After Midnight (1989)

The Wheat Brothers have managed to rack up a pretty interesting body of work in the horror genre since the eighties, and with “After Midnight” they deliver what is pretty middling as an anthology. In a period that included “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” shortly after, “After Midnight” doesn’t re-invent the wheel. It’s mostly just an entry of the decade that serves its intended purpose as a horror film that could double as filler for a boring Saturday night.

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Nightmare Cinema (2019)

While I wouldn’t peg the Mick Garris fueled “Nightmare Cinema” a horror masterpiece, I had a good time with the selection of horror stories, and loved how various storytellers in the film managed to go in completely different directions than I originally thought they would. Despite a shifty story frame, like most horror anthologies, “Nightmare Cinema” is a mixed bag of horror treats that will click with most lovers of the format, if only for its ambition and style.

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Hellarious (2019)

In this anthology, seven short films are gathered together to create a fun, humorous, and bloody collection. The short films included here are Killer Kart by James Feeney, Horrific by Robert Boocheck, ‘Till Death by Jason Tostevin, Death Metal by Chris McInroy, Bitten by Sarah K Reimers, Born Again by Jason Tostevin, and Lunch Ladies by Clarissa Jacobson.

The films included here are all high production values short films with some hitting better than others. Of course, as they are festival circuit darlings, some of them have already been reviewed at Cinema Crazed. So let’s start with those and their previous reviews.

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Shevenge (2019)

In this anthology inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, producer Staci Layne Wilson brings together a dozen shorts with themes and content about abuses of power, sexual abuse, and issues affecting women in particular. The stories range from a woman in therapy to a ghost attacking men in a public restroom. Here the shorts all contain storylines that will make viewers think with styles that entertain, scare, and even amuse. The talent in this anthology is of high quality and some of the shorts will be familiar those film festival regulars.

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HI-DEATH (2019)

I honestly never go in to any movie prepared to hate it. I approach every single movie with even the lowest of expectations and always hope to be surprised and thoroughly entertained. With “Hi-Death” though, this is a movie I had a difficult time finding any redeeming traits for. I love anthology horror, I love throwbacks to classic VHS and SOV days of horror and science fiction, but “Hi-Death” is a confusing mess of an indie horror film that will test the patience of any hardcore horror fan.

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The Five Best Episodes of 2019’s “The Twilight Zone” Season 1

Jordan Peele’s ambitious reboot of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” has managed to become one of the most polarizing series of the year, but it’s definitely inspired people to talk and that’s a good thing. Peele is not settling on merely a tribute, but has managed to retrofit a lot of classic episodes to modern sensibilities. While some episodes were clunkers, most episodes this season have been fantastic. With the season finale airing now on CBS All Access, I thought I’d list the five best episodes of the first season.

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Blood Clots (2018)

I love the idea of indie filmmakers taking their various horror short films and turning them in to anthologies, especially now with the horror anthology hotter than ever with audiences. “Blood Clots” has a lot of great intentions, but in the end it’s just an okay anthology with seven pretty okay horror shorts. I was never blown over by anything I saw here, but I appreciated the effort, and I liked the variety, overall. There are zombies, mutants, monsters, and werewolves, and that’s basically the only overarching theme for audiences.

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Into the Dark: Treehouse

I’m surprised “Treehouse” ends up being the best episode of Blumhouse and Hulu’s ambitious anthology “Into the Dark,” yet. I have to admit that I hated James Roday’s “Gravy,” so to see him approach “Treehouse” with a very relevant message, an inherent tone of terror, and some darkly comic undertones, was a welcome surprise. “Into the Dark” has been more hit than miss since its introduction in October, but with “Treehouse” it hits right out of the park as an ode to spring that explores hell having no fury like a woman scorned.

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