Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Horrorpalooza 2014: "The ABC's of Death 2" Review - Written by Anthony T
“The ABC’s of Death 2” is a film that I’ve been waiting to get a chance to see since first hearing about it. I enjoyed the first film, even though I couldn’t stand some of its segments. But I was excited about this entry considering the talent that are involved with the project.
The film consists of 26 chapters that represent each letter of the alphabet. It features some of the best up and coming talents including Julian Barratt (A Field in England), Todd Rohal (The Catechism Cataclysm), Steven Kostanski (Manborg), Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead), Jim Hosking (commercial director), Hajime Ohata (Henge), Chris Nash (Skinfections), Rodney Ascher (Room 237), Bill Plympton (Animator), Erik Matti (On the Job), Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (Vanishing Waves), Vincenzo Natali (Cube), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside), E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves), Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place To Die), Dennison Ramalho (Ninjas), Lancelot Imasuen (Nollywood director), Jerome Sable (Stagefright), Robert Morgan (Bobby Yeah), Robert Boocheck (Horrific), Juan Martinez Moreno (Game of Werewolves), Marvin Kren (Rammbock:Berlin Undead)and Soichi Umezawa (special makeup effects artist).
Before I start on what I liked and disliked about “The ABC’s of Death 2”, I think this is much better film than “The ABC’s of Death”. It didn’t feel like there too many awful ones here. There were a couple of bad one which I’ll get to but at least most of the films were good or so-so. This made it a little harder coming up with some of the best shorts here. Still, that it’s a good problem to have especially when there wasn’t many bad/awful ones. Let me start off with the ones I liked.
Speaking of starting off, this film starts off with one of best ones in the whole film. “A for Amateur” directed by E. L. Katz. Like his earlier film this year “Cheap Tricks”, this was one twisted film. I liked, the way that he does a great job starting the short like a music video with the way it was directed and conceived. It made me think that the whole short was going to be that way. But I was wrong, as this quickly turns into one of the most gruesome and shocking shorts of the bunch.
The next one that I truly liked and stood out for me was “K for Knell” directed by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper, the duo behind the Lithuania film “Vanishing Waves”. This was an intense short from start to finish. What I liked about it was the fact they manage to make everything intense without any dialogue being spoken. The way they directed their actress helped this short work as a whole without needing other characters to make the action scary, as her reactions helped build the suspense. It also provided a good scare or two which helped set it apart from some of the other shorts. The other one that stood out was “W for Wish” by Steven Kostanski. This short had the same feel as Kostanski’s last film “Manborg”. He makes sure that his short had a different approach from its fanboy feel to the way that he uses stop motion effects. It made the short have its apocalyptic tone while also having its cheesy feel to it. It made the short both entertaining and twisted.
Other good ones include the Claymation short “D for Deloused”, the weird “G is for Granddad”, Erik Matti’s (On the Job) dysfunctional family short “I is for Invincible”, Marvin Kren’s (Rammbock: Berlin Undead) “R is for Roulette”, the entertaining Q is for Questionnaire directed by Rodney Ascher (Room 237)” Jen and Sylvia Soska’s (See No Evil 2) creepy “T is Torture Porn” featuring Tristen Risk (American Mary) and Conor Sweeney (Father’s Day, Manborg) and the shocking “X is for Xylophone” directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury(Vivid, Inside) and starring Beatrice Dalle (Inside).
There were a couple of really bad ones too. For the life of me, why in the world the two of the worst shorts of are L and M again. They weren’t as horrifically bad as the L and M in the first film but I would’ve thought those letters would be the easiest shorts to watch. “L for Legacy” was one of those shorts that should’ve aired on Syfy and not this film. Everything was wrong from the story feeling rushed to the effects, it had a cheesy and dull feel to it. “M for Masticate” is the other one that really sucked. It was directed by Robert Boocheck, who won the 26th director contest for this entry. What made this short not work for me was the way that he uses slow motion. That technique made the short nauseating to watch, as I was disgusted with what I was watching. It also didn’t help that the ending was the beginning of the short.
Beside those two, the other awful short that stood out in a negative way was “E for Equilibrium directed by Alejandro Brugues (Juan of the Dead). This is the worst of the bunch. This short had characters that come off as stupid and uninteresting. Also, it would’ve been nice to have seen interaction with the characters. While some of shorts didn’t have dialogue or much interaction, they managed to build tension and suspense in their shorts. This film has none of that, as it’s not suspenseful and entertaining enough to grab my interest.
Even though I liked “The ABC’s of Death”, this film is much better than the last one. With some very entertaining shorts and more of an intense feel. “The ABC’s of Death 2” shocking horror at its best. I can’t wait to see a third installment of this series.
“The ABC’s of Death 2” is currently available through VOD providers and ITunes and hits theaters in limited release on October 31st.
Review Rating: Four Stars