Best Horror Anthology films ever made
written by Souranath Banerjee
Horror Anthology films are always a treat for the horror-genre fans!
For those who are new to the term ‘Anthology’ – an anthology film (also known as an omnibus film, package film, or portmanteau film) generally consists of several short films mostly linked by a common theme, premise or genre; can be made either by different directors for each segment or can entirely be the work of one single director.
And the most common Anthology film category is undoubtedly the ‘Horror’ genre. Numerous short horror films are produced from all over the world and they add up to such perfect anthology films!
And so, here is the collection of the Best Horror Anthology films ever made!
Feel free to be scared!
10. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTOHbEOLcCU
The backdrop being Halloween, five stories are seamlessly interwoven together into one devilishly scary movie!
Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, these tiny horror tales are all located around the same locality and occurs at the same night!
A cool and sleek horror flick that guarantees a superb Halloween experience for the entire family!
9. V/H/S (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmLh4NUu6E4
A team of petty burglars come across a collection of weird VHS tapes that eventually scared the hell out of them!
Typically based on the popular found-footage film-format (similar to The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield), this movie debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Total 6 short films made by the directors – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West and Adam Wingard.
Because of the film’s popularity two other installments of the V/H/S franchise were produced V/H/S/2 (2013), V/H/S Viral (2014) and also a spin-off called SiREN (2016).
8. Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3FpZEkaIS4
Five strangers following a guide get lost inside a catacomb, soon trapped in a crypt meet the mysterious Crypt Keeper.
And finally the keeper tells them five stories and the tales are of the visions of how each of them will meet their death!
Directed by Freddie Francis, macabre, blood and gore, a very well executed movie – scary yet strict with justice and morals!
7. Cat’s Eye (1985)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqzTazrYx5M
Very rarely are the horror suspense genre so well complemented by superb dark humor!
Directed by Lewis Teague and screenplay by none other than Stephen King, three thrilling stories, both scary and fun, all cleverly linked by a stray cat.
James Woods, Alan King and a young Drew Barrymore – superb performances and very much entertaining!
Another Stephen King written anthology to check out – Stephen King’s Golden Tales (1985).
6. Black Sabbath (1963)
I tre volti della paura (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvqT1D7qvrc
Stories adopted from the works of Anton Chekhov, Aleksei Tolstoy and Guy de Maupassant, and perfectly executed into a frightening short films.
Hosted by acclaimed Boris Karloff (of Frankenstein fame) who also acted in one segment as a vampire; and directed by the Italian master of horror Mario Bava, this trio of scary tales are certainly a must for all horror anthology fans!
5. Tales of Terror (1962)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCB6IexwwtA
Based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Morella, The Black Cat and The Case of M. Valdemar – the three unique horror stories that turned into fine examples of cinema.
Directed by Roger Corman, the films are scary with a potent doze of comedy in them.
Atmospheric and eerie, and great performances by Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone and Peter Lorre.
4. Dead of Night (1945)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UCJz617E8s
A man stuck in his recurring nightmare as the characters in his dream narrates their own individual horror experiences!
Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer.
This British movie is often regarded as the Best Horror Anthology film that has managed to stay scary enough through the test of time!
3. Kwaidan (1964)
Kaidan (original title)
film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG5mvupo9Wc
A classic collection of Japanese folk tales – slow and visually beautiful, this movie consists of four separate and unrelated stories all based on supernatural elements.
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi – this is certainly the most popular Japanese Horror classic that won the ‘Special jury prize’ at 1965 Cannes Film Festival and also an Academy Award nomination!
2. Creepshow (1982)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owdnnaNs2RI
Based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s, this film narrates five gruesome tales of pure horror and terror!
Directed by none other than the acclaimed horror director George A. Romero, and screenplay by Stephen King – what a combo!
With lot of blood, violence and gory special effects, this movie is a pure ecstasy for every horror fan out there!
The film’s popularity soon gave birth to Creepshow 2 (1987)
- Three… Extremes (2004)
Saam gaang yi (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqQHi1GYXpY
“Dumplings“, “Cut” and “Box“, three individual South Korean horror films clubbed together into an anthology, directed by Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike and Chan-wook Park.
Not only they are horrifying and disturbing, they also have this amazing creep factor that makes them score ahead of any other films in this list. My personal favorite is Dumplings though it makes me sick every time I watch it!
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)
+1. Spirits of the Dead (1968)
Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJuSlLlmSk
Metzengerstein, William Wilson and Toby Dammit, three Edgar Allan Poe stories narrated by acclaimed directors such as Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini!
Starring an array of favorite actors Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon and Terence Stamp – not entirely horror based but still pretty disturbing for sure.
Obviously Fellini’s segment, the last one is the best!
A few other anthologies apart from the list: Twice-Told Tales (1963), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Torture Garden (1967), The House That Dripped Blood (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), From Beyond the Grave (1974), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Body Bags (1993), Darna Mana Hai (2003), 4bia (2008), Phobia 2 (2009), The Theatre Bizarre (2011), Horror Stories (2012), The ABCs of Death (2012), Southbound (2015), Holidays (2016), XX (2017), Galaxy of Horrors (2017).
Animated Horror Anthologies: Extraordinary Tales (2015), Fear(s) of the Dark (2007).
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Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.