The ABCs of Death - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The ABCs of Death Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 8, 2014
It is uneven like most anthologies, with segments that range from scary to funny to clever to silly - and as such, some of them are quite efficient but many are far from that, like "M Is for Miscarriage" and "Z is for Zetsumetsu", both of which stand out as particularly awful.
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2013
26 short horror films, inspired by a different letter of the alphabet. These compilations are always hit or miss but there seem to be a higher percentage of duds in this one than expected. So many different styles, form comedy to gore to sheer WTF, that there's sure to be something to bore, annoy or offend everyone. Personal favorites were the transcendently juvenile "F for Fart" and the experimentally erotic "O for Orgasm."
Markus Emilio Robinson
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2013
Was this supposed to be scary? Was this supposed to be a comedy? At the end of the day it doesn't matter, when the only thing "The ABCs of Death" turns into is an example of what happens (most of the time) when directors serve as their own writers.

In my mind, going down as a tonally confused version of something out of the "Faces of Death" series, "The ABCs of Death" is a compilation of 26 short films, where the overall idea was to give 26 directors (from all over the world) each a letter of the alphabet and have them each make a short segment showcasing death using a theme which begins with their designated letter. But while we (the audience members) are lead to believe that each director has set out to work within the confines of their letter in order to bring forth something interesting, problems arise when it quickly becomes apparent how aggressively incoherent, aggressively disgusting (but not in a scary way) and just downright boring "The ABCs of Death" actually is.

Much of this movie is a mixture of segments which are visually well crafted, but far too conceptually strange, segments that are meant to be funny, but are far too conceptually strange and the segments which are downright gross, and while aren't as conceptually strange, are simply nonsensical. But maybe the biggest problem here is that most of these said segments aren't scary at all. Even those directors, who came forth with the intention to scare, showcase segments of death tamer than anything you could see in an episode of "1000 Ways to Die".

A Quick Heads Up: The best segment (by far) is entitled "Q is for Quack" by filmmaker Adam Wingard, who seems to be the only writer/director thinking outside of the box. But even though this is one of the funniest film shorts I've ever seen (I'm not kidding) what you have to wade through to get to it, is sadly not worth your time. Anyway, I'm sure you can find this segment on YouTube or somewhere else for free. The only other segment which rivals Wingard's film is entitled "X is for XXL", which is undoubtedly the most visually impressive and is in fact the scariest segment in this supposed horror movie.

Final Thought: Maybe I was naive to think that a movie entitled "The ABCs of Death" would be scary or even have a fraction of Twilight Zone-ish sensibility, but I would be shocked if said egregious lack of scares isn't the final nail in the coffin which distractingly kills off anything good about this film experiment, as an entire piece.

