Director(s) – Brian Dorton (Trashology, Crazy Fat Ethel), Joseph Graham (Vanilla, Strapped), Manuel Marin, Lee Mathews (The Invoking: Paranormal Dimensions), Douglas Conner (Scarefest: Night of the Demons), and Ignacio Martin Lerma (Lluvia)
Starring – Charlotte Armstrong (The Invoking: Paranormal Dimensions), Rachel Groom (The Invoking: Paranormal Dimensions), and Artem Mishin (Like Vampires, Grave Dawn)
Release Date – 2015
Rating – 2.5/5
Tagline – “It’s prime time for evil”
The week of Halloween was a very eventful week for myself and my family. My wife, as I stated in a few reviews so far, lost her brother unexpectedly which really tossed my family for a loop. After his services and funeral I decided to watch a few horror movies Halloween night and just review them when I got the chance.
As I was going through my movies I decided to check out an anthology flick. As I looked through my movies I found the horror anthology The Horror Network that was sent to me for review from Wild Eye Releasing. The film was put together by director Brian Dorton and consisted of several shorts from different directors. Thanks Wild Eye for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film consists of five shorts. The first involved a young woman who is harassed by someone on the phone and the constant barrage of phone calls creates paranoia for the young woman. The second tale follows a young man who is speaking with his therapist. He is convinced that when he falls asleep he commits unimaginable crimes. His doctor tries to hypnotize him in order to cure him but something far worse is awakened. The third tale follows a deaf school girl who is trying to make her way home from school when she is stalked by a strange man who may not actually be out to harm her. The fourth tale follows a mother and daughter pair who are escaping abuse but have a hard time letting go. The fifth and final tale follows a man who has an infatuation with his neighbors. **Spoiler Alert**
Wild Eye is hit or miss with their cover art. The last few years has seen a jump in the right direction with the cover art but with indie horror we sometimes get movies that have better artwork than the movie itself. I absolutely loved the DVD artwork for The Horror Network and admired it for sometime after receiving it. I wanted to check it out for sometime but life got away from me. I recently befriended director Brian Dorton and picked up his Crazy Fat Ethel on blu. I knew he was responsible for this anthology and with Halloween (at the time) almost near I decided to toss this one in. Sadly, it just wasn’t my bag. I really wanted to like it. I liked Dorton’s previous work but this one just didn’t flow well or hold my attention.
The acting in this one is very inconsistent. Some of the shorts have casts with more experience than others and it showed. I’m not saying the acting is bad because it’s not but inexperience does show in several of the shorts. The stories for this anthology ranges from uneventful to somewhat chilling. I wouldn’t call the best short of this film haunting or suspenseful but I would call it lukewarm horror at best. The first two segment is a huge miss for me with Edward, the second segment, being the biggest let down of the year.
The story for that one had so much potential but was unable to fully reach it. The film turns around with The Quiet which works for such a short segment. I really liked the story and how it unfolded. The movie then goes into a rather bold and ambitious short that has the imagery and story but fails to give the viewer some real substance. The final segment is visually stunning but another one that has a decent story on paper but is unable to make it work on film.
Finally, the title and artwork would make you think that this is a bloody one but it honestly isn’t. The prosthetics in some of the shorts are great, especially the fourth tale, but those looking for gore will not find it here. Overall, The Horror Network has some entertaining moments but the overall film just wasn’t for me. The highlights deserve to be seen but there is no replay value and a few of the shorts are a bit of a struggle to make it through. If you are looking for a different anthology this is it but don’t expect a movie that will stick with you.