RJ Bayley Reviews: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories
Yo-yoing between “man, this is pretty awesome!” and “man, this is really boring”. It was a nonstop back and forth in my mind while viewing the horror anthology Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. And yet somehow, the film never found a balance between the two, never averaging out to “man, this is basically OK”. It was both simultaneously. It wasn’t a case of some of the story segments being great and others being rubbish either. They were all great and rubbish in equal measure.
I’ve pinpointed the problem, and if any of the filmmakers are reading this, then A) hello! Please don’t hate me! and B) please take this as constructive criticism. Every segment should’ve treated like the victim of the aging killers in The Deathday Party and had a pair of secateurs brutally taken to it. Each segment ran way too long. Each one had a wonderful and genuinely unique concept: any one would have made a satisfying short of their own, having more creativity than most of the solo shorts I’m sent. Maintaining this level of quality however, compiled together into one movie, has the benefit of showing that all of the writing is top flight. I was repulsed, I was excited, I even did some LOLs. Unfortunately, the negative of compiling them all together is that it compounds the lengths of the individual pieces. They seemed longer together than if they were taken individually. The opening acts of most were boring, which is a shame, as they suddenly picked up and thrilled me later on. If the filmmakers could hack away a third of each segement, then we’d have something really special.
The effects need a special shout out. They were so fun, evocative of that Evil Dead splatterhouse vibe they were clearly going for. You nailed it. Paired with some very funny humour as well, which was at times gross-out, cineliterate and witty, makes this film utterly charming.
There’s some delightful nuggets of horror platinum in this clever little picture, and it’s worth your time if you can keep motivated to mine them out. Well done, cast and crew. Now let’s see another.