I was lucky enough to be among the first in the UK to see horror anthology ABCs of Death at Glasgow FrightFest, and as a lifelong fan of horror anthology, loved the concept. Creative deaths can make or break a horror film, and here’s 26 of them back to back. There’s a great blend of shock, disgust, laughs and emotion, and if you haven’t seen the original yet – we urge you to! One of the most intriguing aspects of the film was that the segment for the letter T would be decided by public vote. Anyone could submit an entry, and the hype around the final probably helped make the film a success. This year, the contest is open once again, to find the letter M. As of this week, the twelve finalists were made available, so we’re going to take a brief look at each of them.
M is for Mailbox
We won’t spoil the twist, but it’s clever, funny, and definitely aimed at horror fans. Outwith that, there’s a creepy kid to rival Damien and Regan, an impressive amount of gore, and multiple deaths for your money – always a winner. We also liked the perfectly fitting music, which compliments the tone very well.
M is for Make Believe
So we’ve established by this point that kids are creepy. Here we have two adorable little girls, pouring glitter on a corpse. Didn’t you do that all the time? It’s poetic, fairly abstract, but an oddly moving look at loss of innocence. Impressive when you consider it’s only 3 minutes long.
M is for Marauder
I’ll be honest, it don’t totally -get- this one. It’s still a lot of fun. If you enjoyed the Wacky Races as a kid, you’ll enjoy this more brutal imagining. The gore effects are well shot and brutal, though part of me wants to see them in full colour. It’s fast paced and fun, and probably would benefit from being a longer piece, but I’m not sure it works in the ABCs of Death format.
M is for Masticate
Topical, hilarious, and brutal. It’s a zombie story, with a modern spin. Most of the film is in slow motion, but it works so well because the movement of the main character is so interesting to watch. The overall look of the film is great, the deaths are fantastic, and it manages to balance between disgusting and awesome. Love it!
M is for Matchmaker
Over the top, silly, but very, very funny. Again, this one is relevant and topical, but manages to feel in places like the horror classics. We loved the ‘Matchmaker’ character, and her pathetic client. It’s satirical and more humour than horror, but it does the humour so well that it works. Might make you think twice about online dating!
M is for Meat
I have no idea what to make of this film. The stop motion is impressive, and it looks great, fitting the tone really well. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a comment on meat eating and animal cruelty, or if it’s just meant to be…weird. It does manage weird very well though, and if you didn’t think puppets could disturb you, then think again.
M is for Mind Meld
The premise allows for an impressive amount of gore, and that really works in the film’s favour. I’d love to see this concept explored in more depth in a longer piece, but for a three minute short, we don’t get a chance to question the whys and what ifs. What we do get is some highly effective, uncomfortable to watch injury that will most likely make you squirm!
M is for Miracle
Abstract and emotional, this one would fall into the category of a dark fairy tale. I wasn’t able to find a subtitled version, but the imagery works so well that it doesn’t really matter. It’s a surreal experience, with beautiful bright colours and sets. The deaths come in an unexpected way, which is nice. Overall, a weird one, but very nice to look at.
M is for Misdirection
Taking a leaf of of Final Destination’s go to scene “You think they die one way, but ha ha, they don’t” It’s not bad, per say, it just feels like…well, Final Destination. I’ll give it this, it has a far more interesting backstory being hinted at, and the setting is nice. There’s a lot of detail and a lot going on in the background, but the story just feels like we’ve seen it before.
M is for Muff
Reading the title, I had no idea what to expect from this one – but it definitely wasn’t what I ended up watching! Disgusting – yes, but that’s probably to be expected from the title. It is however, very darkly funny. We wont ruin the surprise, but you’re either going to gag, or laugh. We laughed!
M is for Multiverse Apathy
And the award for the most disgusting entry goes to…! It’s actually a clever idea, and well executed, just maybe not one to watch over lunch. Something of a social satire looking at teleshopping, there’s some pretty unpleasant moments. But the silliness of it is played so well, that it ends up being pretty interesting.
M is for Munging
This one is probably a decent contender for ‘most disgusting’, being narrowly beaten by Multiverse Apathy. The makeup on the corpse looks great, and there’s a fantastic sense of dread with knowing what the title implies, but not being sure how far it will be taken and how much we’ll actually see.
Watch all twelve finalists at the ABCs of Death Official site.