Tom Holland’s anthology web series Twisted Tales finally makes its way onto DVD, nine standalone tales of terror all written and directed by the horror maestro.
Holland’s horror credentials are well established, the director of Fright Night (plus its sequel) and Child’s Play still stand as staples of the genre as comedic horror classics. When he announced, he was embarking on a web series, I for one was intrigued to see Holland embrace the changing face of the entertainment industry. Originally designed as a thirteen episode series, the tight turnaround and budget restraints led to a revised nine episode first season.
Proceedings get underway with Fred and his GPS that finds a husband trying to dispose of his wife’s dead body, next up is To Hell with You (featuring William Forsythe) dabbles with some devil summoning. So far it’s a fairly Tales Of The Expected, but the third episode Boom is a neat, and nasty short and things continue to perk up as we go along.
Although each story is separate from the next, the combined running time comes in at close to two and a half hours if you’re planning on watching all nine stories in one go. There is no consistency in running time for each instalment, some are brisk and others are almost 30 minutes. In the original web series format, wildly different episode running times don’t matter so much whereas watching in a single sitting you become more aware of the stories that don’t quite work.
The unwritten rule of the anthology is that there is always a couple of less developed ideas, even though that is true here, there is more good than bad on balance. A couple of the stories would work well as a full length feature. Boom is a particular highlight (yes that is Never Ending Story star Noah Hathaway) and Shockwave (featuring Buffy’s Amber Benson) are both deliriously enjoyable.
I love anthology horror, heck I like anthology anything but the mechanic has been primarily adopted by the horror genre. I grew up on a steady diet of Tales of the Unexpected, Twilight Zone and Tales From The Crypt. Then anthology was tucked away for a decade or so but thanks to Black Mirror, Inside Number 9, The ABC’s Of Death, True Detective, American Horror Story and VHS, anthology is making a comeback.
For the DVD release, it would have been a nice addition to allow the viewer to watch the movie without the introductions from Holland. While they were at it, swapping the order, the movie should have ended with the impressive Pizza Guy and not the lackluster Vampire Dance. All in all, Twisted Tales is fun and will satisfy your horror cravings in small doses. A fun but occasionally patchy anthology filled with all your worst nightmares.
Twisted Tales is out now on DVD.