02nd May2018

‘Weird Fiction’ Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Taylor Rhoades, Matt Nale, Danielle Rhoades, Mackenzie Anthony, Torri Bouslough, Isabella Rodriguez, Rylee Prenatt | Written and Directed by Jacob Perrett

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Weird Fiction is the kind of movie you dreamed of making as a kid but didn’t have the ambition or talent to follow through. Written as an 80′s inspired, direct-to-video, schlock-fest that’s all the rage these days, Weird Fiction separates itself from the pack by being not only well constructed, but fun and charming.

Broken down into four segments, the Collector briefly guides us from one tale to the next. For good or ill, there’s no book-ending story or interconnected plots between each episode. I find this a refreshing change, as nobody watches an anthology flick for the bookend story; usually it’s a distraction. And having to weave the plots together can sometimes come across as gimmicky. It’s nice to just let the stories be themselves, beholden to nobody.

Each tale has its own style; some are more traditionally horror while others lean to humor. The Incubus, a story about a young actor being prayed upon by a…well…you know, feels like something straight out of a German, new wave short film. None of the stories over-stay their welcome. Horror lives in the moment. A horror movie that’s two hours long? Count me out. A short film that’s twenty minutes? I’m in. I’m equal parts inspired and frustrated these young filmmakers already understand this simple concept when so many adults in the horror genre can’t figure out when to write “The End”.

And speaking of young filmmakers, are these kids old enough to buy a beer? I know that as I get older everyone seems to get younger, but I was genuinely surprised that the hands of folks who look like they still have to make curfew had made such a quality film.

Write and director, Jacob Perrett, clearly had a vision for each story. The atmosphere of Weird Fiction is dead on. Having actually enjoyed horror movies in the 80′s, from the synth-inspired soundtracks, to the slightly warped “film”, I’ve had a kick out of seeing this decade revival take place the last several years. Perrett does an outstanding job with the blue and purple lighting effects that remind me of old Hammer Films.

The score is fantastic. Ranging from David Bowie to original pieces, these tunes strike the right mood every time. I’m left hoping that Fame Cinema releases these tracks for my listening pleasure. A great example is from the final tale, Comic Terror. The slightly spooky, new age score feels menacing, yet has just a touch of fun campiness that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. And that’s the best thing I can say about Weird Fiction, it’s fun to watch.

For everything Weird Fiction gets right, it’s not perfect. You work with what you’ve got, and sometimes the acting can be uneven; a “dead” body may blink more than a typical dead body should, lines come out monotone once or twice. It’s a low-budget film, not an A24 production.

Still, what few quality issues I might have, I look forward to whatever the folks at Fame Cinema have in store next. Based on Weird Fiction alone, I believe the future of horror is in good hands.

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