Anthologies are becoming more common now, which I think is fantastic considering they died out for a little while. Horror fans really dig anthologies because they get 4-5 mini-movies all wrapped up in one title; giving them a week’s worth of material for the price of one. So, when it comes to going through VOD and Amazon catalogues, the question becomes – Which movie do you buy when browsing a dozen or more compilations? Obviously, certain attributes hold appeal to certain audiences, but in this case I’d recommend Roger Sampson’s Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 to viewers who enjoy old school monsters, classy atmospheres, and devilish twists and turns. Filmed under Adler & Associates Entertainment LLC, Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 is currently making its presence known in the film festival circuit, and I don’t think it’ll be long under it opens up to a wider audience in 2018. Read the rest of my review below to find out why you should include this movie in your watch list.
Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 is comprised of four segments – Revelations, The Jones, Rawhead and The Origin of Species – as well as wrap-around story Libby. Previously, I had seen three of the segments, but the new short and the wrap-around were new editions to me. Boiling them down to the simplest summaries without giving spoilers: Libby sees a young girl visiting a psychiatrist in hopes of dealing with her reoccurring nightmares. The nightmares are then addressed in the following segments. Revelations finds a mother in the clutches of a pint-sized terror. The Jones finds a pair of zombies faced with an impossible choice. Rawhead takes the monster in the closet story and turns it on its head. And The Origin of Species sees a father/daughter duo breaking into the wrong house. All things considered, The Jones and Rawhead were my favorites, and the wrap-around segment was my least favorite.
Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 was an effort put into production by writer, director and producer Roger Sampson. He was joined in this endeavor by fellow producers Marie Adler, Misti Fields, Sheri Davis and Chris Young. Aaron Sparks also served as producer as well as co-writer on certain segments and cinematographer. Sampson also edited the feature along with Michael D. Head. Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 is made up of a small cast; most of whom recur in each short. Performers include Gracie Whitton (Scary Movie 5, The Sun That Dreaded Sundown), Lance Eakright (“Dallas,” “Salem”), Sheri Davis (Blood Sombrero, Till Death), Joy Leigh, Stacey Lea, Amanda Marie, Jason White, Kristal White, April Hartman, Robert Johnson and Annie Beyer. For being such a young lady, Gracie Whitton does a superb job leading the movie, and I hope she really sticks with acting. As she gets older, I could see her booking a lot of mean girl roles on television. Also, her on screen chemistry with Eakright and Davis was honest, realistic and apparent.
As I mentioned above, Forces of Horror Anthology: Volume 1 is going to have a massive appeal to horror fans who enjoy unexpected and surprising twists. Every segment, including the wrap-around, starts off with all the cards on the table, but then they turn into something much more sinister by the ending credits. Nothing is EVER what it seems here, and I applaud Roger Sampson for original and crafty screenwriting. This anthology has its fair share of blood and gore, but it’s not the film’s biggest ploy. The stories are much more encompassing than the practical special effects. You’re going to want to pick up a copy of this compilation in the future if you’re a fan of intricate story-telling and grand designs over shock-and-awe scare tactics. Speaking of which, Aaron Sparks did such a good job as cinematographer that – matched with the editing from Sampson and Michael D. Head – resulted in a sleek and flawless production. This film’s got class, baby.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.