Saturday, June 18, 2016

Huntress Reflects on Modern Anthology Horror

Anthology Horror is one of my favorite categories of horror, even if I don't necessarily like all of the movies in it. Sometimes it feels like there aren't as many people who feel that way as I'd like to think, at least when it comes to the new anthology movies that come out. Of course there are those titles that are untouchable, have a cult following, and that people either love or just haven't seen. 

Being well-made and also nostalgic is an impenetrable combo, but it's almost exclusively horror fans that I hear talking about these films so it's not an entirely unbiased. Trick 'r Treat has to be the most popular anthology horror in my opinion, because even if the movie is mediocre for someone, Sam is makes up for it. 

Holidays is the last anthology movie we screened at the Overlook, and even though it lacked a wrap around story or any iconic little creatures, I can't understand not enjoying it; the film is essentially watching a bunch of shorts without having to make a playlist or switch any discs. They weren't CGI crazy and the stories were not the same old thing just revamped. Unless people had issues with specific segments, the only issue I heard was that there wasn't a wrap around. But the only anthology movie that tried to fit this many segments under one umbrella has to be Tales of Halloween.

There was one theatre in the bay area that showed Tales of Halloween when it came out, and we made sure to be there. It went well, everyone liked it to a certain degree, but the one issue I heard was that there were too many stories, with not enough time dedicated to each one. Maybe it was all the backstory I heard about the making of this film, and the community of friends responsible for it, but I wouldn't be able to cut anything out. This was a very ambitious film, made with a tight budget and a lot of love for horror. I don't know if I'd see the film differently not knowing about the filming process and how everyone helped out on whatever set they could, but I loved it the way it was. Of course, I wouldn't be against making it longer to give more time to each story...

But what about the cases where the wrap around is the part of the movie you take issue with? That came up with Southbound, but that was not the majority of people. These stories were loosely tied together, but it worked for me, but that may be because I saw this in a small theatre with great sound. 

There are lots of reasons I like anthology horror; it's predetermined shorts, changing too often to let any one detail ruin the whole film for you, and they can potentially lead to bigger things. You could be exposed to a filmmaker you didn't know about before, that filmmaker could catch the attention of the right people and get the opportunity for a feature film because of it, and it could just start a dialogue among your own group of friends. I know some of those are just ideal situations, but they are possible.

If nothing else, Anthology Horror has been responsible for several iconic horror characters.

Have you met Art the Clown?


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