Horror anthologies have become extremely popular with some mixing comedy with horror and others going a more visceral route.
When the credits rolled on Nightmare Cinema, my closest comparison would be Southbound.
Mick Garris’ creation brings genre names David Slade, Joe Dante, Alejandro Brugues (ABC’s of Death 2) and Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) together for five very diverse tales.
We open with Brugues’ ‘The Thing in the Woods’ which flips the slasher genre on its head with some clever twists and turns.
Dante tackles body horror head-on (excuse the pun) with ‘Mirari’ which had shades of Katherine Isabelle’s American Mary, showcasing the harsh nature of trying to attain pure beauty.
Kitamura’s ‘Mashit’ is tonally all over the place as we flit between perceived comedy and demonic suicides as a Catholic convent is overrun by a demon.
There is something stunning and gory imagery but the story does unravel before it gets a chance to really fulfil its early potential.
Slade’s ‘This Way to Egress’ is the most challenging of the stories in Nightmare Cinema; shot in black and white and coming across like a Lynch-esque fever dream.
The most complex episode, ‘Egress’ is open to plenty of interpretation as a mother is taken to a hospital by her son but everything isn’t what it seems.
Garris rounds things off with ‘Dead’ which deals the thin veil between the living and the dead. With some stunning effects makeup and a nice cameo from The X Files’ Annabeth Gish, ‘Dead’ challenges opinions on death and what it means to live.
The weirdest casting is Mickey Rourke as the Projectionist who runs the cinema where all the groups from each story see their twisted stories play out on screen.
Rourke seems a bit too off-kilter and again feels a bit out of place in this sort of horror film.
Nightmare Cinema is a mixed bag but has plenty for horror fans to enjoy.