Horror anthologies are hit-and-miss efforts by nature, with some short films in a collection working far more effectively than others, depending on your tastes. Four women directed four short horror films, each with a woman at its center. Each stakes out a very different space within the genre from a wide variety of perspectives and voices. While each segment has its moments, though, none of them are completely satisfying, and only one of them truly comes close to hitting its intended target.
The work of Mexican stop-motion animation artist Sofia Carrillo, they feature disturbing images of doll parts moving about on their own in a dilapidated mansion. Hands crawl around, eyes blink open and closed and moths flutter menacingly. On the train ride home, the boy takes a peek inside a shiny, red gift box a fellow passenger is holding; what he sees quietly stuns him. Next up is the quirkiest and most ambitious of the four films in its contrast of tones. Vincent—stars the always-lovely Melanie Lynskey as a harried mother named Mary.
Her brooding nanny Sheila Vand puts her further on edge with her mere presence. But then, making matters significantly worse, Mary finds her husband dead in his study—and Clark plays it all as high farce. As Mary scurries to hide the body, Clark amps up the dark comedy within this surreal situation with jump scares and her own overbearing score.
Four friends go on a camping trip in the desert, with the two obnoxious men alternating between playing unwanted pranks on their female companions and mansplaining everything to them. But in the middle of the night, one of the women Breeda Wool ventures off on her own to investigate a strange sound, with gruesomely bloody results.
It ultimately feels like a decently made but rather empty genre exercise. Christina Kirk stars as Cora, a single mom living with her teenage son, Andy Kyle Allen , in a modest house in the middle of nowhere. She struggles to support them as a waitress, and they have little contact with the outside world besides her work and his school. But as Andy turns 18, the true nature of who he is—and why they live such an austere, cloistered existence—begins revealing itself in dark, chilling fashion.
This is the best-made, strongest acted and most cohesive of the four shorts. And it has the clearest thematic execution in its depiction of maternal sacrifice. This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr Reviews XX. Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger? Roger Ebert This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. Popular Reviews The Invisible Man. The Call of the Wild.