Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
Was this supposed to be scary? Was this supposed to be a comedy? At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, when the only thing “The ABCs of Death” turns into is an example of what happens (most of the time) when directors serve as their own writers.
In my mind, going down as a tonally confused version of something out of the “Faces of Death” series, “The ABCs of Death” is a compilation of 26 short films, where the overall idea was to give 26 directors (from all over the world) each a letter of the alphabet and have them each make a short segment showcasing death using a theme which begins with their designated letter. But while we (the audience members) are lead to believe that each director has set out to work within the confines of their letter in order to bring forth something interesting, problems arise when it quickly becomes apparent how aggressively incoherent, aggressively disgusting (but not in a scary way) and just downright boring “The ABCs of Death” actually is.
Much of this movie is a mixture of segments which are visually well crafted, but far too conceptually strange, segments that are meant to be funny, but are far too conceptually strange and the segments which are downright gross, and while aren’t as conceptually strange, are simply nonsensical. But maybe the biggest problem here is that most of these said segments aren’t scary at all. Even those directors, who came forth with the intention to scare, showcase segments of death tamer than anything you could see in an episode of “1000 Ways to Die”.
A Quick Heads Up: The best segment (by far) is entitled “Q is for Quack” by filmmaker Adam Wingard, who seems to be the only writer/director thinking outside of the box. But even though this is one of the funniest film shorts I’ve ever seen (I’m not kidding) what you have to wade through to get to it, is sadly not worth your time. Anyway, I’m sure you can find this segment on YouTube or somewhere else for free. The only other segment which rivals Wingard’s film is entitled “X is for XXL”, which is undoubtedly the most visually impressive and is in fact the scariest segment in this supposed horror movie.
Final Thought: Maybe I was naive to think that a movie entitled “The ABCs of Death” would be scary or even have a fraction of Twilight Zone-ish sensibility, but I would be shocked if said egregious lack of scares isn’t the final nail in the coffin which distractingly kills off anything good about this film experiment, as an entire piece.
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