The ABCs of Death (2013) Review
Easily the weirdest film I have ever watched, and coming from me that means a lot! As a horror film it’s terrible but if you pick some of the better shorts it has some clever and thought provoking stuff. In others you get shorts which will bring side splitting laughs. Then you get boring wastes of my time, about 50% I would say. The scoring is always weird on anthologies, so I tried to mark all of the shorts as one rather than marking each. Just because overall the stories are weak doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gems which I will highlight later. I nearly couldn’t watch all of this and would love to know if anyone else managed to see the whole movie in one sitting, anyone?
Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABC’s OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters; each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABC’s OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity.
Tim’s Film Reviews NOT Recommended
Story: 20% Acting: 80% Characters: 65% Dialogue: 30%
Horror/Thrill: 20% Style/Sound: 10% Visuals: 45%
The majority of the stories were lazy and boring. Whilst others where funny and a small few actually good to watch, none of the short films presented through A to Z where scary or got close to inducing fear. This could be because they just weren’t scary at all or over the years I have become desensitised to most horror, but I at least recognise a good scare scene even if it doesn’t particularly make me sweat. The acting I thought was consistently good even if the stories weren’t and was pretty impressive considering some of the absolutely random short films featured. The characters were alright but to be honest you didn’t get to know any of them for more than a minute with all the deaths and what have you. The dialogue was pretty bad from most and lots of them had nearly zero dialogue, these making some of the more boring shorts but even the ones that did have dialogue were very rarely good.
Best Short: T for Toilet
Runner up: C for Cycle, D for Dog Fight
Weirdest Short: F for Fart
Sickest Short: L for Libido
Funniest Short: N for Nuptials
I was never scared or thrilled so obviously as a horror film it wasn’t good. This film at no point had any style and would most likely insult most peoples sensibilities as some of the shorts are rather sickening whilst others are laughable, whether that’s on purpose or not still made me laugh. Some of the short films had the most annoying soundtracks and nearly gave me ear spasm. Some of the visuals were good but I think the most where pretty bad with the first showing some weak practical effects and the Toilet Claymation was really good. So I give visuals an even score.
Must Watch Trailer:
The best reviews I found would be these “The ABCs of Death is an appallingly bad concoction of disgusting shorts that run through the alphabet but really should’ve stopped at “A” Rob Nelson. “While there is a handful of highlights to hold out hope that the feature may be coming to its senses, the majority of the effort is either deathly dull, superhumanly moronic, or just plain angry for reasons best communicated to a therapist” Brian Orndorf. “I’m a big fan of giving artists certain “obstructions” (to borrow from Von Trier) and see what they can come up with, yet the results of this particular experiment are mixed at best” Jason Gorber. “Overall, maybe 13 or 14 of the 26 segments are worth a look. In school that would result in a failing grade, but for anthology films it’s a pretty decent B-” Erik Childress.
My favourite scene would have to be well the Toilet scene as the short that apparently won the 26 short competitions I am quite happy for the UK director. You can get the short on YouTube and it’s a little funny but quite shocking at the end, easily the best of the anthology.