Rob Rector
 

 

 
 
 

Review by Rob Rector

Lead Entertainment Writer

 
When it comes to thrills, I’ve always been a fan of anthologies. It’s like ordering a sample platter of horror hor’s d’oeuvres. If there’s one that is not too appetizing, don’t fret! There’s a number of other flavors still left to sample.

They have been en vogue of late, with a number of compilations hitting the market recently, starting back with the criminally underseen Trick r’ Treat back in 2007, and most recently with the two superior V/H/S films and the ambitious mixed bag of The ABCs of Death.

Here are the shorts featured in this collection, showcasing a number of young names that have past ties to the genre.

Smell (directed by Nick Everhart): Think of The Fly by Estee Lauder. A young man (played by Corey Scott Rutledge) is visited by a perky woman who offers to help him out of his life’s rut (work sucks, wife left, etc., etc…) with the simple spritz of a perfume bottle. The nameless scent may as well have been called “Monkey’s Paw,” as his luck seemingly looks up in all aspects. But we all know there’s a price tag. It’s got its moments of visual flair, and Rutledge is fun when he hits his stride, but there is an overall been-there, done-that feeling to the entire short that causes this one to evaporate quickly into the ether. (C-)

Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear
Directed by
Eric England, Nick Everhart, Emily Hagins, Jesse Holland, Miko Hughes, Andy Mitton
Cast
Nicholas Tucci, Symba, Caleb Barwick, Sean Leser
Release Date
2013
Overall Grade: C+

See (directed by Miko Hughes): No stranger to the genre, Hughes makes his directorial debut here after starring in such films as Pet Sematary and New Nightmare as a youngster. In it, a demented eye doc (played by Ted Yudain) has special drops that make patients see things as though they were living in a Rob Zombie music video. OK, they actually experience hellish visions, but they were spliced together so quickly, it was hard to tell . When an abusive boyfriend of a client comes in, the optometrist decides to squeeze a few nightmares into the eyeballs, but the tables get turned after doing so. It’s short and sharp, and is elevated by some nifty ocular-centric gore, which is always welcome in horror. (B-)

Touch (directed by Emily Hagins): You know when someone asks “Which sense would you lose if you ‘had’ to lose one?” In Chilling Visions, it would most certainly be “Touch.” A family of three get into a car wreck, leaving their young, blind son to seek help. In his path, he bumps into a secluded, touch-phobic killer. Perhaps Hagins had something to say in all this mess, it all fell on deaf ears for me (sorry, couldn’t resist). (D-)


Taste (directed by Eric England): A hoodie-wearing slacker hacker (played by Doug Roland) is whisked away in a limo and brought to an odd business complex, where he is to meet a gal named Lacey who wants to interview him. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say the firm is far more interested in him than he is of the job. It all descends into some inventively warped weirdness, but in all the right ways. (B+)

Listen (directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton): I was quite wary when this one started off in the found-footage format, one of the most lazy crutches that young filmmakers often fall back upon. But, that aspect of it soon takes a back seat to some Ringu-like creepiness involving a bunch of old videos that feature a Rachmaninoff-like piece that supposedly drives people to kill themselves. This one, too, builds to a nifty crescendo for its characters, with a fittingly ambiguous ending. (B+)

Originally made for Chiller TV, one must be lenient in terms of judging budget and level of acting ability. That said, there is a part of this appetizer plate from which to feast and feel as though you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

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