A mesmerizing jumble of three British horror shorts combined with an American wrap-around story that is fantastically stupid makes this an anthology that must be watched to be believed. The shorts themselves are interesting, have decent budgets and plenty of effort placed into them. The American story that links them together is staggeringly stupid and cheap. It makes me love the whole thing even more.
Two New York dudes steal a few films from a local video shop. They run over to their friend’s house, who is showering naked. Her part in the linking story is to provide gratuitous nudity and sleep with the fat dude; while under the guise of getting ready for a date. By my math that makes her a slut. The dudes are a couple of geniuses. You know this from lines like, “I can tell the films are British because of the way they talk.” Yep. Geniuses.
The first story involves a street puppeteer who flips his sh*t after his stepson destroys his life’s work (puppets). The crazed man believes the puppet has a mind of his own and, apparently, the ability to bludgeon people to death with a 2×4. Honestly, the 2×4 is a weapon I would like to see more of in horror. It doesn’t get much more brutal than repeatedly bashing someone with the business end of a piece of fabricated wood. Since this is an anthology and each segment must be compared to the others, I will dub this the second best of the shorts.
The second short, titled “Dreamhouse” is the best of the bunch. It provided a couple real chills, an excellent ending, and some gruesome visuals. A young couple move into a house and the wife, predictably, begins to have strange visions of a ghastly crime. Sure, this story has been played out in recent years, but this little short manages to stay different. As the visions escalate, they become more and more disturbing –quite blood in fact. Of course, no one believes the wife…yada yada yada. The end has a super massive payoff. This one is best the less you know about it. Just watch it.
The final short is about a guy who is out to rob some old ladies who claim their house is protected by faires and gnomes. Guess what? It is. This story is the weakest link (besides the wrap around story). Honestly, I would say skip it and cruise through to the finale, which is just as ridiculous as the rest of the American parts. That is, unless you find garden gnomes frightening. If you do, then maybe stick around for the final act.
Rating: Puppeteer 5/10 Dreamhouse 8/10 Gnomes 3/10
Snore Factor: ZZZ