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Monsters in the Closet, a wise take on the horror anthology film genre

Variety, the saying goes, is the spice of life. Likewise, in cinema – especially horror cinema, where banality sometimes reigns – diversity is a welcome characteristic. The anthology format, so common in the days of the grindhouse and VHS in films such as Black Sabbath, The House That Cried Blood, Creepshow, and Tales from the Dark Side: The Movie, has experienced a revival in the last decade through the V / H / S series, Trick or treats and the recent (and excellent) Serious intentions. As a narrative form, the anthology offers a quick discharge of instant terror gratification; there is little time to establish Exorcist-mood level, suspense and characterization in a fifteen minute segment. Her storytelling is bare to the bone, and the individual stories are often hit or miss.

Now Purgatory Blues has sparked another anthology attempt with Monsters in the closet, a savvy take on the subgenre that daringly builds on its film ancestors. The enveloping portion of the film features Jasmin (Jasmin Flores), daughter of famous horror writer (and notoriously eccentric) Raymond Castle (Tom C. Niksson). Growing up, Jasmin shared a strained relationship with her often angry and work-obsessed father, and now, as an adult, she is determined to uncover the mystery of his sudden disappearance. Learning that Raymond had acquired a 17th century grimoire of black magic rituals that will allow anyone who reads his fiction aloud to become a live participant in the story, Jasmin is forced to fight for his life against the monstrosities spawned by the twisted creative mind of his father. .

The opening segment, “Please Kill Me Again,” centers around Genny, a young woman trying to survive a zombie outbreak in her town and soon acquiring her own culinary taste for the brain. The tale is quirky, post-modern Shaun of the Dead The play-by-play interior monologue and artful first-person perspective (Genny is not portrayed by a single actress, but by an array of performers), delivers a raucous and oddly endearing ghoul’s eye view of ‘an apocalypse of the living dead.

A young couple in love buying their first upper house is the focus of Monsters’ second installment, “Home improvement”. Too cute to be sane hipsters, Zeke (Luke Couzens) and Tina (Carmilla Crawford), start the business in a good mood, confident that their do-it-yourself renovations will bring them even closer, but the never-ending repairs eventually. and inevitably impact their mental states to the point of mutual mutilation of power tools.

‘The One Percenters’, perhaps the strongest section of the film, revolves around Tiffany (Jordan Flippo), the spoiled college-age daughter of sleazy millionaire Chester Collins (Phillip Green Dad), who reluctantly allows her to the slum by going camping with his low-income friends. Once in the wilderness, however, jealousy (mistakenly) arises over new boyfriend Vinny (Nelson JoaQuin) and best friend Maureen (Shanna Bess) which ends with Tiffany accidentally killing her allegedly fiancee. Worried that her future prospects at Princeton are over, Tiffany sets out to search for the remaining witnesses in a clever reversal of the murderer’s shots in the woods.

The film’s weakest segment, “Frankenstein’s Wife,” highlights the insane chaos mad scientist Victor (John Fedele) unleashes when he unintentionally causes the death of his throbbing fiancée, Valerie (Valerie Bitner), and proceeds to resurrect it with sordid results. Recalling the years 1962 The brain that didn’t want to die, there is an obvious rejoicing in the extravagant insanity of movie B which is rapidly descending into the camp even as it strives to maintain blatant character Re-Animator edge, but which loses the viewer’s attention at the most crucial stage.

Despite (or perhaps because of) his addiction to humor, many of those same viewers may not recognize the more complex notions under the skin of Monsters in the closet. Under the laughter and antics of opening arteries, a serious question about existence arises: where Is it that the line between the end of the fantasy and the reality begins? The central idea of ​​the wrap-around section – that of horror stories coming to life – is not new (direct tribute links can be made between Monsters and the explosion of Anthony Hickcox’s horror meta-comedy in 1988 Wax, up to the ambulatory amputated appendix featured in both films), but he is bold in his subversive accusation of the audience as a participant in the macabre proceeding. There is a claim that those who consume horror are, due to both their voyeurism and their desire for ever scarier products, complicit in the creation of on-screen violence.

An obvious labor of love, the entire film was written, co-directed, edited and produced by the Snygg brothers, Spencer and Zachary, who even worked to provide their own impressive visual effects. Their directing styles also draw audiences in with lively kinetic movement and a rowdy atmosphere that gleans pleasure in its macabre merriment. Exulting in its shameless adoration of horror even if it spits tropes, this is a directed film through and for terror fans, especially those who like their butchering shenanigans with a silly side, and that’s why I give Monsters in the closet a respectable 3.5 (out of 5) on my Fang scale. Best seen with popcorn, beer, and a few best friends with similarly distorted tastes.

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