This Day in Horror

17 October 2016

31 Days of Horror Day 17: ABC's of Death 2 2014 - REVIEW by Jay Pendlebury


Horror and genre fans thrive on the anticipation of a film we haven't seen yet. The promise of a film terrifying us, making us squirm or thrilling us enough to earn it a spot among our favorites. Unfortunately we also thrive on the fact that we have to sit through many less than quality films in our search for satisfaction. As a result we depend on the word of friends , blogs, reviews to help us find that uncovered gem. For this reason I think The ABC's of Death, original (2013) and the sequel (2014) are worth a view.

I just recently watched the ABC's of Death 2, I think I enjoyed it more than the first. While I don't consider either film to be among my favorites I believe there is something for every horror fan in both. For those of you who haven't seen either they are unique. The beauty of them is they are anthology style. I enjoy anthology style horror films. Trick or Treat, Creepshow one and two are among my favorites. The ABC's of Death films take that idea to the next level and matches a story to every letter of the alaphabet. Rather than just three or four stories , these films offer up twenty six a piece. With so many short stories, even if you aren't enjoying the current one its just a short matter of time till the next. In that regard I find them satisfying to watch because of the quick set-ups and payoffs. With twenty six per film, and each film clocking in around two hours long, each story is eager to please. Even the ones I didn't really enjoy still kept me engaged while I wondered how they were going to relate to the specific letter they were on. Its unique style offers incredible freedom to the individual directors to go ahead skip appetizers and the main course, lets get to desert!

While the first film left me cringing a little more I still found the second more enjoyable. That being said I would recommend watching the original first. The second was a little more tongue in cheek, better quality directors (Soska sisters, Vincenzo Natali etc.) Be forewarned, there were a few moments that are obviously going to elicit reactions from the viewer at any cost. This stands for both movies. I found one story in particular fairly disgusting and not from a gore standpoint. With twenty-six stories per film, I'm sure certain directors had a goal of standing out, either positively or shockingly. I want to remain clear about these movies though. Not every horror fan is going to love them start to finish. This remains a key selling feature of these films, something for everyone. I liked a lot less of the first and a lot more of the second. Especially with the second I found each reveal of the word at the end of each story to be humorous, clever and sometimes quite poignant. Overall, I would recommend watching, especially if you are seasoned horror lover. "Twenty-six directors, twenty-six ways to die." Who wouldn't love the anticipation of watching that?

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