Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tales Of Poe (2014)

Scream queens Adrienne King , Caroline Williams , Amy Steel, Debbie Rochon and Lesleh Donaldson team up in a trilogy of films all based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe and recast to put women at the center of the terror. Its a very clever updating of the tales that more or less works all the way through

Chapter 1- Tell Tale Heart
The story is reset in the psyche ward of a hospital where a nurse recounts what happened while she was taking care of her patient, a silent movie star with a weird eye.

Chapter 2- The Cask
On the wedding day of a wine aficionado weird things happen

Chapter 3- Dreams
A bedridden woman dreams

While not without problems, TALES OF POE is that rare horror anthology that actually keeps our attention. Its use of female protagonists and the expansion of the stories in the first two films work wonders. The films generate their own visceral sense of horror beyond the chills of the Poe stories. For example in Tell Tale having a back story to the relationship makes what follows understandable. Additionally setting it in an asylum allows for additional shocks.

The only real problems with the film creep in during the final section. The dream like Dreams is under cut by the occasional use of sheets or clothes as back drops in several sequences. They clash with the opulence of the rest of the piece. It looks like the wrong set of cheap and completely wrecks the mood. And with Dreams mood is everything because the piece is a largely wordless dream and the visuals have to carry the film. The sheets undercut that. The other problem with this section is that it is the longest of the three stories running almost 45 minutes, its a couple minutes too long. As interesting as the visual poetry is there is a point where interest begins to sputter

I really like the film a great deal. As a horror fan I am always pleased when I stumble on a good horror film, especially when its in a sub-genre like the anthology which is littered with clunkers and missed opportunities.

With Halloween less than a week away TALES OF POE is recommended for anyone wanting to go outside of the box and see a horror film that isn't filled with your typical and well established screen villains. It is actually the perfect film to have the classic tales turned on their head.

TALES OF POE is currently out on VOD and DVD from Wild Eye releasing

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