I am actually a fan of anthology horror movies. It’s like the stories we used to tell each other sometimes when we were in the mood for horror or our grandparents used to tell us just to get a scare out of us. Short horror stories do not need a huge, elaborate set-up. It needs to be short and effective and if done correctly, it has a more intense effect than a feature-length horror movie. One of my favourite anthology horror movie is VHS. Not all of them were good but some of them were great. I still remember the one with the vampire and it gives me the creeps.

So XX consists of 4 unrelated stories and each of them are directed by different directors. The opening credit is amazing. It is done with stop-motion animation and as I am a fan of stop-motion, I really liked it. It also served as the interlude between the stories. As this is an anthology film, I’ll break it down according to each of the stories.

THE BOX – The story for this is written by Jack Ketchum and is directed by Jovanka Vuckovic. The story follows a family on a train, returning home. On their way home they happen to be sitting beside a man with a present. So the anxious son asks the quote made famous by Brad Pitt and that’s “What’s in the box?”. The stranger agrees to show him the present and on seeing the contents of the box, the son becomes visibly disturbed and stops eating.
The premise is pretty good. The acting keeps swaying between good and very bad. Only the father, played by Robert Jacobs is uniformly good. Apart from the acting, the movie had a very creepy vibe. The cinematography was quite commendable. Even though the movie starts out good, it starts to fizzle out after a few minutes. As there are no scares in this one, the movie depends on the creep factor and Jovanka isn’t able to hold it till the end.

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY – This one is written and directed by Annie Clark and it begins with Mary, played by Melanie Lynskey(Rose from Two and a Half Men) who is arranging a party for Lucy. All is going fine until she finds a dead body in her house.
Visually this movie is good and the editing brings that delusional and mentally unstable kind of a vibe. It works for the character because she seems to be a bit shaky. Where the movie begins to falter is that it doesn’t establish any other character. It doesn’t establish that what should we be afraid of or what the character is afraid of. And even if she is scared of Carla, the reasons are never shown. It felt mostly like a comedy rather than a horror flick.

DON’T FALL – This one is written and directed by Roxanne Benjamin and this is the only story that takes place out in the open. Here we follow 4 friends, who are out on a trip in a certain part of the country where apparently nobody visits. They find some ancient drawings on the wall on which one of the girls cuts her hand upon and then begins the possession of Gretchen.
This movie has great make-up, costume design and the actors do a good enough job but the movie falls into the traps of the usual horror movie tropes. There is a continuous music that plagues the entire movie and oh yes! jump-scares and fake jump-scares. Just like the previous movie, there is no sense of character establishment and the jump-scares and ominous music suck the fun out of the movie.

HER ONLY LIVING SON – Written and directed by Karyn Kusama, this movie follows a mother with a dark past who lives with her son and now her past is catching up with her in a sinister way.
Easily the best one of the series. I mean, at least it had some gut wrenching gore in it to keep me interested. Acting-wise, the son and the mother were tolerable but the rest of the cast were way over the top. This one was also botched by the “haunting” music. It was playing all the time. I say this is the best one because it had a past, a present and a proper culmination of affairs.

 

FINAL VERDICT – In all honesty, watch the The Box and Her Only Living Son. The other two are not worth it. I was really excited about this, judging by the trailers but the directors never built up on the intensity and it felt like they kept their stories way too short. There is a type of short where the audience is left wanting for more. This is not that type of short. This is that type of short where the audience won’t even care or remember what happened.

If you’ve reached till here, I need your help. I have been trying to remember an anthology horror movie. I have searched everywhere on the internet but I couldn’t find the name. I think it’s Korean. I remember a few stories from it. One was of a few friends who were rafting and crashed and now they are trying to find their way back to civilisation only to be haunted and chased by unknown figures. Another story was of a girl who lived alone in her apartment and she suddenly gets a text from a prince who is actually dead and now he is coming to meet her. The last one that I can remember is where the dead-body of a royal princess or queen is being taken from one place to another via flight and then the shit hits the fan.
So, if you know what is the name of this anthology horror movie, please, please mention in it in the comments.

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