Friday, October 31, 2014

ABC's OF DEATH 2 Review - Jonesy's Take

Directed by: a bunch of people
Written by: a bunch of other people
Starring:: So many people
Synopsis: A compilation of shorts each featuring a death starting with letters of the alphabet.

Note: This review originally ran as part of Fantastic Fest 2014 coverage. 

Two years ago, Tim League and Ant Timpson developed a crazy idea of having 26 short films about death with each segment corresponding with a letter of the alphabet. The initial film was ambitious with directors given almost free reign to create the film they wanted. The results were a mixed affair. Some films were great, while others were complete forgettable. Now, the team is back for ABCs OF DEATH 2 with a fresh crop of directors, but still the same concept. And the results ended up being a much more cohesive and effective film.

After the film during the Q&A, League mentioned that during the first ABCs, they let the directors have total artistic freedom with their short. This led to many films having very similar ideas and concepts, and thus making the film drag a little. Also, almost no potty humor was allowed this time. (Seriously, there were so many toilets and farting in the first one). With a little bit of guidelines, the second film never feels like it's dragging, and there was such an eclectic mix of styles and ideas.

As always, there are standouts when you group 26 short films together. Some personal favorites of mine were A (funny and surprising), J (poignant and serious), M (fans voted this short in, and it's obvious why), S (favorite style and a great ending), U (loved the concept), and Z (only film that caused me to look away because of the bodily gore). The beginning and the ending short were absolutely perfect ways to bookend this film. Plus, it's always fun to try and guess what 'word' the director picked for their segment. Only a few seem obvious, while most were surprising yet totally fit with the idea. There were a few weaker segments, one of which was directed by a set of twin sisters, and I have very strong feelings about their films, so there might be a bit biased toward their short. However, this collection is more consistently great than not.

Even if shorts aren't your particular cup of tea, you can easily find a few to love. Fans of the first will love this sequel even more because not only is the overall film more cohesive, but the segments feel even more fresh this time around.

No comments:

Post a Comment