I LOVE anthology horror films! There’s something great about watching a few short scares, back to back with some pizza or popcorn, that reminds me of staying up late to watch some Tales From the Crypt or a few VHS rentals. So allow me to share with you my all time favorite anthology scares!
The Gas Station – Body Bags: Overall, Body Bags was a flop that has since found a small cult appreciation. Personally, the only redeeming quality for me was this segment, and probably only because it was simply a newer incarnation of Nightmare’s Terror in Topanga, tugging on my affinity for psychos and the urban legends involving them. Clearly, I’m a sucker for any “escaped mental patient” stories.
Amelia – Trilogy of Terror: Let’s just get it out of the way because everyone loves this one. But for good reason! It’s a great one woman scare starring one of our favorite legendary scream queens, Karen Black, and the Zuni Fetish Doll is a classic horror icon.
Terror in Topanga – Nightmares: Out of smokes? Nightmares normally gets remembered for the video game horror story The Bishop of Battle, but I prefer this one. Its incarnation of the “killer in the backseat” urban legend is sure to make you check your rear seat.
The Raft – Creepshow 2: I honestly didn’t like Creepshow very much and, as far as the sequel goes, I only liked Old Chief Woodenhead and The Raft, the latter I actually enjoyed so much I had to put it on the list. It’s a simple ‘creature’ story that still comes to mind anytime I see a weird patch of something floating along in the water.
KKK Comeuppance – Tales From The Hood: As a whole, this anthology is great. All the stories are interesting, strange and eerie, meaningful, and have fairly iconic moments. So what sets KKK Comeuppance above the rest? Well… because dolls. I mean, come on! Creepy killer dolls with a mission of social justice? Sold.
The Accident – Southbound: I wanted to love this anthology more than I did, since I’m a major highway AND desert horror fan, but I hated that there wasn’t full resolution and explanation to the anthology. However, I really enjoyed the middle segment known as The Accident. In it, a distracted driver plows into a young woman on this desert highway and takes her to a hospital. Strangely though, the hospital is empty… and then the man’s phone rings…
Amateur Night and 10/31/98 – V/H/S: I loved this modern anthology and a huge part of that was because the movie had both a great opening story and a great closing story. Amateur Night was a creepy monster tale that hit you straight in the dick, and 10/31/98 was a fun, ridiculous first-person ride through a haunted house. It also gave me the idea to be a Nanny-cam someday for Halloween.
Safe Haven – S-V/H/S: The sequel to the horror antho I loved so much was pretty good, but I only truly liked one story from it, and that was Safe Haven. Right away it sets you up with an uneasy feeling, as walking into a cult compound completely should, but when the story takes off it pulls out some nice surprises and some genuinely tense scenes.
The School Bus Massacre Revisited – Trick-r-Treat: It pained me to pick only one segment from Trick-r-Treat, because I love the whole film, but to me this was the winning tale. It was just so evocative of Halloween to me; fun, scary, and forever youthful.
Skin and Bones – Fear Itself: This TV horror antho could technically be considered the third season of Masters of Horror (mentioned next), but it switched to mainstream TV and lost the sex and gore in transition. But still, it had a couple good stories, like this modern tale about the Wendigo that gave me actual chills when I first watched it.
Pick Me Up – Masters of Horror: I enjoyed Masters of Horror, both seasons, and wish it was something that had gone on longer. The horror fiction world is full of short stories waiting to be adapted to the screen and this anthology was helping achieve that. Pick Me Up was a short story by David Schow, evocative of classic all-American highway horror tales. In its film adaption, that hitch-hiker you should never pick up and that guy you should never accept a ride from cross paths… and poor Fairuza Balk is caught in the middle of it all.
Oh. And NOTHING from VHS Viral because it was the biggest shitty suckfest of all 2014 and I don’t even want to talk about it anymore so stop asking.