With Halloween on the cards it’s easy to get lost in a sea of awful horror films that will feel like you have wasted your time but one tried and tested format is sure to save you this year. The anthology formula. Synopsis’ courtesy of IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Watch them.. I dare you..
4. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.
3. Three Extremes (2004)
Three Asian directors, from Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, join forces to create an omnibus horror film, Three…Extremes. In Fruit Chan’s “Dumplings,” shot by Christopher Doyle, Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a thirtysomething former actress with a philandering husband (Tony Leung) goes to visit Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), who sells the most expensive dumplings in Hong Kong. Mrs. Li knows about their rejuvenating powers, and she also knows about their unpleasant main ingredient, but after some initial nausea, she digs right in. In Oldboy writer/director Park Chan-wook’s “Cut,” a successful filmmaker (Lee Byung-hun of Joint Security Area) arrives home to find that a disgruntled extra (Lim Won-hee) has taken over his home, and fastened his pianist wife (Kang Hye-jun of Oldboy) to the grand piano. The madman threatens to cut off the wife’s fingers, one by one, unless the director strangles the helpless child he’s tied to the couch. Takashi Miike directs the last segment, “Box,” about a young author and former circus performer, Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa), seemingly haunted by the ghost of her twin sister, who died a mysterious and horrible death while practicing their act. Adding to Kyoko’s trauma, her editor (Atsuro Watabe) is a dead ringer for her old stepfather/ringmaster, who may have perished in the same “accident” that took her sister’s life.
2. Dead of Night (1945)
1. Kwaiden (1964)
Kwaidan is an impressively mounted anthology horror film based on four stories by Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-born writer who began his career in the United States at the age of 19 and moved permanently to Japan in 1890 at the age of 40, where he eventually became a subject of the empire and took on the name Koizumi Yakuno. Hearn became a conduit of Japanese culture to western audiences, publishing journalism and then fiction incorporating traditional Japanese themes and characters. “Black Hair,” the first tale, concerns a samurai who cannot support his wife; he leaves her for a life of wealth and ease with a princess. Returning years later, he spends the night with his wife in their now-dilapidated house, only to awake to a horrifying discovery which drives him insane. In “The Woman of the Snow” (deleted from U.S. theatrical prints after the film’s Los Angeles opening; it is on the DVD version), two woodcutters seek refuge during a snowstorm in what appears to be an abandoned hut. A snow witch appears and kills one of them but lets his partner free. Years later, the survivor meets and married a lovely young woman, only to learn her true identity. The most visually impressive tale is “Hoichi the Earless,” in which a blind musician is asked by the ghost of a samurai to play for his late infant lord at a tomb. The monks who house the musician cover him with tattoos to prevent any harm coming to him, but they forget his ears. He returns from the engagement with his ears cut off; however, his misadventure propels him to fame. “In a Cup of Tea” concerns a samurai who is haunted by the vision of a man he sees reflected in his tea. Even after he drinks from the cup, he still sees the man while on guard duty.
I would just like to add that under no circumstance should you prepare dinner whilst watching Three Extremes. You have been warned.