Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Welcome to the Horror Show.'
A web series of Vinettes (Toks).
I had long considered the use of Vinettes for horror after I was invited to review 15 Second Horror Movies on YouTube. For the most part they were pretty entertaining, so when I was asked to review another series of Vinettes (now called Toks as Vine has long since shut down to be replace by Tik Tok), I jumped on the chance.
And, because these are a series of short, I've opted to address them individually as an anthology, meaning they each get their own little review. Starting with a bulls-eye directly on their host!
So! Horror anthology shows had a slew of iconic hosts over the decades. Crypt Keeper, Rod Sterling (the original smoking man), Sir Ghastly, and the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. How does our horror host hold up? Actually, I was particularly impressed purely by presentation. It's like the creepy dace competition host from Toad The Wet Sprocket's Fall Down fucked Sir Ghastly, and this was the undead flipper baby their coupling spawned. He's hammy, creepy, fun, and loves cracking puns like the best of them.
So we're off to a good start!
Here's the thing, I tend to grade on a curve when it comes to indie productions. With this, I didn't have to. Welcome to the Horror Show went minimalist and made the best use of the simplest techniques in horror; subtly, timing, and suspense. Yeah, the production level is cheap, I'd say about the same production level as a student film, but it's actually really GOOD.
Hell, even all the actors are good for horror. Sure, good for horror isn't gonna win any academy awards, but it's not the typical indie drivel you can get out of shoe-stringers. I've seen some particularly bad indie acting and was still able to appreciate it, but most of these kids had Hollywood talent. That's pretty rare for this level of production. As low budget as this was, it's exceptionally professional and well put together and I was flat out impressed.
I absolutely recommend this to all Horror Heads and anyone who was a fan of Tales from the Crypt, or Creep Show.
Ping: A modern take on a classic horror story told round the camp fire. The lady in white. The urban legend goes that the lady in white gets picked up as a hitch hiker, only to vanish when the driver reaches their destination. Sometimes with deadly consequences, depending on whose telling it.
This one takes it a bit further, not just retelling the story with a modern twist, using Uber as it's 'vehicle' (pun intended), but also laying a stiff social commentary about speaking up against domestic violence.
Turkey Slay: This style of 'Shaky Camera' using social media, first popped up in the anthology V/H/S and again in Two Sentence Horror Story. It's a smart use of the medium, considering we have so many damn cameras aimed at us at all times. It also addresses one of the major issues with the Found Footage Genre, and that's allowing the audience to actually see what's going on (the very reason I call it Shaky Camera). It's important not to be gratuitous with the technique or I get proper cross really fucking fast. This used the medium right, simply to make the recording of the circumstances more explicable, like a mocumentary.
You know, I wonder if having the turkey lady pretend to faint was necessary for the plot? It did give them time to create a story around what and asshole the other actor was... fucking creeper, really. Still, I think it might have been a little too much padding. I like the fact they make a consistent point to put social commentary in their horror. In this case having a sound bite from Greta Thunberg.
La Calavera: Woof... the lesson about respecting your elders is pretty steep here, but if Grammy tells you Grandpa is back from the dead and won't leave her alone... maybe just give it a second thought?
So far, out of the three, this was the weakest, but I absolutely appreciate what they did with the simplest plot. Grammy is seeing dead people and no one will take her seriously, because everyone thinks Grammy is crazy. And of course, Grammy is not crazy...
CONCLUSION!!! They really have something special here and I absolutely do recommend it. In fact, I look forward to more of Welcome to the Horror Show in the near future.