Written Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2013
15 hours ago, I was watching ''Brokeback Mountain'', a masterful film from a true visionary in Ang Lee. At this present time, I've just witnessed ''The ABCs of Death'' and I'm very rarely blown away by the atrocity of a film, but this is one of those times when I don't know what to This sucks hard.
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2013
Out of the 8 shorts worth watching, they range from "Hey, this is a cool idea, maybe one day there'll be a better execution!" to "What did I just watch, let me watch that again."
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2013
A concept & idea that could truly have been successful if it had tried, but instead the majority of the film is more horrifying than it is scary or any good. Much like other horror movies this bad the poster is better & more terrifying than the film itself.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2014
The horror anthology The ABCs of Death is a mixture of the macabre, the bizarre, and the absurd. Twenty-six directors from around the world have come together to create horror vignettes, each based on a letter of the alphabet. Some are quite imaginative and especially well-crafted, while others are trite and poorly constructed. On the whole about a third are worth watching, but the rest are garbage. The ABCs of Death is an interesting experiment in filmmaking, but it ultimately fails.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2013
A horror anthology movie with a segment for each letter of the alphabet, The ABCs of Death does have a couple creepy and effective segments but the rest of them tend to be either dull or astoundingly pointless. The connecting theme that connects each brief vignette (each one lasts between three and five minutes) is death, but aside from that each director was given carte blanche to make their segment as scary, funny, or unique as they wanted. Many of the directors have experience in low-budget horror and low-budget movies in general, including Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Ti West (House of The Devil, The Innkeepers), Srdjan Spasojevic (A Serbian Film), and Adam Wingard (V/H/S). There are over 24 different directors from 15 different countries, so this is more ambitious than your typical horror anthology. The best segments are D is for Dogfight, E is for Exterminate, H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion, and J is for Jidai-Geki, but there are a few other good ones as well. J is for Jidai-Geki (a phrase which more or less means a period drama with samurai) was my personal favorite. It involves one samurai who is about to execute a captured enemy samurai, but the captured samurai's face seems to keep distorting in bizarre, inhuman ways. This includes his eyeballs popping out of his nose and then swinging like pendulums. It's clever and very funny, which is more than can be said for many other segments in the movie. The movie hits absolute rock-bottom very quickly with the segment F is for Fart, which isn't any more sophisticated than you would expect. It's a five-minute long fart joke, and a bad one at that. T is for Toilet isn't much better, featuring a story about a killer toilet and some very mediocre claymation. Most segments aren't quite as bad as these two, but they tend to be pretty uninspired and, for lack of a better word, meh. The ABCs of Death is an interested experiment that is ultimately derailed by a number of uninspired and often tasteless segments, and unfortunately the bad outweighs the good. If you're looking for a horror anthology movie, you could do much better than this.
Super Reviewer
½ February 1, 2013
Quite possibly one of the most sick, twisted, disturbing, hilarious, offensive, and gross-out anthology films I've ever seen. (Yes, all in which in a good way).
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2013
There's maybe four decent shorts in this anthology. Which leaves twenty-two that are either below average or worse. Which means the film as a whole is a stinker. Watch V/H/S instead.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2012
"The ABCs of Death" continues the multiple director, horror anthology trend that is developing and presents 26 shorts directed by 26 different filmmakers, depicting a death for each letter of the alphabet. The fun of the shorts is trying to determine what the death will be, knowing the letter but nothing else until the end, when the title of the piece is revealed. Most of the shorts are gruesome and bordering on torture porn ("P is for Pressure"), while some are just baffling and incoherent ("W is for WTF"). But there are a few shorts that rank very highly on both a horror and film-making playing field, with "D is for Dogfight" remaining one of the most well made shorts of the bunch. Containing a mixture of comedic, animated, otherworldly, and overal artistic representations, "The ABCs of Death" is still a positive step in bringing unknown filmmakers to a higher level while also bringing in (now) well knowns like Ti West (whose short is rather simple).
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2013
Mental horror anthology. 26 film directors have been designated a letter of the alphabet and they then have to make a short film based around the word that begins with their given letter,and it has to involve death, if that makes sense! It's hard to review all the films so to give a brief overview, they range from the dark, disturbing, disgusting ,brutal, offensive, funny, weird, surreal but it's always entertaining, with directors from around the world given the chance to make a 5-10 minute, sometimes less, short.A bit like a showcase I guess. It's an interesting idea but it's also easy to see how some might find it annoying, especially as a few of the ideas are a bit confusing and sometimes very fast moving. But if you just sit back and take it in then The ABCs of Death is a creative and innovative 2 hour journey into some truly fucked up minds that should be seen to be believed.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2012
Some shorts are good, some are not. It may be ambitious but collaborating so many directors has it's downfalls. I do like some of the ideas but there weren't enough time to really elaborate the potentials of some of the shorts. At some point, the letters are very forcefully chosen like Hydro-Electric-Fusion, Jidaigeki and WTF.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2013
An interesting idea that ended up being a terrible, sickening experience with common sense and silly stories.
November 16, 2015
This review is gonna be a little different. Considering all 26 short films in this one film are written and directed by a different person, I will put each letter in either Pros or Cons and determine the score that way and will not spoil anything.

-A: Didn't expect it
-C: Seen this story before in movies but it wasn't bad
-D: Not really horror, but the twist was nice
-E: This one plays to my fears, but I've read a story like this film before
-H: Just excellent. Don't know if I could call it horror though
-I: A little disturbing to watch for certain reasons for me
-J: Hilarious, not horror though
-M: Disturbing
-Q: Self aware and kinda funny
-R: Very interesting and well done
-S: At first it's gonna seem stupid, but if you've ever known someone like the ones at the end you'll know what this film is going for
-T: Probably the best one in the whole film
-V: Interesting story
-W: Hilarious mindfuck
-X: Fucked up but well done
-Y: Nevermind, this one has to be the best of the movie. Nice 80's esque music too.

-B: Made no sense
-F: Wtf??
-G: This one, I tell you what..
-K: I don't even know what to say
-L: So awkward to watch
-N: Cliched
-O: Not horror and reeks of the indie artsy style that I'm not too fond of
-P: I just personally didn't enjoy this one
-U: Nothing that great
-Z: I have no clue of what I just watched

The ABCs of Death is an average horror comedy anthology film worth at least one watch.
½ August 3, 2015
This was a really weird anthology of gore and death. Definitely not for children, especially the last story. Substantial amount of nudity, adult themes and sex.
½ May 19, 2015
interesting concept, some gore, sometime even more gory then the hostel, but thats ok! we can and should take it!
March 15, 2015
It's hard to rate something like this. There are 26 4-minute shorts. Each is based around one word with a letter in the alphabet (A-Z). Some are good, some are bad, most are subtitled. There are a few of these that I'm going to remember for quite some time... and not necessarily in a good way. (The one where guys are tied up and have to finish watching horrific things in a competition where the loser is murdered... wow...)
March 12, 2015
Very gory, frequently disturbing, somewhat shocking but pure entertainment. I am a horror anthology buff and this was a perfect film for me. May not be for everyone but if you are thick skinned and like suspense and horror, you'll probably like this movie.
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