Director:Alejandro Brugué, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade
Starring:Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Eric Nelsen, Mariela Garriga, Adam Godley, Patrick Wilson, Ezra Buzzington, Stephanie Cood .USA. 1h.59m
Anthologies are an important part of any genre but their significance to the world of horror is vital for getting a collection of directors to get those shorter, sometimes more obscure ideas out there. Horror is usually just a concept, Short Stories to tell the dark is a great example of a very short one page stories that kept a lot of kids up at night and is about to start scaring them again with the upcoming horror with the same name by Guillermo del Toro.
Every era has its highs and lows, from the golden era of Amicus to the more recent VHS and Southbound movies, we’ve also been treated by cult classics like Creepshow and Body Bags, the list really does go on. A lot of these films really took themselves seriously, trying to deliver something unseen, new and unbound, but most of this is set aside for a slightly retro kookie mish mash of bizarre horror and a few giggles in this bizarre anthology, partially starring Mickey Rouke in the wrap around.
Nightmare Cinema is set around an out of the way cinema called the Rialto, run by the master of nightmares Mr Rouke, the basis is an unsuspecting victim wanders into the cinema, once seated they are forced to see their worst nightmare, but the aftermath is slightly different for each character, this was a bit unnerving for me, I like a good routine in an anthology. Continue reading Nightmare Cinema (2018)
Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m
After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.
The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme. Continue reading Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama
Starring: A bunch of people.. Canada/USA. 1h 20m
Horror anthologies can be a lot of fun, what could be wrong with a collection of thrilling stories that aim to excite, shock and thrill? Usually there is little to connect the stories apart from a wrap around. But the delight in XX is that it’s a female themed horror anthology, made by women possibly for women..it’s aim is to show that girls can make horror that is just as good if not better than the boys, but instead we have a few short films which seem to revolve around some incredibly boring women and inconsistently moan about motherhood.
Horror is generally seen as a male orientated genre and this hit back was disappointedly weak. Each segment has its moments and there’s absolutely no problem with the direction and production, but if XX is trying to make some kind of statement then it failed to make it clear.
Beginning with some artistic flare from the work of Mexican stop-motion animation artist Sofia Carrillo, who makes the wrap around that consists of a small critter that travels around a run down house slowly putting pieces together to make a child, tits just another peg in the films woman role board, all the characters are mother, caretakers etc. Continue reading XX (2017)
Director : Various Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner +
Starring : Hannah Marks, Dana Gould, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Mather Zickle, Zoe Cooper +++. USA. 1h 29m
From the intro this film was instantly a winner and it gets better! Two desperate guys driving down the highway running from “something” but what’s that hovering in the distance.. oh nothing back to the guys in the car.. they find a rest stop, a shitty little diner/petrol station in the middle of no fucking where but shit I can see something out the window! At first I thought I was going mad, it looked like Jeepers Creeper was mulling around the countryside but the entity soon makes itself known and puts a bloody smile on one of the guys after they try to leave the station and keep ending up driving back into it again and again… then all hell does break loose. Continue reading Southbound (2015)