Following my first giveaway, which prompted my readers to name their favorite horror anthology, I couldn’t help but think about some of my favorites as well. Horror anthologies are both fun and scary because the viewer gets a little bit of everything with each segment in the movie. There is always one story that stands out among the rest within each film and I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite ones. Check out below to see if yours made the list!
10.) Trick ‘R Treat–Meet Sam
Trick ‘R Treat was a lovely little gem that was given to horror fans in 2007. The film followed four interwoven tales set on Halloween night and it introduced genre fans to their favorite new character: Sam. The movie is perfect to watch on Halloween because each tale details the importance of following specific rules for the spooky holiday and if those rules aren’t followed–Sam will make sure that you pay for it. Although each story was exciting and fun to watch, the one that stood out most was the last, which revolved around Brian Cox’s character, Mr. Kreeg. Kreeg was a grumpy old man with a past who made the fatal mistake of not having any candy to leave out for trick-or-treaters. Sam shows that size doesn’t really matter when he attacks Kreeg for his mistakes, giving the old man the fight of his life. The segment was enticing and creepy to watch and it kept the viewer on the edge of their seat as they anticipated what was going to happen next. One thing is for sure: people learned that they better follow the rules of Halloween–or else.
9.) Body Bags–Eye
In 1993, horror alums John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper teamed up for an anthology of three separate horror tales. The Eye told the story of a major league ball player who loses his eye after experiencing a bad car crash. In effort to regain his life back, the ball player, Brent, seeks an eye transplant and following a procedure, he can see again. At first, everything seems perfect–until Brent begins seeing awful things. The ballplayer begins having nightmares involving him murdering women and then having sex with them. After several episodes, Brent finds out that his donor was a serial killing necrophiliac and realizes that he is tied to the killer’s spirit through his eye. When Brent almost murders his wife he decides to take matters into his own hands, cutting out his eye and ridding the murderous spirit from his life for good.
Stephen King clearly has a thing for cat’s and his 1985 anthology horror perfectly showcases his dedication to the feline. The film follows a cat and his adventures through three different tales. The third tale finds the cat in the arms of Amanda, played by Drew Barrymore, a young and happy girl looking for a cuddly pet. Unfortunately for the little girl, her mother is a bitch and decides to keep the cat outside for the night. Um, bad idea, mom. The cat actually proves to be a vital factor in the young girl’s life when an evil troll makes his way into Amanda’s room and tries stealing her breath as she sleeps. The cat fights the troll and actually saves the day, making for the perfect “awww” moment between pet and owner. I so wish I had a cat who would protect me from evil spirits. Mine just shits in the tub.
7.) Creepshow–Something to Tide You Over
Arguably one of the best horror anthologies, Creepshow is written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero. The film has five unique King-esque horror stories that keep the audience enthralled, even long after the film has ended. The story that hooked me in is Something to Tide You Over, a tale of revenge and karma. The story follows Richard (Leslie Nielson), a wealthy psychopath, who seeks vengeance on his unfaithful wife and her lover, played by Ted Danson. Richard captures the pair and buries them in the sand up to their necks, informing them that the tide will be in soon, inevitably causing their demise. Richard kills the pair and is happy to have gotten away with it, except the murdered pair comes back in a zombie-like state and gives the playboy a taste of his own medicine. No one won in the particular tale, showcasing just how powerful karma truly is.
6.)Creepshow 2–The Raft
The success of Creepshow prompted a worthy sequel which delivered some of my favorite stories, including The Raft. The Raft followed four college co-eds who just so happened to be at the wrong place for their planned day of fun. The group find a desolate lake in the middle of nowhere and swim out onto the wooden raft in the center of it, only to discover that there is an evil force lurking around them. A black blob comes close to the raft and completely consumes one of the kids, sending everyone else into a panic. The group realize that they are stuck, with no one to help, as they try to keep away from the murderous substance. The story was frightening because the situation was inescapable and could have been completely avoided if the kids had paid attention. The segment prompted viewers to question what they would do in the given situation–try to swim for safety or wait it out? Either way sucked and it made you think about being more vigilant to your surroundings in the future. No swimming in lakes for this girl!
5.) The Willies–Gordy Belcher
The Willies is b-movie cheese at its finest. The movie follows a group of kids who decide to tell scary stories around the campfire. They begin with urban legends and then delve into some original stories, including one about a young boy obsessed with flies. The tale follows Gordy Belcher (Donkey Lips himself, Michael Bower) as he collects flies, pulls off their wings, and uses them in his fly society. Um, yuck. Gordy steals some fertilizer from a local farmer, not knowing that it is used to make things grow to abnormal sizes, and he places it into his fly jar. Things go awry and the flies begin growing to ginormous sizes–which isn’t so great for the fly-murdering Gordy. The tale was fun, gross, and it taught a message about the way one should treat things. Don’t kill flies because they may grow to massive size and seek revenge.
