10 directors. 10 tales. It’s basically ABCs but with less stories and less creativity.
Sweet Tooth comes from the director of The Hills Run Red (2009). While I found this to be a suitable show-opener as well as one of the more enjoyable chapters, it felt too similar to something you might find on a YouTube’s Top 10 Scariest Short Films video, only nowhere near as good or imaginative…or scary…
Darren Lynn Bousman directs The Night Billy Raised Hell. You may know him from Saw II (2006), III (2007) & IV (2008) fame, a largely ignored Mother’s Day (1980) re-imagining and some dumb movie where angels look like monsters??? It’s hard not to connect this one to Satan’s Little Helper (2004), funnier but not as sinister. While Barry Bostwick never fails to be hilarious, whatever creepy ambiance has been set in place by the first segment, he demolishes it.
I expected part 3 to be shit, and shock, horror, I was right. The setup to this piece is almost non-existent so you don’t care if these people die and you care even less when the “twist” arrives. After the god awful shite heap that was Fertile Ground (2011)…what the fuck is Gierasch even doing on this project???
The Weak and the Wicked is probably one of the most disappointing tales. We have Grace Phipps from Some Kind of Hate (2015), Keir Gilchrist from It Follows (2014) and Noah Segan from…shit, half the Indie horrors that are out these today and yet nothing… This story is supposed to be about Keir’s revenge, but all we are shown is how mean his 3 tormentors are. Being mean, more mean and meaner still. And when the moment of truth rolls around, we are left with one scream and a spray of blood.
Grim Grinning Ghost comes from the director of Soulmate (2013). It is set up well enough but suffers from an abrupt ending which soils the entire experience. Frankly I expected something much more in-depth from Carolyn.
Ding Dong…Ding Dong indeed! Leave it to Lucky McKee to be that lighthouse of hope in a sea of shit. He brought us May (2002) & The Woman (2011) and sidestepping that unnecessary remake, he’s back, again with Pollyanna McIntosh taking centre stage as the standout performance of the anthology.
This Mean War – Desperate Housewives would’ve easily nailed this one with its marigolds tied behind its back. Worst one by far. Seriously Kasch, stick to your excellent documentaries.
Friday the 31st is an odd one that gradually disarms you with its quirky twists and turns. An unexpected highlight from an otherwise questionable source…
The Ransom of Rusty Rex…this is a tough one. At this point I feel there have been too many cop-outs where our selected film-makers are playing chicken-shit and opting for black comedy. Comedy is harder, but scary is the hardest! And right now, I’m sick of funny. Rusty Rex is either in the wrong place, or it should just replace This Means War altogether. Sorry Schifrin!
Neil Marshall’s Bad Seed also finds itself on the wrong side of my funny threshold. It matters not as I was fully expecting him to slay his competition and here he doesn’t even come close. Normally I would burst with excitement at the idea of a man-eating pumpkin, but it looks like that dream has yet to be realised.
Stick to YouTube.