Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares – and darkest secrets – over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.
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Different. In a good way. More Twilight Zone than ABC or VHS. The deliberate death of explanation (or logic, for that matter) is a plus. Will be remembered as a minor classic. Let's just don't transform this into a "franchise" please.
2-3. Eh. Not especially scary, though the last one did spook me a little (I have a thing about masks). Still there are worse ways to play out a setting as a metaphor for a lost, cyclical state that eventually destroys its inhabitants, one way or another. That being said, I think the mostly oddly 'nice' protagonists are a double-edged creative decision, but this wasn't a waste of my time, either.
Overall is exceedingly well-crafted: the cinematography by various DPs is excellent, whether out on the sun-baked sand or deep in the hospital’s shadowy confines, production designer Jennifer Moller creates atmospherically varied yet thematically united settings and the chapters are further tied together by the eerie score by The Gifted.
So many references from the 60s, 70s and 80s are here. Twilight Zone is the essence, Tales from the Crypt is the body, the girls are final, the score is J. Carpenter-esque. It's a contemporary movie though, written and directed by people who know the meaning of horror is not in what is understandable, but instead in what lies in the unknown. Adam Wingards and Adam Greens have A_LOT to learn with their contemporaries.
It started out pretty weak but gained momentum and for an anthology movie this was pretty solid in the end. The interlocking stories were better than I had expected although the second one with the girls in the van was kinda lame. Perfect for a late night session.