After the last few outputs from Chiller Films, I had almost no confidence in “Chilling Visions” as an anthology compilation. Surprisingly, as a display of talented filmmakers, “Chilling Visions” really offers five tales based around the human senses that are unique, entertaining, and often creepy. While the whole lot isn’t perfect, three out of five of the tales are really good genre entries. I’m always open to a new basis for an anthology movie series, and I’d love to see Chiller release a new five senses movie anthology every year to see what filmmakers can do with the ideas.
“Smell” from director Nick Everhart is not exactly scary but does succeed in being grotesque and a memorable statement about life and success. Seth Kyle is a divorcee still reeling from splitting from his wife when a mysterious saleswoman interrupts his life and offers to sell him a mysterious new cologne. Promising to change his life, she provides him with a sample only on the condition that he call her if something strange occurs. Suddenly the cologne improves his attraction not only to women, but to everyone around him, but the cologne definitely has disgusting side effects. “Smell” is not quite as horrifying as it tries to be with a somewhat campy tone, but the gross effects and surprise ending really make up for its lack of genuine scares.
“See” from director Miko Hughes is a half baked and abruptly paced thriller about an Optometrist whose eye machine is able to sap memories from his patients eyes. As a means of escape he uses the memories as eye drops and basks in the experiences. Smitten over a female patient who is being abused by her boyfriend, he decides to get revenge by inflicting an overdose of horrible memories on his eyes. The payback has an ill effect, ending in an rushed and somewhat over the top confrontation. Hughes’ direction is decent, but the story feels incomplete and never fully fleshed out. “Touch” from Emily Hagins is fantastic, as it sets down on a blind boy whose parents are accidentally wounded in a car crash. Left alone in the woods, he decides to go for help, and mistakenly enters in to the realm of a serial killer.
Using his wits, and ability to rely on his four senses, he battles the killer in a very entertaining and exciting series of confrontations. Director Hagins manages to tell a story that could have easily been expanded in to a feature film, and works in the confines of the sense. “Taste” from Eric England is a great and darkly comic short about a mysterious company that interviews clients for positions in their staff. When the seductive CEO aims to hire a young and cocky computer hacker, the two play a back and forth of seduction that continues in to rejection and dives head first in to a downright gory rebuttal. The final scenes worked waves in terms of metaphor and act as a brutally disturbing book end to a fun segment. “Listen” from the directors of “YellowBrickRoad” is undoubtedly my favorite of the group and so damn disturbing.
Which is not surprising considering the mind fuck that was “YellowBrickRoad.” A documentary crew is notified of a mythical song that, when played on a piano, turns its players in to babbling mental cases prone to suicide and violent mutilation. As they attempt to piece together long lost bits of the footage involving the song being played on the piano in a lab, as well as its effects on test subjects, events go from terrifying to absolutely mind blowing. This is an insane and extremely scary tale about learning to leave well enough alone, and the Pandora’s Box that is this song. Ending on an incredible final scene reminiscent of “Halloween 3,” it’s an excellent topper to a very fine anthology. The Blu-Ray comes with a deleted scene from “Smell,” and your usual trailers and teasers you probably saw on Chiller TV on Cable in America a thousand times.
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