(US - 2019)
Directed by Mick Garris, Alejandro Brugues, Joe Dante, Ryuhei Kitamura and David Slade. Written by Mick Garris, Alejandro Brugues, Richard Christian Matheson, Sandra Becerril, David Slade and Lawrence C. Connolly. Cast: Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Elizabeth Reaser, Annabeth Gish, Sarah Withers, Faly Rakotohavana, Maurice Benard, Zarah Mahler, Mark Grossman, Kevin Fonteyne, Belinda Balaski, Mariela Garriga, Adam Godley, Ezra Buzzington, Orson Chaplin, Daryl C. Brown, Lexy Panterra, Chris Warren, Eric Nelsen, Celesta Hodge, Reid Cox, voice of Patrick Wilson. (R, 119 mins)
Even in their Amicus heyday 50 years ago, horror anthologies tended to be mixed bag with stories of varying quality, and the format in the modern era, popularized by the like of the V/H/S and ABCs OF DEATH franchises, is even more inconsistent. But they remain favorites with the horror crowd--arguably the easiest lays in fandom--and NIGHTMARE CINEMA comes virtually rubber-stamped as the next Horror Insta-Classic (© William Wilson). Overseen by Mick Garris (best known for his Stephen King TV adaptations THE STAND, THE SHINING, DESPERATION, and BAG OF BONES), and dedicated to Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero, NIGHTMARE CINEMA plays a lot like a big-screen offshoot of Garris' Showtime series MASTERS OF HORROR and its NBC follow-up FEAR ITSELF. He corralled some horror pals who would probably turn up on a new season of MASTERS--Alejandro Brugues (JUAN OF THE DEAD), the legendary Joe Dante (PIRANHA, THE HOWLING, GREMLINS), Ryuhei Kitamura (VERSUS, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, NO ONE LIVES), and David Slade (HARD CANDY, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, and episodes of HANNIBAL and BLACK MIRROR)--with each contributing a segment with the Garris-helmed wraparounds taking place in an abandoned movie theater (played by the Rialto in L.A.), where a sinister projectionist (Mickey Rourke, also one of 22 credited producers) entertains five doomed souls by running a film that shows what horrific fate their future holds.