The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear

Horror anthologies seem to be making a comeback. As someone who grew up with the likes of Creepshow, I find this very pleasing. First, we had V/H/S and its sequel, and now comes Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear. Actually, this film is far, far better than V/H/S. It's more imaginative, more entertaining, and more skillfully made. The premise is rather ingenious: five short stories, directed by five different indie horror filmmakers, each one focusing on one of the five senses. In order, the films are:

Smell - Directed by Nick Everhart (2012 Doomsday), this short is the story of a pathetic young man who is visited by a mysterious woman in pink. She gives him a fragrance, claiming that its pheromones attract success. Soon the guy is using it to earn a promotion at work and win back his ex. However, his overuse of it eventually comes with a steep cost. Smell is quirky and witty in its early scenes, before taking an abrupt turn into darkness later on. It's like the grisliest Twilight Zone episode never made, and that's a good thing.

See - This is the only real clunker in the bunch. Directed by former child star Miko Hughes, it centers on an optometrist who extracts memories from his patients' tears, then uses them to get high. He has an obsession with a female patient, who unknowingly supplies him with his visions of choice. When he discovers that her boyfriend is abusing her, the eye doctor slips the guy a series of disturbing, troubling memories. See relies on a now-tired horror cliché: rapid-fire montages of various horrific images used to convey hallucinations. Choppy and with an unsatisfying, obvious ending, it's the weak link of Chilling Visions.

Touch - Thankfully, things rebound in a big way with this section, directed by Emily Hagins (My Sucky Teen Romance). A blind boy wanders through a forest, seeking help for his injured parents after a car accident. He stumbles into the path of a psycho killer and has to find a way to survive. Hagins nicely cranks up the tension as we watch this boy repeatedly teeter on the verge of peril. It wouldn't be fair to get specific, but the way this story ends is incredibly satisfying. Stylish and effective, Touch is a definite highlight.

Taste - Eric England (Roadside) gives us this tale of a hacker who is brought in for a job interview at a mysterious corporation. He discovers that the woman who would be his boss is a man-eater, in the truest sense of the word. Taste takes a little time to get to the point, but when it finally does, it offers one of the coolest horror visuals I've seen in a long time. (You'll know it when you see it.) I'd like to get a whole movie based on the boss character. She's an awesome creation.

Listen - Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, makers of YellowBrickRoad deliver another wildly innovative story. Presented in found footage format, their chapter follows two documentarians uncovering and reassembling a long-lost musical composition that drives anyone who hears it insane. Listen creates an effective sense of paranoia as its central characters fall victim to the very thing they're documenting. The story goes to some suitably graphic places in the end. This is probably the best section of the film.

There's a sense of wit infused through the horror of Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear. Pay close attention and you'll see characters from one story wandering through the other stories. The ingenuity of the movie is great, too, with most of the chapters telling very unique, unpredictable tales. The Blu-Ray bonus features are a deleted scene, a TV spot, and a photo gallery. Fans of quality horror are encouraged to check it out.

For more information on this title, please visit the Scream Factory website.

( 1/2 out of four)

Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear is unrated, but contains profanity, violence, and gore. The running time is 1 hour and 28 minutes.

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