Anthology movies are a SHOCKtober tradition – a tradition of uneven movies with at least one entirely bad segment and a hodgepodge of acting. This one’s pretty consistent in tone and instead of a framing story, the episodes transition into each other and even loop back-to-front. Doomed sketches set in a Twilight Zone-ish small-towns-and-wasteland universe, the sort of place a latter-day Hellraiser sequel would be set (the title perhaps a play on Hellbound). It’s also the second movie I’ve seen this month to feature David Yow, so that’s something special.
The Way Out and The Way In (Radio Silence)
The segments get named in the credits. Radio Silence = guys who made one of my favorite V/H/S segments. Blood-spattered Mitch and Jack are fleeing from floating grim-reaper demons, but caught in a time loop. Finally Jack is tired of running and a (really well-designed) monster just tears him apart. Mitch ends up in a hotel…
Siren (Roxanne Benjamin)
Three girls in a rock band leave the hotel and break down, are rescued by a family who turn out to be in a demonic cult. Reference to a fourth band member who died, which seems to be an artificial time-filler, discord-spreader. No need, since Ava and Kim eat the mystery meat at dinner and become possessed by the devil, while Sadie escapes, only to be hit by a car. The director was a producer on the three V/H/S movies, and survivor Fabianne Therese was in John Dies at the End.
The White Tights:
The Accident (David Bruckner)
Bruckner made the V/H/S segment where two dudes bring a large-eyed hellbeast girl home from the bar. I’m starting to sense a connection between this movie and the V/H/S series. This one was my favorite. The guy Lucas who hit Sadie with his car calls 911 and follows their advice, to load her into his car and drive into town looking for help. Panicky Lucas (Mather Zickel, Jon’s bodyguard on Delocated season 2) finds the town abandoned, loads the girl into the local hospital and continues to follow phone instructions to save her life. He ends up killing her and the voices on the phone laugh at him.
Jailbreak (Patrick Horvath)
Transition via one of the “911 operators” at a pay phone to a forsaken town full of cult symbols where Danny (David Yow!) busts into a bar (named The Trap, ugh) with a gun to rescue his sister Jesse (Omaha’s Tipper Newton), for whom he’s searched for over a decade. But Jesse doesn’t want to leave, and despite his gun everyone here seems more dangerous than Danny. Horvath made no V/H/S episodes, but wrote/directed The Pact 2.
The movie kinda peters out from this segment into the next one, a generic home-invasion scene by masked intruders avenging something or other, killing the parents and tenacious, bat-wielding daughter. As demon-creatures rise from the corpses, the masked killers turn out to be the dudes from the first episode.