At first, this movie might sound appealing and like a good idea to you; a horror anthology movie, with stories based on every letter of the alphabet. But then you really start to think about it. A story based on every letter of the alphabet? Yes, that's right and that means that this movie consists out of 26 very different and unrelated shorts, of various quality.

And that's of course a problem with every horror anthology movie, no matter how great they are. No matter what, you are always going to feature some segments that work out better than other ones. Some are a real hit and some are a real miss. And I have to say that this particular horror anthology movie has more misses than hits in it unfortunately.

As a matter of fact, even though there are 26 shorts, there is only a handful of them that truly work out and make a lasting impression. Everything else is either extremely mediocre or completely below par.

Of course different people, different tastes. So some of the stuff I hated might be loved by others and vice versa but fact remains that this movie is a very mixed bag. Some stories feel inspired, while others feel extremely uninspired, like they got written and shot, in the course of one weekend, when a cast and crew was available for it.

In some ways, making a short is more difficult than creating a full length movie. This at least is the case for its story and storytelling. You only have a few minutes, or less, to set up a certain mood and develop a story and characters and it all needs to be wrapped up, before you could develop anything properly enough. Best way to wrap things up is by having a surprise type of ending, or one that provokes. Some of the 27 directors involved with this movie seemed to realize this and managed to deal with it, while others seemed to had far more difficulties telling a story and wrapping things up by having a good enough ending.

Some stuff really makes you go; why? Or how? Sometimes a segment just doesn't make any logical sense, or is being too simplistic and straightforward to make an impression with anything.

Besides, an annoying aspect about most of the segments is that they don't even seem to be horror related at all. It's as if the persons who come up with the concept told the directors they would prefer it if they didn't used any monsters or paranormal type of stuff. So most segments simply try to shock, with gross out stuff, instead of real horror. This is probably a big disappointment for most horror lovers out there, it certainly was for me at least. Gross out is simply no horror in my opinion. True horror is a far more delicate art and something not every director involved with this seemed to have the hang of.

It's also a big problem that the movie consists out of 26 individual shorts and that there is absolutely nothing to connect any of them. Really, 26 segments are like 20 too many and even though the movie is well under 2 hours (with 15 minutes, or so, of credits) it feels much longer. It's actually a very tiring experience, especially when the movie reaches the letter E and you start to realize you aren't even halfway through yet.

Sure its nice and fun to see different filmmakers, with different styles, doing different things but its only nice and fun if it truly works out well. And that too often isn't the case within the movie. But again, this also all is going to depend on your taste. I for instance wasn't fond of any of the Japanese stuff in this, while I was very fond of the shorts that featured no dialog at all in it. For you it most likely is going to be a totally different experience.

It's true that you are most likely at least going to like some of the shorts and it's also of course definitely true that overall this isn't the worst horror related thing you'll ever see. I still can't really recommend it, simply because the quality of the shorts are so extremely variating and I really have to say that in my opinion 80% of them aren't worth your time at all.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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