The Horror Network (2015)
Directed by: Brian Dorton, Douglas Conner, Ignacio Martín Lerma, Joseph Graham, Lee Matthews, Manuel Marin
Written by: Brian Dorton, Douglas Conner, Joseph Graham, Manuel Marín
Starring: Artem Mishin, Brian Dorton, Jan Cornet, Javier Botet, Macarena Gómez, Nick Frangione
THE HORROR NETWORK (2015)
Serial killers, stalkers in the night, demonic creatures and monsters of perversion are just some of the horrors in anthology film THE HORROR NETWORK.
Featuring five horror tales, THE HORROR NETWORK feels as though it’s trying to emulate the success of ABC’s of Death, V/H/S and other anthology movies but like so many before it, it falls on its face… hard. Opening with a British short film that made little to no sense except for showcasing a variety of camera shots before its character discovers a jack-in-a-box that shouldn’t be in the home, the scene is set for disappointment after disappointment. You can tell some sort of effort has been made to create a frightening story with each of these segments but they fail to tell a coherent story.
In Edward, a young man is refusing to sleep after waking up in places he shouldn’t be. His therapist attempts to convince Edward to sleep after he confesses hallucinating but there may be more going on than he anticipates. The back and forth between therapist and patient is a bit strained at times but builds up quite well. However, the result is a rather forgettable short.
The third tale, about a deaf girl who ends up lost in the woods, is pretty simple to understand but the strange involvement of a doll left me questioning what the intentions actually were of a certain character. Nothing appears clear cut and this ambiguity does no favours for the film.
A Spanish segment conjures up some brutal violence that will make you squirm as well as some frightening demonic creatures that truly look straight from hell as characters are left to live with scars of the past. This is probably one of the stronger tales of the bunch but still, the script leaves a lot to be desired.
The most striking and revolting of all the shorts is the final tale of a deviant who likes to torture animals, kill men and sleep with their corpses, even to the point of decapitation and skullfucking them. The twist is quite clever and, despite its stomach-churning scenes, this effort does deserve to be applauded.
As a whole, THE HORROR NETWORK does not work. It’s bland with too many weak links, thus struggling to make an impact for horror fans. Most of these shorts would be better left on their own as individual short films on a festival circuit rather than being cooped together, with the exception of one or two that could possibly stand their ground in a better quality anthology.