*Now that The Collective, Volume 4 from Jabb Pictures has officially been released following a premiere at Days of The Dead in Indianapolis, I think it is safe to post my review of this DVD. I will give a mini-description and review of each short film, followed by my overall thoughts of the package as a whole. I have also brought out my snazzy star rating system so you can know which ones I enjoyed the most.
1. Grief – Frankie – Frankie finds a couple tied up together in a basement, while two crazy men verbally abuse them. Is it a case of mistaken identity, or is one of the captives hiding a secret? One thing I liked about Frankie is the circular panning that happens throughout the entire short. It’s almost metaphorical for how someone goes the motions in their head to try to get themselves out of a lie. I also really liked the lighting and the set location because it fit the mood of the film perfectly. The only thing I didn’t like was when the captives yelled at their attackers, I hate when people do that. You’re tied up, what are you going to do? ****
2. Regret – Contrition – When a woman visits her family, she could never have imagined the terror she brings upon them. A former test subject, a human-wolf hybrid has tracked her down and everyone will be at his mercy. Contrition is somewhat of a creature-feature and that always gets my vote! The concept of this short gets a lot of applause for being original. The only thing I didn’t like is some of the acting. When one of the family members gets their throat ripped out, the others just seem so nonchalant like it happens all the time. ****
3. Lust – Death Do Us Part – A young ghost hunter attempts to spend the night in a house where a grisly accident took place which took the life of a couple who were married just hours before. As the night continues, little occurrences grow into full body apparitions and it is clear the ghost hunter is not alone in the house. So, this one I’m not really sure about. I think the execution, or maybe the script itself, makes it all a little confusing. Towards the end, I’m not sure if she’s still in the house, or in the after life, or in another reality all together. And I’m not sure how this all falls into the emotion of lust. **
4. Schadenfreude – Flash of Wire – A man visits a doctor-psychologist in hopes of finding out what a reoccurring dream means. The dream usually leaves the man feeling ill and frightened, but that’s nothing that compares to what happens at the doctor’s office. I liked that this short incorporated a lot of Greek fables into the plot. Some of the special effects towards the end was pretty cool. Besides that, the acting wasn’t too great and I’m not sure what the ending meant. Was the man a part of the stories he was talking about? **
5. Trust – Epidemic – After ordering a pizza, a young man finds that he has contracted a virus that has become a huge epidemic. The CDC vows to send help as soon as possible, but his symptoms are getting worse and more grotesque as time goes by. Will the CDC get to his apartment in time? This was a really great virus movie! The symptoms of the virus were disgusting, which is a good thing! The special effects were just as disgusting, especially the blister popping. The acting was good and I loved the twist towards the end. A great short film! ****
6. Hate – Luke 1:17, A Love Story – The typical tale of a young man who embraces his teenage angst and depression instead of working to overcome his circumstances. This hate drives him almost to the point of madness…and maybe even murder? This short film was the only out of the bunch that didn’t strike me as horror based…at all. The plot was not my thing either, just a lot of whining and misplaced anger by the title character. I guess it would have its audience, but I wouldn’t include myself in it. **
7. Fear – Myctophobia – A young woman must spend a night alone in her house even though she has a dramatic fear of the dark. Unfortunately, her fear continues to grow as she learns there is a masked-man on the loose in her area. Is there more to fear in the house than the dark? I had already seen Myctophobia before I had received The Collective Volume 4, and I still think it’s a great film. You can read my whole review of it [here]. *****
8. Denial – 101 Taylor Street – This short film runs almost like a documentary you would see on BIO. It tells the story of a little old lady who turns out to be one of the most horrific serial killers in existence. The story is told through a voice over along with beautiful shots of the killer’s location and white texts of facts. My only question – is the story being told real? It was done so well I felt like it could be more than just a movie. ****
9. Envy – Happy Hooker Bang Bang – Two roommates are living two completely different lives. One roomie has just been laid off from her job as a book-keeper, the other roomie is a prostitute. After a small argument, the one friend leaves to make her money with a john. Another john calls the apartment and the jobless roommate decides to dress up and proves she has what it takes to make money by sleeping around. Little does she know, this john is expecting a lot more from her than sex. Ok, this was easily my second favorite short film of the entire Collective Volume 4. I don’t want to spoil the latter half of this short for you, but you have got to see it! It is fantastic! *****
10. Rage – Bloody Hooker Bang Bang – A sequel to Happy Hooker Bang Bang. Again, I don’t want to give any spoilers about the plot away because it would ruin the ending of the first movie. But this is definitely my favorite short on the whole DVD. Jakob Bilinski’s work here is simply amazing. It’s campy, bloody, funny, action-based horror with even some touching moments. *****
*So, what did I think of The Collective, Volume 4 as a whole? It’s definitely a solid addition to the horror series/anthology family. Obviously, some inclusions to this volume are much better than others. It seems, at least in my opinion, the weak short films were just average and the great short films were amazing! There wasn’t a lot of grey area here – either you like the short or you kind of don’t. However, the short films that I did enjoy are enough to make me pick up The Collective, Volume 4 again and again.