3's A Shroud (2012)
Summary: A modern British horror anthology in the tradition of Asylum and Tales From the Crypt. A babysitter tells disturbing tales to child in her care as punishment, but little does she know that her life depends on spinning the most horrific stories possible... a trilogy of terror-filled stories, featuring slashers, monsters and ghosts. Stars scream queens Suzi Lorraine, Dani Thompson and Emily Booth.
I'm not sure what the general consensus is on anthology films but I love them. I think it's a refreshing change up with the way movies are done. I notice that there are a fair share of movies, whether they be low budget or big box office films, that seem to lose themselves in the movies. I'm not sure if it's that writers have to many ideas and they try to fit them all into the movie or that they ran out of ideas and are trying to patch stuff together to get a complete movie but I've seen plenty of movies where there were so many plot holes and obvious flaws in the story. The anthology is a nice cure for that. When all you are in charge of writing is a 15-20 minute short, everything in the story is important. The other upside to an anthology is that there are multiple stories. If you watch a movie where the plot just isn't doing anything for you, you're pretty much screwed because it's not gonna change. When you watch an anthology, if one of the stories just isn't doing it for you, there are still going to be 2-3 other stories to watch that you may enjoy better. So I am huge fan of anthologies. Tales from the Crypt obviously being the most popular but I wouldn't necessarily bundle TFTC with any anthology film. It was a TV show, it's movies were feature length films. When I think of Anthology films, I think of Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, Body Bags, and even more recently, Volumes of Blood. While I wouldn't rate 3s a Shroud on the level of those movies, it was a very well done movie.
For starters, you get the overall story. This one isn't all that original but let's be honest, there are only so many ways to build the story of a person telling stories so I'm not going to hold that against them. In this case, it's a babysitter telling bed time stories to the kid she is watching. She asks what kind of story he wants to hear and he says something scary, because that's what his teddy bear wants to hear. So like any good babysitter would do, she starts off with a scary story about what happened to the couple who lived in that house before the boy and his family moved in....
***Unlike most anthologies, these segments aren't actually titled so I'll be making up my own on these***
Don't Answer The Door
This is a pretty good story to start off with. It keeps it simple, only 2 characters; but it was done very well. It starts off with a woman making breakfast and her husband comes downstairs to eat. There is some tension between them and the wife is clearly frustrated and the husband has no idea why. She is apparently uncomfortable with how close he is with a female at work although there are no signs given that he is actually cheating. He gets frustrated and goes upstairs to get ready for work. She follows him upstairs and apologizes through the bathroom door than she leaves. He gets home from work early, makes a nice dinner for the two of them that she doesn't show up for. Later on in the night, she still hasn't gotten home and the husband is on the couch watching TV. He gets a phone call from his wife who tells him she will be home in a minute and than stresses for him to not answer the door or let her in. When she gets home, she knocks on the door and rings the door bell repeatedly, This was the only part of the story that confused me, who the hell knock on their own door? Anyway, from the other side of the door she is telling him to let her in, but on the phone she is telling him not to let her in. The actor who played the husband did a fantastic job at portraying the sheer confusion and fear of the situation that was unfolding. This struggle goes on for a few minutes until the story finally concludes. This was a fantastic story. It was very well written and portrayed. As the viewer, it had me hooked feeling much of the same emotions the husband did in trying to figure out what the hell was going on. And while the ending was wrapped up very quickly, it did explain what happened so we were left with no questions.
We go back to the babysitter and the boy. The boy asks for another story because Teddy didn't like one. So now she dives into a story that must be true because she heard it from a friend of a friend of a relative etc... etc... etc...
This is a story about a photographer who is infatuated with one of his clients. There is a voice that at first appears to be in head that is constantly telling him how the girls he shoots doesn't compare to the one that he loves. But she is in a relationship with some tool who cheats on her. He has some clients come over and he takes pictures of them and they shortly end up dead. We find out it is not the photographer killing them and it's not a voice that's in his head. It's actually a monster living in the basement. I have no idea what that monster was suppose to be. Honestly, it looked like the illegitimate love child of Belial (Basketcase) and one of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The client he is infatuated with comes over which leads to the finale of this story.
So back in the beginning of this review when I said that one of the cool parts of anthologies is that if one of the stories is bad, you still have other ones to watch; this was that kind of situation. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't all that great either. It was strange and the weird monster just made it more awkward.
Back to the babysitter who goes into her last story...
I'm not really sure how to even explain this story. It was about a bartender who has friends show up and surprise her and there is a killer in the bar with them who is taking out the girls. The main girl bartender passes out at random times and seems to wake up in what can only really be described as a ghost world. She goes back in time and can watch all of the murders happen like she's watching a movie. I honestly don't know how well I'm explaining that. I'm not sure if someone who hasn't seen the movie will read that and have any clue what I'm talking about. I'll just say that this story was so crazy and off the wall that it was probably my favorite story in the anthology; I loved it.
Than we go back to the babysitter who tells the boy that was it and it's time for bed. As she leaves the room there is an ominous knock at the door. She goes downstairs to see the silhouette of a woman through the glass. When she answers the door, it is the boy's mother, who lives in the house. Again, as stated earlier, who the hell knocks on the door of their own house? The mother goes up stairs to check on her son which, much like the ending to my story summaries, triggers the finale of the movie.
All in all, the movie was very well done. The stories, for the most part for very well written and directed; the acting was really good. Definitely a movie that I would watch again and I would recommend checking out.
Reviewed by Bobby