Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 – review

Director: Roger Sampson

Release date: 2017

Contains spoilers

The Forces of Horror Anthology is a portmanteau movie where the shorts that make it up all come from the same team, using the same core cast members. This allows a wraparound where troubled girl Libby (Gracie Whitton) is in with therapist Dr Svengali (Lance Eakright).

She is living with foster parents and is having bad dreams. The Doctor has to coerce the tales from her and each one is one of our shorts.

The vampire short was originally filmed as The Origin of the Species and begins with a distance shot of a man and child walking down the road as we POV through the air. The camera settles on a house and into it walks a woman (April Hartman). She looks at a paper with a headline that talks about a ripper type serial killer having killed an eighth family. Suddenly there is a knock on the door.

at the door
At the door is a man, Kyle (also Lance Eakright), with a little girl – his daughter Abigail (also Gracie Whitton). They have broken down and he would like to use the phone. The woman suggests that her neighbour is a mechanic and should be able to help. Kyle says he had already been there and the neighbour had left a note on the door to say he was out. She lets him in and, when she turns, he strikes her.

alltied up
When she comes to she is zip-tied to a chair but remarkably calm. He crows and preens for a little bit (also saying he has dreamt of the house and her). Then she makes a comment about the size of his manhood, she knows that he is really called Eli and the girl is really Brooke – the child of a victim whom he has taken to make ingress into homes easier. She purposefully lured him to the house. Suddenly she is out of her bonds and impervious to any assault he attempts.

vamp face
Eventually we see that she has fangs, skin patterning (perhaps veins) and her eyes change colour. She easily overpowers him and – Heavy Spoiler – invites Brooke to feed. This all builds towards a view that these vampires are a separate species, Brooke is unaware of her heritage till that moment and will only become fully aware when she turns eighteen. The woman (called Adrasteia according to the separate IMDb credits for the short) mentions a war coming and this short does feel more like a prologue to a bigger project.

That said it was pretty neat and I rather enjoyed the anthology as a whole. It was better shot than some and whilst some of the effects seemed a tad B (the zombie makeup was a little makeup heavy, though it worked, and the monster mask of Rawhead did look like a mask) it was generally well done – and some good blood effects. The feed scene in the Origin of the Species was nicely drawn out compared to that 5 second feed often seen in vampire movies. 6.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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