"The Horror Vault 2" is a collection of short horror movies by different filmmakers from countries like Sweden and Denmark. The segments are "The Medium", "The Dead Chick In The Closet", "Invasion of Privacy" "Restroom" and "Mr. Happy Sunshine".
Director and actor Kim Sønderholm sent this to me for reviewing and I had no idea what this was gonna be. I hadn't seen the first in the series, so at first I was a little bit iffy wether or not I should review it. Once I learned it was a collection of short films rather than one story, it obviously seemed alot more interesting to me. What interested me even more is that it was from different directors and countries. However it's not like "Three... Extremes" where it's from three different asian countries, this time it just happened to be films from Sweden, Denmark and I think USA too. Kim Sønderholm, who also is a producer on this project, directed the first short...
..."Invasion of Privacy". It starts out with Kim Sønderholm playing a maniac who has a naked girl as hostage. A minute in and this naked girl is killed, only to let us follow a new victim for the killer to stalk. A girl that just recently moved in to the building. One day when the girl is away, he sneaks in to her apartment and sets up several webcams, one in the kitchen, one in the bed room, one in the shower.. You get the point. It continues on that route, but throws in a little twist that you may or may not expect. The film feels rather short, but it delivers what it wanted. Kim Sønderholm plays the lead character as the psycho really well, and the other actors aren't too bad either, but they don't shine as much as Kim. It has some nice boobage and a bit of blood, but it never gets very explicit or gruesome (the blood is a bit fake-looking and it's not a big amount). The film focuses on the tension and the plot, as simple as it may be, which is what it should do.
The film title that I was really waiting for is the one called "The Dead Chick In The Closet", which is the second short. It hits off with a woman coming home, and before she enters the house we see a bloody man holding some kind of knife or whatever sharp tool, and a severed leg, and he has that typical "holy fuck, what should I do?" look on his face. Time freezes and a voice, the man's voice, explains how he got into this situation. And this blasts us back in time, 4 hours to be exact. He waked up in a bed, next to a cute naked blonde chick. A chick that he can't remember. Horny as hell, he puts on a rubber and starts having sex with this sleeping woman. Except.. well, he finds out that she's actually dead. Do I need to tell you more? This short is alot more comedic, sometimes even silly, than the first one, but it fits. Some scenes are ruined by the Swedish accents, or atleast they get harder to take seriously, so not all comedic scenes are intentional I suppose. But being less serious than the last film, you can ignore faults like that. It's a really entertaining watch, but brings down the "horror" in the title a notch. Rather than to become a horror tale, it's kinda like "Weenend at Bernies" or "8 Heads In A Duffel Bag" mixed with some even darker comedy. Fine by me!
"The Medium" is a pretty ordinary supernatural story about ghosts that is set in an old abandoned theatre. The lead character is a medium who pretends he's there to buy the chairs that are for sale., but rather he's there because of a force he has felt in the presence of the building. There's not much more for me to tell you about it as it really is as typical as I said earlier. The difference here is that it's still an indie production, so typical isn't as boring as it sounds. I always like smaller ghost productions as they seem to go for the feel and actual plot rather than only jump scares. It's decent, but you should enjoy ghost stories to really appreciate it.
The next one is weird. "Restroom". It has a guy in a restroom who's taking pills. He then looks into the mirror, where he sees himself starting to rot, and then a man in a cape and blank mask climbs out of it. It all disappears, and the guy tries to get out. He takes more pills, and more strange shit happen. Like a guy on the toilet who's masturbating (I think), who gets his cock stuck in the zipper (what the?). Lead guy then goes to take a dump, and later he sees that the shit he shat out has some weird face that's now talking to him. At times I was impressed by how strange and cool this film was, other times I was annoyed at the stupidity. I felt the film didn't really know itself very well and when it tried to experiment with the man's visions, they often ended up as silly.
"Mr. Happy Sunshine".. What can I say about this? Supposedly based on true events, it features a kidnap situation of some sort. Except the kidnapped has to read the news to the bad guy, while wearing a television on his head (a box that looks like a telly). This is my least favorite of the shorts because I didn't really get it. Not that it was complicated, but I didn't really enjoy some scenes and they kinda felt random to me.
The first two shorts were very good, and the last three were a bit odd but still decent watches. I'd recommend this because it has a pretty mixed set of films, but still maintaining a independent feel. My favorite of the shorts was "The Dead Chick In The Closet", even though it was the least horror-y of them all. It's a nice time waste, don't be scared to pick this up!