Are Horror Anthologies Making A Comeback?: Sanitarium Red Band Trailer Wants Us To Think So.

By Jodi Clager | Trailers | February 19, 2013 | Comments ()


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V/H/S and The ABCs of Death attempted to revive the horror anthology by following the lead of Tales From the Darkside and Creepshow and using hooks to tie their stories together. V/H/S used a wraparound story concerning a gang of horrible criminals sent to steal a V/H/S tape from the home of an old man. While searching for the tape, the misogynistic crew watch tapes filled with strange stories that are supposed to be terrifying. The ABCs of Death had one very short film for each letter of the alphabet. I admit I got bored with ABCs and stopped watching before the end. Both of the 2012 releases also had several directors working on the various stories within the films.

In my opinion, both films fell horribly flat. In the case of V/H/S, the acting was terrible, none of the stories were scary, there were no likeable characters (although arguments can be made for the last story in the film overcoming all of my complaints), and it seemed that there were boobs for no reason other than "HEY! BOOBIES! HUR HUR HUR HUR!". The ABCs of Death started oddly with A, I can't remember B, C was intriguing, and when we got to "F is for Fart" I gave up. I say that as someone that thinks fart jokes are hilarious. I thought it was unfunny and horribly done. Oh, also clearly NOT SCARY.

Now we have Sanitarium, a horror anthology with three different stories taking place in a mental hospital and narrated by Malcolm McDowell. Bryan Ramirez (Mission Park, assistant camera on "American Idol"), Kerry Valderrama (Garrison and some acting parts), and Bryan Oritz (Doctor S Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie) are the three directors tasked with bringing the terror to the screen. I don't think they have the ability to do so.

In the trailer we see John Glover looking very Sideshow Bob, Lou Diamond Phillips, implied sex and nudity, Lacey Chabert, McDowell peering in a window, and then quick cuts of nothing that catches my eye. I'll still reserve full judgement until I've seen it, but I am prepared to be disappointed.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • apsutter

    I hope so! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE horror anthologies.

  • PerpetualIntern

    "We should totally just stab Caesar!"

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    You know, for a little bit less than half the population, and probably 80 - 90% of the targeted demographic, Boobies for no other reason than Boobies is the reason for Boobies. Boobies don't need a reason, there inclusion always improves any film, but especially horror films.

  • Starring John Glover as Sideshow Bob.

  • Cliff Torres

    Trick 'r Treat with Anna Paquin was pretty good.

  • junierizzle

    Love Trick 'r Treat. It's become one of my go to Halloween movies.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    Yeah it was!

  • Robert

    Horror anthologies are probably my favorite mainstream horror subgenre. When they're done right, they offer something for everyone and manage to build to a big climax within a very loose, disjointed structure. When done poorly, they're boring as all get out and pointless.

    I can't speak on The ABCs of Death, but I will say is V/H/S misses the mark as an anthology. The framing device needs to be compelling enough to make you want to keep watching even if you don't care for a particular short. I thought it was just a slapdash effort to fake cohesion.

    You don't need a framing device to do good anthology horror--both of the Three...Extremes films are connected by a guiding theme and are very compelling--but you do need something to hold it all together. The mental hospital concept is an oldie but a goody (the other mainstay being people trapped in a room telling stories) and one that I think can still resonate with audiences today. American Horror Story: Asylum was like the inception of anthology horror: a new season of an anthology horror series where the season itself told many shorter stories loosely woven into the overriding narrative of what's really happening at the Asylum. There's potential here.

  • apsutter

    Ditto. I love all the British anthology films from the 70's. And I also love shows that use the same actors in different roles like AHS, Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents etc

  • Amicus made great horror anthologies

  • John G.

    Lou Diamond Phillips says "I was in La Bamba. Where did it all go wrong?"

  • Mit Huffman

    Holy Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Lacey Chabert!

  • BlackRabbit

    Sadly, her name cannot be made into a juvenile sexual euphemism or horrible pun as easily as Hewitt's. Therefore she will not be as popular.

  • Holly Martins

    I thought the woman in the header pic was Jennifer Love Hewitt. I was scared.

  • PerpetualIntern

    My first thought as well. And second and third thoughts every time I scrolled past the header picture on the front page of Pajiba.

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