Horror Anthologies, have been a staple of the genre since the 1960s, in fact some declare they should have their own subgenre, I cannot disagree, early on there was 6-films from that decade alone with Dr, Terror’s House of Horrors  as a standout. By the 1970s the number increased another ten with a fan favorite The House That Dripped Blood  crossing paths with rival with Dan Curtis’ Trilogy of Terror . Alas, the storytelling throughout the movies always interest as releases they follow themes, The ABCs of Death  or Holidays , in fact if curious this field of movies is nearly 400 feature movies. Therefore, what is one more to the stack, and comes with nicely with Scare Package Blu-ray with artwork that reminds one the film House  with a gnarly disembodied hand, a cool touch. Normally when reviewing one of this movies, it’s impossible to touch on all the stories, hence summary does best, it does feature 8 stories with 8 directors two of them working together Courtney and Hillary Andujar for 5th story entitled “Girls’ Night Out Of Body” which was distributed by Shudder.
The opening, and briefly revisited story through the movie, is entitled Cold Open from director Emily Hagins is quite comical, the lead character is named Mike Myers (Jon Michael Simpson) and his job involves him doing or making the cliché elements happen in a horror movie, and he’s very good at his job. Mike is behind the scenes pulling the strings and dabbling with curses for every horror cliché you can imagine and the fun starts with laughter and some bloodshed. Another story is a wrap-around concept from the founder of Scare Concept and director of “Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium” as well as another larger story called “Horror Hypothesis”. Herein it’s a story concerning Chad (Jeremy King), an idiotic video clerk of a horror only video store which leads to numerous cliches found in the genre and a constantly annoying customer (Byron Brown) who dislikes his new employee Hawn (Hawn Tran) who seems a tad lost in the context of the story. The second segment “One Time in the Woods” highlights the film’s foaming fervor for goofily goopy effects. “One Time In The Woods” is a gooey gory goofy story from Chris McInroy and serves as the third tale followed by the lesser entertaining tale “M.I.S.T.,E.R.” and yes that comma is in the correct place, as the story attempts to do something with the incel-type topic but ultimately somehow it gets a flatline. then Andujar’s story fills in the middle, this trio of movies just seems to go through the paces, this time three women all adults, having a slumber party become possessed, which truly messes up their facial masks and disrupt the discussions on men. Why – it’s perhaps the runtime that ultimately hurts the movie, in the end no twist or major surprises a simple A to B flow of storytelling. The sixth story “The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill” gets everything righted once more thanks to Anthony Cousins who brings a fun and enjoyable tale, making horror fun again as it is a spoof of hardened masked killers thoroughly not vulnerable to normal human demises. All the slasher gory guts of the 80s displayed in a version of Friday the 13th meets Halloween, complete with final girl survivors. The final story is a stellar one with an incredible theme in “Horror Hypothesis” once again it’s from director Aaron Koontz who did write part of it yet shares that spotlight with Cameron Burns (The Pale Door ), the plot surrounds the scientific underground study of horror cliches. the concept feels a bit of a government experiment meets Cabin in the Woods . A few of the theories explored is in their research an ultra-low percentage of a car starting when a killer is nearby or at least one woman is tripped and falls when chased by a killer. However, everything goes sideways, and the Devil’s Lake Impaler goes on a brutal bloody killing spree. There’s plenty of intended continuity mistakes and equally homage touches with some nifty easter eggs too. Curious of what they are here for first a tracking device used has the same sound effect in Aliens  and a wall map makes references to horror movies, such as Last Records Room on the Left (Last House on the Left). This even extends to the characters such as Chase Williamson as stoner and John Bloom portrayed himself as Joe Bob Briggs persona. In addition, Zoe Graham working on her first horror film gives it her all with no fear of the splatter which occurs on a horror move production from all reports a total trooper.
A major distraction for this anthology is found with constant rough tones, it goes against the solid jokes, and one-liners that pack a punch; aided by wonderful set design, often much of it lends references to other horror films, providing the viewers with plenty of easter eggs. Then the length of each story doesn’t allow for the filmmakers to truly tell their stories the old adage resides on quality overshines quantity. Then there’s something uniquely weird found in the bonus special features on the Blu-Ray there’s a another short story called Locker Room Z, however there’s no credits on screen or in the end credits and nothing on the IMDb and an extensive drill down on the internet resulted in discovering Mali Elfman did the movie and received co-executive producer (though omitted on the film); very strange. I will not give too much away except the concept involvers zombies in a lady’s gym locker room.
Overall, this anthology doesn’t measure that high on the list of other esteemed creations, face it no one expects a Creepshow , but the stories don’t contain scary stories, rather they are scattered, therefore it makes it difficult to pigeonhole them. If are you willing to overlook questionable humor and themes and highly limited budgets that affect production values, then this might interest you, especially if you like your stories full of Blood, Guts and Gore are Great Anytime – come on it’s a strange thing to say but for this film its normal and accepted.
- 7 Directors. 7 Tales of Terror. 0 Working Cell Phones.
IMDb Rating 5.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10