May Include: Screaming, Fear, and Death!
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10