Sunday, May 26, 2013

The ABC's of Death (2012)

I believe I've said this before, but death is the main character in all horror movies. Even more so than gore, atmosphere and suspense. It's the main unifying thing. So, an anthology film centered around it seems like a great idea-especially when you have a different director behind each segment. The end result is "The ABC's of Death", in which we see a death for each part of the alphabet. The result-well, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

The best ones to be honest, are usually the more tongue-in-cheek and blackly comic variety. "A is for Apocalypse" (from Nacho Vigolondo) largely centers around a man who won't die no matter how much someone tries, and "B is for Bigfoot" is an amusing twist on old urban legends. "H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion" is pretty hilarious to be honest, and has a neat twist by throwing in anthropomorphic animals and humor that's over the top but not to the point of being annoying. "Q is for Quack" is my favorite segment, and comes from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (who gave you "A Horrible Way to Die" and "You're Next") and goes the meta route for it. That being said, not all the attempts at humorous entries work. "E is For Exterminate" (which comes from Angela Bettis) feels like a joke that doesn't know when to end, "F is for Fart" (from Noboru Iguchi) is just gross, and "W is for WTF" is just that.

As for the more serious entries-"D is for Dogfight" is a rather ingenious twist that's actually pretty well directed, "P is for Pressure" (from Simon Rumley) and "X is for XXL" (by Xavier Gans) are actually pretty intelligent as far as social commentary is concerned, and "U is for Unearther" (by Ben Whetley) is an inventive take on the first person POV movie. Unfortunately, "L is for Libido" is a grotesque mix of masturbation and gore that feels more nauseating than it does interesting (it's my least favorite one by far), and "Y is for Youngbuck" (by "Hobo with a Shotgun" director Jason Eisner) just left a bad taste in my mouth with it's content. "R is for Removed" (which is from "A Serbian Film" director Srdjan Spasojevic) has a neat premise, but is hurt by trying to be too weird for it's own good. Finally, there's "Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)" from Yoshihiro Nishimura is a look at human atrocities throughout history done-well, made in the same way all of Nishimura's movies are made. The mix of over the top images and social commentary really doesn't gel, and simply suggests that this style of weird Japanese horror needs to end.

As a whole, I'd say that this works about 45% of the time. As a whole though, I couldn't help but feel like this was a great idea on paper that should have been much better than it actually is. You can't fault it for ambition, but that doesn't always mean it's going to work out.

Rating: 4.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment