Different sequencing might have benefited this horror anthology, which starts with it strongest short and ends with its weakest.
From Juan of the Dead’s Alejandro Brugués, “The Thing in the Woods” delights in upending classic slasher film cliches, told in reverse with a series of smart twists. It’s great fun and also nasty as hell.
Also impressively gory is Ryûhei Kitamura’s prog rock-scored “Mashit”, which otherwise plunders Lucio Fulci in its tale of a demon-possessed Catholic boarding school.
David Slade’s “This Way to Egress” is all B&W mood and naff surrealism, while the final segment, from perennial horror fan club prez Mick Garris, is simply naff.
Garris also directs the not exactly coherent adjoining segments in which luckless souls are invited to view their horrible fate inside the Nightmare Cinema by “the Projectionist”, played by Mickey Rourke and his crazy fucked up face.
One wonders what Rourke made of Joe Dante’s contribution—it’d be wrong to say more—but his slight if effective “Mirare” is aided by the presence of Richard Chamberlain and a very nicely designed beastie that would have looked great on the cover of golden-era Famous Monsters of Filmland.