V/H/S (2012, dir. Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Radio Silence)

A horror anthology, linked by the contents of a video tape. Overlong (there’s a short movie too much) and at times repetitive, this is nevertheless a generally solid found-footage horror compilation, even if the dudebro-ness on display doesn’t always translate into critique. Two standout stories and the interesting credits (acting and direction) make it worth your while. Sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Dark Stories (2019, dir. François Descraques & Guillaume Lubrano)

A woman held hostage by a bloodthirsty doll tells it stories to keep it from killing her. Superior Anglo-French anthology horror with no weak episodes. The tales tend to the EC style twist narratives, covering some unusual ground as well as riffs on zombie, ghost and vampire yarns. A solid job all around.

Dark Place (2019, dir. Kodie Bedford, Perun Bonser, Rob Braslin, Liam Phillips, Bjorn Stewart)

Five horror shorts concerned with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females, and with the legacies of colonialism. Not a dud among them either, with a range of subgenres and stylistic approaches (from human trafficking to vampirism, and from moody b/w to Raimi-esque splatter comedy). Each stand-alone story is brisk and effective enough to earn its place and more. Recommended.

Creepshow 2 (1987, dir. Michael Gornick)

Three adaptations of Stephen King short stories: “Old Chief Woodenhead”, “The Raft” and “The Hitchhiker”. Cut-price anthology sequel that short-changes the viewer (there were five tales in Part 1), making up in rubbery gore for what the yarns lack in comedy and chills. A couple of oddly-effective moments, but that’s about it.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019, dir. Andre Ovredal)

One Halloween, a gang of geeky teens disturb a fabled local ghost. Starts well, but soon gets bogged down in undernourished anthology stories and a pedestrian puzzle seen a hundred times before. Interesting late 60s setting, though never made relevant to the narrative.

Ghost Stories (2017, dir. Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson)

A paranormal investigator is given three cases to solve which will apparently prove the existence of the afterlife. Hugely entertaining and clever reworking of old-as-the-hills material, perhaps better enjoyed on a second viewing so its construction can be appreciated.

For another perspective, here’s Xussia’s view.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018, dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)

Six tales of the Old West, each taller than the last. Splendid Western anthology, packed full of quirky moments and character actors, with a few stars plainly having fun. Not exactly commercial, though; Netflix is a good home for this Coen brothers confection.

Patient Seven (2016, dir. Danny Draven and others)

A researcher discusses six notable patients in the same mental hospital. OK horror anthology with some reasonable production values and decent story quality, though the final twist is supremely guessable.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015, dir. Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan)

Four linked horror stories take place on the same Christmas Eve. Reasonable anthology held together by William Shatner’s drunk radio jock. Plenty of contemporary horror tropes dealt with: changelings, zombies, Krampus, spooky dormitory found-footage.

Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (1965, dir. Freddie Francis)

Five men on a train have their fortunes told by the mysterious Dr Schreck. The first Amicus horror anthology is tremendous, mixing classic tropes with modish 60s pop culture, delivering a suite of chills and thrills backed up by expert playing from an unparalleled ensemble cast.