The anthology movie is all the rage again, for the first time since the 1970’s, movies like The Theatre Bizarre and the upcoming ABC’s Of Death and Habeas Corpus have captivated audience’s attentions. Now comes Little Deaths, a trio of dark tales from Simon Rumley, Sean Hogan, and Andrew Parkinson.
Beginning with House And Home, a pair of God botherer’s lure a young homeless girl back to their home where they can carry out their ungodly acts. But this homeless girl has a sting in her tail. Secondly is Mutant Tool in which a “creature” is chained in a isolated location being used as an experiment, meanwhile a couples relationship issues cause their and the “creatures” lives become strangely linked. Finally Bitch is the story about a hard woman who literally treats her lover as a dog, until the day he snaps.
Little Deaths is a pretty dark offering, of varying standards. Each of them is very different, but each features various strained relationship issues. The strongest element of the movie is delivered by Simon Rumley (Red, White, and Blue / The Living And The Dead) in the chapter Bitch, more on this in a moment.
The trouble with anthology movies, as we discovered by the time the 80’s rolled in, is that this sort of story-telling leads to portions of un-even length, and as we learned it’s more often than not that the longer stories are the most dull. Time seems fairly distributed between the three directors here, with each story almost identical in length to the second.
Each story sadly is quite predictable, the second most notably so, and sadly the weakest chapter. While the story like the first and third chapter is about relationships, it does seem out of place with the adjoining features.
Focusing on Bitch, Rumley had created a masterpiece in the anthology genre, he has taken a story that many other directors would tell in 90 minutes and squashed it down into a 30-minute chapter, but it’s delivered with such depth that you feel like you have been watching a full-length movie. I loved the slow decline of the male character Pete, as his girlfriend Claire gets everything she wants from life and he gets nothing for himself. The stories final build up, and the slow building musical number by Richard Chester is an empowering thing, empowering but with the knowledge that something pretty horrible is about to happen.
I must finally go back to the first chapter, who wins the runner up prize, it sets the tone for the movie as a whole, and it’s sinister overtones whispered to their victim by the god fearing couple culminates in an scenario you expected, but not quite in the way it arrived.
Having glanced at some reviews on-line, I never expected to enjoy Little Deaths, but I did, if you like you’re horror in varying measures, then this movie not only offers that, but allows a variety so broad in the horror genre, no anthology movie has ever lived up to this standard.