A grown-ups horror…
Anthologies are starting to reemerge, with the last decent one being the gore filled VHS2, but this one is for a mature audience, not unlike myself (although, my ex would dissagree). While this may not have heads, eyeballs and guts flying, it has just as much impact, plus it deals with realistic issues, like mental health and child molestation. Worthy topics indeed. With the success of the likes of The ABCs of Death, which has a follow-up in production, the use of multiple directors is not uncommon in horrors. It is a very good thing in my book, because being able to see different styles contained in a horror (any genre really) is great. They can have guest directors like Tarantino (as witnessed in Sin City and Four Rooms) for example, but big names just might be interested.
Look at the way all the big TV shows have ‘A‘ and ‘B‘ list Hollywood actors starring or featuring in them, like Hannibal (Hugh Dancy and Lawrence Fishburn), Bates Motel (Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore) or The Following (Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy), so perhaps we will witness the like here.
It’s set in a Sanitarium, run by Dr Stenson (McDowell) and we see some of his select patients up close and personal. The first story is about a puppet maker whose dolls speak to him, but they also persuade him to do the unthinkable. The second, and best, covers a young sexually abused boy, who starts to see a monster who has lots of razor-sharp teeth, as his mind tries to protect him, from his own father. The final, and not the best (there seems to be something in every anthology contract, which stipulates there must always be one inferior part to it) is about a teacher who takes the Mayan 2012 doomsday prophecy too far, and has now locked himself in a newly built fallout shelter.
This isn’t the best anthology I’ve seen but it’s definitely one of the better ones. The acting was excellent by each of the stars, with Lou Phillips and John Glover’s roles extremely well performed. The stories were relevant, to a degree (not a chainsaw in sight) and the music in each film very effective indeed. It was a mixture of piano and aria which really worked well. If the final story had been better, I would have given this a higher grade.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer
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