4.) Campfire Tales–People Can Lick Too
Being home alone can be fun for most, as well as scary for others and in Campfire Tales, Amanda(Alexa Mckenna) learns that not only is being home alone a very bad idea, she realizes that talking to strangers on the internet is even worse. Campfire Tales is an anthology that follows popular Urban Legends and the legend of The Licked Hand is one of the more terrifying. In the film, a charismatic young girl is left alone for the night with her party-girl older sister as well as the family dog. During her free time, the young girl strikes up an online friendship with someone whom she believes to be her age. Come to find out, the person on the other end of the screen is a creepy, murderous bastard who likes to prey on young girls. While home alone, Amanda becomes increasingly nervous and worried about the situation but tries not to let it get to her head and decides to go to bed. She takes her dog with her into her bedroom and keeps him under her bed for comfort, periodically reaching her hand down to be licked. When the young girl finally decides to turn on the light, she sees that a man is actually licking her hand and the words, “People can lick too” are written on her mirror. The scene sent a jolt through my body because it was something that could possibly happen. It definitely makes one think twice before letting their hands or feet dangle over their bedside.
3.) Tales from the Crypt–And All Through the House
Before the TV series and Demon Knight, Tales from the Crypt was an anthology horror, based on the comics, which featured five different tales that depicted how five individuals would die. A group of people stumble upon a crypt, where they meet the Crypt keeper, and he tells them their fate. Each story was scary but the one that has always frightened me and always comes to my mind at Christmas is the segment, And All Through the House, starring Joan Collins. Collins plays Joanne, a selfish wife who murders her husband for his money. Joanne picks the wrong time to commit her crime because on the same night, a crazed lunatic escapes from a nearby hospital and makes his way to her house. Fearing that she will be caught, she doesn’t call the police; she simply tries making sure the killer can’t get in. However, the crazy man is dressed as Santa and Joanne’s daughter lets him in, unaware what his true intentions are. Rather than getting coal for Christmas, Joanne gets a nice cup of Death. He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’ve been naughty and he knows when you’ve been nice. So, be nice.
2.) The Twilight Zone: The Movie–Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Flying is terrifying in itself but imagine if you saw a creature on the wing of the plane! The Twilight Zone movie took three stories from the classic series, combined with one original tale, which made for a truly frightening experience. The story that always bothered me most was Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, which featured the talented John Lithgow as a panicked passenger who’s fears come true in the worst possible way, at the worst possible time. Already a nervous wreck to begin with, when John Valentine (Lithgow) peers outside his window, he notices a gremlin attacking the wing of the plane. Of course no one believes him and assumes he’s just crazy, worsening the situation. Valentine finally snaps and shoots the window, causing a whole lot of drama. The segment is filled with paranoia, cases of claustrophobia, and absolute fear the moment the audience gets a glimpse of the mysterious monster along for the ride. The perfectly directed story made the viewer feel exactly what Valentine was feeling in that moment–and made me never want to fly again.
1.)Trilogy of Terror–Amelia
Dolls are supposed to be a child’s best friend but what if that doll came to life and it wasn’t so nice? Trilogy of Terror was a made-for-TV movie of the week which starred Karen Black as the protagonist of all three stories. The one that stood out–to pretty much everyone–is the tale of Amelia, which followed a young woman who receives a mysterious Zuni doll. The doll is small and in the form of a warrior with sharp teeth and a spear–all perfectly suitable things for a harmless doll to have, right? It also comes with a scroll which explains that the doll contains a spirit of a Zuni hunter named “He Who Kills” and the necklace around his neck keeps the spirit from coming alive. Unbeknownst to Amelia, the chain accidentally falls off and the Zuni dolls come to life. MY WORST NIGHTMARE! The doll may be tiny but he is evil and brutal as hell as he attacks a harmless Amelia. The entire story is frightening to watch and it made viewers think twice before purchasing a doll again. Especially one named He Who Kills.
There you have it; my list of my favorite horror anthology segments. It just makes you want to have a horror anthology marathon, doesn’t it? Anthologies are few and far between as of late and it would be awesome if they made a comeback in the near future. For now though, horror fans will have to settle for remakes. Sigh.