It’s difficult to add to the alphabet, but fairly soon, maybe the ABCs of Death 2 will update a periodic table of artists, directors and producers from around the world who either are or can become today’s new masters of horror. The sequel adds Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves), Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Steve Kostanski (Manborg) and Vincenzo Natali (Splice) to the list. This anthology of twisted tales will be released to select theatres and Video on Demand on Halloween, offering, quite literally a “Nexus” of delights for the night (skip to N to find a treat).
Just like the previous collection, these filmmakers hail from all parts of the world. They offer a bevy of delightful and satirical moments that ranges from a botched assassination attempt in A is for Amateur to being careful is what children Wish for. Part of the fun in watching these shorts is in guessing what the word is. They can be nouns or adjectives.
Most of these shorts show a beautiful range in diversity in showing either what death means or how it can arrive. A few are thoughtful, like in E is for Equilibrium (by Alejandro Brugués) where two castaway’s friendship is tested when a beautiful woman washes are ashore, and others are just tribal like in L is for Legacy (by Lancelot Imasuen). In terms of style, R is for Roulette is perhaps the most slick in delivering tension. Despite the series being billed as comedic, there’s plenty of tragedy and thrillers to be found. The best has to be with Q is for Questionnaire. S is for Split offers the best payback for cheating husbands and it’s difficult to find badly done pieces in this collection of short films. To note, not every segment is live action. Standouts include D is for Deloused, an animated piece that conjures forth the stylings of Jan Švankmajer and charcoal art in H is for Headgames that’s just as surrealistic. Even zombie hunters can find some hilarity with O is for Ochlocracy (mob rule).
Although it’s better to rate each short, this list spotlights what’s exceptional in this collection’s craftsmanship. The ABCs of Death 2 is definitely a stronger product when compared to the original and although its difficult to expand an alphabet, at least each letter can be finessed with accents and other dictation marks to give some room for expansion. As for whether a third film will happen, is there room?
A DVD and Blu-ray release will follow on February 3, 2015.