On Nightmare Cinema


Nightmare Cinema delivers on its title if your nightmare is watching a few horror directors you really like deliver short films that make you question whether or not that director was good to begin with... It was like watching Dario Argento's Dracula 3-D and repeating the mantra "no no no, he's still good, we all make mistakes, he's still good."

The "Nightmare Cinema" by all means should be spectacular... it's got some great names there: Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, and Alejandro Brugués... it should stand above the rest of the standard anthology movies (something that is kind of an overly saturated field since there isn't really an outlet for the short film anymore.) It isn't the worst idea if you have a short film to get it out there this way... though... if you are these guys... you could probably any way you wanted to, and for the love of god you should have in ANY other way.

The worst part about this to me is how many reviews are praising this film, which brings me to the question "are we honestly just praising them because we like the director?" Joe Dante I love... he has a few of my favorite films of all time (Gremlins and The 'Burbs) but are we allowed to say "Hey Joe... ya didn't do so great..."? He contributed a project that seemed on the verge of going Cronenberg'ian, and dropped the hat at every moment. If anything these directors should be held to a higher standard than the average filmmaker who hasn't quite cut it big yet. (Then again, maybe Dante's work on Hawaii Five-O has softened his touch.)

This also raises another question for me... "Is Mick Garris good?" Terrible CGI and special FX (if you can call them that) aside, I dig what the guy stands for and he seems to be a real horror lover, after all, he brought us Masters of Horror even though he, himself, gave us a fairly weak episode. He gave us The Stand mini-series which was okay until the end, and Stephen King's The Shining which I loved and most people hated... everything else is pretty much a miss for Garris save for a few writing gigs and the rando hit, here or there...

Nightmare Cinema serves one great purpose to me, and that's the power to learn from so-called "masters of the craft" on exactly what NOT to do when making a short film.

**It is currently on Shudder, so if you already have Shudder, then you have the option to look for other films that are better.**