I am completely on board with the anthology craze that the horror genre has been seeing the past few years. Hell, it’s produced some pretty great releases. Because every release seems to try to outdo the others floating around out there, filmmakers are getting pretty ambitious. Perhaps this is most evident in the ABCs of Death franchise. I remember being really disappointed with the first film release back in 2012, but I think I have grown to appreciate things differently this time around with the sequel, ABCs of Death 2.
In case any of you guys don’t know specific details about the project, I will fill you in quickly. ABCs of Death 2, like the first film in the series, is a collection of 26 shorts all created by 26 [or more] different directors. The directors were chosen and given a letter of the alphabet with which they were given complete freedom to do whatever they deemed worthy. For example, “Z is for Zombie” could have been what a director chose to base their short on. Lucky for us fans, however, none of the decisions made by these filmmakers were so generic and obvious. Instead, the first film saw “Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)” and this time around, “Z is for Zygote.” It is this inventiveness that I appreciate the most about this 2014 sequel.
While I have to say that I disliked most of the entries in the first film, I’ve come to realize that this isn’t necessarily what’s important when reviewing a film of this magnitude. I can imagine it being extremely difficult for a horror fan to sit down and watch this film, only to be 100% completely satisfied with every single entry shown before them. There is, without a doubt, no way this is possible. Some horror fans enjoy graphic and gory horrors, while for others, that may just not be their cup of tea, so to speak. ABCs of Death 2 has something for everyone and that is where the value of a project like this really lies. With 26 directors who have 26 very unique styles, you are bound to see something you like and something you might just completely loathe.
There were quite a few shorts throughout ABCs of Death 2 that I found extremely well done; they were very original and stick out above the rest. My favorites, in no particular order [other than alphabetical, that is] were “A is for Amateur,” “B is for Badger,” “M is for Masticate,” “S is for Split,” “T is for Torture Porn,” and “V is for Vacation.” The directors for these particular entries, which include E.L. Katz, Julian Barratt, Robert Boocheck, Juan Martinez Moreno, Jerome Sable, and the twisted twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska, have all churned out some great work in the past, so it is no surprise to me that I enjoyed their work here. They all utilized the few minutes they had to the greatest of the abilities and were able to give fans the best presentation possible.
ABCs of Death 2 is more organized and overall a better product than its predecessor. Are you going to like every single entry? Of course not, but you will definitely find something you do like. That is a guarantee. There’s hand drawn animation, claymation, and of course live action that covers everything from monsters and complete fantasy worlds to slashers and revenge with twists of comedy and the downright bizarre, along the way. Be sure to pick up a copy on Blu-ray or DVD from Magnolia Home Entertainment under the Magnet label today and let me know what your favorite segments are!
I give this project 4.5 creative directors out of 5.