Director(s) – B.A. Lewandowski (Ashley Film II: The Side of Sunset, Starts Friday), Tony Wash (The Rake, It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To), and Robert Patrick Stern (Morning Different)
Starring – Ellie Church (Space Babes from Outer Space, Headless), Alaina Karner (Gags the Clown, Margaret in the Moon), and Elizabeth Stenholt (#Hashtag: The Series, Broken)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “Be kind, rewind…or die”
I often find myself getting pumped to watch a movie only to be let down. Some directors are masters at marketing. They draw up some of the best posters or trailers for movies that will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. More often than not a movie that is on the bad side stirs up a lot of buzz by releasing a phenomenal trailer that is leagues better than the film. Several months back I came across the trailer for the 2019 anthology Skeletons in the Closet. The trailer had me hooked and I had to see it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows 11 year old Jamie (Karner) that is about to watch her favorite show Skeletons in the Closet when her annoying babysitter arrives. The show follows the Widow (Church) and her deceased husband as they watch movies together. The first movie they watch follows a young woman and her daughter that visit’s her mother in hopes of reconnecting with her after the death of her father. Sadly, this short does not have a happy ending when the grandmother reveals her sinister side.
The second story follows a young women who has a grudge against her husband and secretly wants to murder him. The third movie they watch follows a bank heist that goes wrong and two of the petty robbers find themselves in junkyard that was once home to a hitman with the mob. Legend has it that at a certain time at night his spirit walks the junkyard murdering anyone that is intruding.**Spoiler Alert**
I finally got Skeletons in the Closet in a few weeks ago and have been eagerly awaiting to check it out. The trailer painted a dedicated throwback to VHS era horror that really excited me but the film fizzled out after the intro and really let me down.
The acting in this one is inconsistent. The opening segment centered around the Skeletons in the Closet show was the best of the entire film. Ellie Church, Alaina Karner, and Elizabeth Stenholt were great. The characters are fun and the viewer wants to see more of them but don’t. I also enjoyed Leigh Rose’s performance. She was fantastic as the hateful grandma harboring a dark secret. Sadly, the rest of the cast was not as entertaining and the shorts suffered because of it. The stories for this one have potential but miss their mark.
The story that bookends the show, Skeletons in the Closet, is the highlight of the film and should have been a bigger part of the anthology than what it was. It was fun and had an amazing look about it. The first story about the grandmother was solid as well and was very enjoyable. The remainder of the film could have been cut out and would have saved the film.
Finally, the effects in this one are hit as miss much like everything else. We get some solid effects in most the shorts. In fact, the shorts have solid effects while the wraparound segment was the miss. Charlie, the zombie that the Widow watches movies with, looks horrible and its even worse when he talks with the mask on. It doesn’t work for the movement of his mouth and makes the best part of the film look cheap. Overall, Skeletons of the Closet is the biggest disappoint of the year. The movie has the perfect premise but failed to pull it all together like the trailer suggested. This is one I cannot recommend.