The horror anthology is making a comeback in the video market. These are the product of plucky filmmakers dreaming of being the next John Carpenter, Wes Craven or Eli Roth. The big thing holding back their dream of cinematic is enough cash to fund a feature film. But there’s little market for short horror films. However if you can put a handful of these shorts together with a framing structure, there’s a chance it can works as a feature length motion picture. The latest wave of anthologies seem to begin with the filmmakers being offered a theme to work into their short. Two recent successes have involve the alphabet and evil videotapes to unify the selected shorts. Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear brings together five short films dealing with sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.
The opening of the film is a bizarre torture scene where the victim ends up losing their senses. The intensity of this footage nearly overshadows the rest of the production. They do cut back to moments from this opening scene to relate to the various titles that follow. “Smell” has a fine Twilight Zone set up of a putz (Corey Scott Rutledge) who finds himself in the clutches of a ruthless faux-Avon lady (Hilary Greer). She gives him a blue bottle of musk that just might change his life. He’s warned to be careful using it. There’s some powerful pheromones in the drops. The new smell transforms his life in a hurry. Women can’t keep their hands off him. His bosses at work give him a promotion since he’s the type of guy who needs to be an executive. But for every reward, there must be a price. Turns out the musk has a severe allergic effect on his skin. But he can’t stop using it else he’ll lose his special power. This is the worst Axe Body Spray ad ever. “See” is another visit to dangerous science. An ophthalmologist (Ted Yudain) creates a device that allows him to see images stored in his patients’ eyes. At first this is a fun way to spy on other, but things get heavy when the doctor sees the abusive behavior dished out by one of his patients. He plots to punish the guy since he can’t quite take his findings to the police. There’s a major chance that he won’t see what’s about to happen when taking the law into his own hands.
“Touch” puts a blind boy in trouble when his parent’s car crashes while driving through the woods. His parents can’t make it out of the car so he must be the hero. He does his best to walk through the wilderness in search of help. This is extremely tricky since there’s plenty of animal traps hidden in the brush. While he thinks he might have found a nice farmer, but it turns out the guy is a psycho killer. Can he escape? “Taste” is a random shocker episode. A guy (Doug Roland) is picked up by a limo and taken to a mysterious company for a job interview. He seems taken back that a female executive (Symba Smith) wants him since he has no desire to work for her. This leads to a grotesque offer to keep him at the firm. There’s not much story so much as just a pure job interview offer. “Listen” is the most disjointed since it is all about found footage. A documentary crew is investigating a science experiment where the patients become killers after listening to a song. They receive the videotapes of the original experiment. Does this song still have the power to inspire blood lust? Plenty of people have wanted to murder drivers that insist on listening to Nickelback.
Of the five stories, “Touch” and “Smell” are the best. “Smell” works as a short film that doesn’t need to be expanded to 90 minutes. “Touch” is driven by the actors heightening the tension in their wilderness pursuit. “Taste” is just good and gross without needing too much depth or explanation. Chilling Vision: 5 Senses of Fear is a more intense version of the old Tales From the Darkside TV series. The filmmakers can be a little more graphic in their gore moments. But none of them go for the puke in your seats visual grotesqueness. This is a fine start for five crews eager to step up to the feature length scares.
The video is 1.78:1. The film mutes the colors a bit so that it feels like a raw winter’s day. The audio is 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. Both sound fine enough for a low budget horror project. “Listen” is a bit rougher since it consists of faked old video footage. The movie is subtitled.
Deleted Scene (0:55) is a short tub moment from “Smell.”
Teasers and Trailers (3:26) promotes the anthology aspect.
Chilling Vision: 5 Senses of Fear is a recent horror anthology with five short films dealing with a sense. The best are “Touch,” “Smell” and the opening credit sequence.
Scream Factory presents Chilling Vision: 5 Senses of Fear. Directed by: Eric England, Nick Everhart, Emily Hagins, Jesse Holland, Miko Hughes & Andy Mitton. Screenplay by: Eric England, Nick Everhart, Emily Hagins, Jesse Holland, Miko Hughes, Andy Mitton & Jack Daniel Stanley. Starring: Nicholas Tucci, Symba, Sean Leser, Danae Nason, Ace Marrero and Hilary Greer. Running Time: 88 minutes. Rating: R. Released: October 22, 2013.
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