Sinister Visions (2013)
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"Sinister Visions" is a horror anthology from Apotheosis Film's and Branbomm. The collection of short stories was recently released through Chemical Burn Entertainment and features directors Henric Brandt, Doug Gehl, Kim Sønderholm in five short stories of dark fiction. The stories within the anthology all play upon visceral nightmares that are meant to tease sinister surrealism and grindhouse horror. There is no wrap-around to frame the series of short films, forcing the scenes to begin and end in some phantom wisp of staunch, haunting succession.
"Succubus" is a wicked story of a demonic possession which puts a young woman in the driving seat of fiendish desires. She is driven by the evil force to kill and consume whatever man is near. The story is not all that original, nor is this short film all that interesting. For the most part it was kind of boring and offered no scares or chills. I will give props to the creature design. At full on view it seems a bit theatrical but the detail and attention to showing a full demon effect in the short was professional and creative. I would have loved to see more gore or actual emoted response from the characters in "Succubus".
"My Undead Girlfriend" is a dark satire about marriage and relationship. A young man is faced with the challenge of a fiancé who is undead. This short story was very entertaining and even though at times seemed a bit detached from it's own intend (I never truly connected with the characters or the story-felt as if they were just going through the motions-like marriage!) That doesn't stop the film from being a pretty cool short filled with growls, grue and blood. It ends a little bit hokey and with way more energy than the actual story had but I still liked "My Undead Girlfriend".
"Mother Knows Best" gives us a dark visceral and chilling grindhouse styled story. A true psychotic in the dating world-kind of. The story is creepy, stoic and gritty. It doesn't offer a lot of back-story or depth as far as the characters but it is a story that would make one hell of a feature film. A homicidal maniac who's dead mother continues to nag him as he lures women into his home. "Mother Knows Best" is a bit cold and brutal with more attention placed on nude and abused women than any real message but it works as a superficially frightening story.
"A Woman Scorned" is the fourth short film in "Sinister Visions" . The story was a dark, organic horror that once more brings the bad relationship face down into a pool of blood. I didn't really care for the story because I found one of the main selling points to the psycho's reason for killing too implausible-(two years with it inside her and she would have died way before she could have plotted and executed her vengeful scheme.) That being said the lead actress was chilling in her portrayal of the character and this short film was the first one in the series where I connected with the characters on an emotional level.
"Genital Genocide" was a bit of a downer as well. The story is a grindhouse play on the serial slasher story. It was visceral in its display of gore which was cool but the premise of the killer in the chair being able to re-hash the events that placed him there was bit of a stretch for the imagination. I don't believe he would ever have been able to taunt or relive with delicious satisfaction those gruesome events before they pulled the switch. Maybe if they would have let him relive the events will a priest lead him down the hall to the chair then this whole short film would have been more convincing in its story. Still the gore and classic horror feel of the kill scenes were worthy.
"Sinister Visions" is a 50/50 experience for me. The stories and visual aspects of the directors seem a bit misogynistic. The characters in many of the short films read more cold and empty than one wants in their characters. There was no wrap-around or framework to the anthology that you want to find to lead the collection of short films from start to finish. That is the things I found wrong with the collection. The things I liked about "Sinister Vision" was the fact there was some series attempts to tell really chilling tales with a three stories really standing out as notable short films (My Undead Girlfriend, Mother Knows Best, A Woman Scorned). The effects and graphic elements, when displayed, where delightful to my blood thirsty nature. I like blood and guts in my anthology. Over all "Sinister Visions" is one of those films that I would say see it if you really want to, and for Kim Sønderholm fans, there is plenty of him available in this collection of short films. This anthology however doesn't really offer anything knew as far as original concepts but the actual plot lines and stories are creative. "Sinister Visions" has some good moments and then there is some bad ones in this collection. That is why I am split about my feelings.
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