I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been convinced by the concept of the horror anthology.

They always seem to be more hit-than-miss, and segments always outstay their welcome.

We all want them to be good – witness the hysterical over-reaction when V/H/S popped up a few years’ back – but they very rarely are.

Which brings us to Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales, which is very much more miss than hit.

For starters, it isn’t really an ‘anthology’ as such, more a compilation – there is no wraparound story holding the thing together (hardly surprising when you originally consider these short films popped up on the Fearnet channel at regular intervals before being hauled together here).

What that means is every 15 minutes or so we get the director popping up to say ‘Hi, my name is Tom Holland…’, which by the fourth or fifth time is pretty tiresome.

Anyways, on to the films themselves – to run through them briefly without giving too much away, we get a guy indulging in conversation with his GPS after killing his wife (Fred and his GPS), a girl making a deal with the devil to get rid of her cheating boyfriend (To Hell With You), a bomb disposal expert who reckons his wife is cheating on him with his best mate (Boom), a street magician who holds a portal to a different dimension (Mongo’s Magick Mirror), a bunch of idiots trying out a drug that allows them to see into the future (Bite), an electro-magnetic pulse threatening to wipe out humanity (Shockwave), a possessed computer tablet (Cached), a pizza delivery goon who may actually turn out to be the devil (Pizza Guy) and a vampire orgy at some sweaty dance club (Vampire’s Dance).

A number of these episodes are short and sweet and prove an enjoyable watch, as well as giving you a nice little kicker to finish – To Hell With You and Boom for example.

But others are incredibly annoying – you have no connection to the characters and are simply watching things play out in front of you with barely a flicker of feeling – Bite and Vampire’s Dance being the worst offenders.

Holland has tried to be clever, and seeks to place the audience in the middle of some of these stories, coercing you into asking ‘what would I do in this situation?’

And the whole thing is helped by the director having roped in a bunch of familiar horror stars to take on roles, with the likes of AJ Bowen, Danielle Harris and Angela Bettis popping up in various segments.

But some of the scripting is shoddy, the acting worse, and don’t even get me started on some of the CGI that is used.

Holland clearly has talent (after all, this is the man that brought us Child’s Play and Fright Night), but clocking in at well over two hours Twisted Tales becomes a real slog, rather than anything truly memorable.

DVD Review: Tom Holland's Twisted Tales
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.