Shorter Is Scarier: Why Horror Anthologies Need to Make a Comeback! By Ian Buckwalter of The Atlantic

What I should be doing is writing an article on the subject of horror anthology flicks myself. What I have  been doing is getting very little sleep, at odd hours,  causing me to do things like walk into a room, forget why, try to remember by going back in the original room, then ending up trying to take a nap. The other day I blanked on the correct title of An American Werewolf In London,  which I literally saw in the theater over ten times as a kid (thanks Mom) and probably 30 more times on VHS, then a dozen on DVD. I had the movie poster in my bedroom as a kid for, like, over a year. This leads me to believe I need to get some rest.

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Now… what was I saying?


There’s a very special place in my heart for horror anthology film;, so special that I am currently unable to articulate how and why when I’m this sleep-deprived, so I’ll rhapsodize about them when I can start a long sentence and then not have to stop at least once partway through because I lost my chain of thought.

While we don’t agree on everything (full-length horror needs to stick around), the writer is definitely onto something when it comes to why horror anthologies work so well.:


…short horror needs only a simple central idea, a few minutes of tension buildup, good scares to follow, and a clever resolution. Get in, get scary, and get out.

There you have it. Until my brain is firing on all cylinders, click on the big red link below to  read this great piece from The Atlantic Post by I

Shorter Is Scarier: Why Horror Anthologies Need to Make a Comeback – The Atlantic.


Mr. Buckwalter spends time focusing on the recent anthology films V/H/S  –it looks like we differed on which segments were best, but I’m not going to go into that when I haven’t even written a review yet*– and brings up the highly anticipated ABCs of Death.  You know, the one that Magnet Releasing keeps pushing back the fucking release date on when we’ve been waiting, along with quite a few others, since last July, goddamnit! I doubt the directors, especially the ones whose work is appearing in a film  for the first time, are feeling especially patient right now either. He just articulates so well why horror anthologies (that have at least two decent segments, though sometimes one segment that is exceptionally good can make up for the rest of the bad or mediocre ones). An uneven horror anthology film beats a shitty 90-minute horror feature any day of the week.

Ian Buckwalter is a freelance film writer based in Washington, D.C. He contributes regularly to NPR, Washingtonian, and DCist.


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*though we paid $9.99 to watch it On Demand in August, I do want to rent it for the deleted scenes from “10/31/98” and behind the scenes featurettes on “Amateur Night”,  the ones I almost levitated watching, but… oh yeah. Sleep deprivation and ADD are a terrible combo when trying not to go off on tangents.


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