The 13th Floor

10 Terrific but Lesser-known Horror Anthologies

With the recent release of the anthology film XX as well as TALES OF HALLOWEEN coming to Netflix, horror fans have been chattering about their love of the horror anthology. Well, there are plenty out there you may not have seen. Check out our list of 10 lesser-known horror anthologies below.

FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM (1987)

This horror anthology has some unique stories and an all-star cast including Vincent Price and Clu Gulager. The settings range from Civil War to 1930s to 1950s to a contemporary segment, making for a dynamic viewing experience.

 

STRANGE FREQUENCY (2001)

STRANGE FREQUENCY didn’t start out as an anthology film; it just kind of ended up that way. Back in 2001, STRANGE FREQUENCY appeared as a TV show on the VH1 Network. Each episode was a 22 minute stand-alone horror story which in some way involved rock-n-roll. The show was awesome- like TALES FROM THE CRYPT level stories, but with kickass rock and metal! STRANGE FREQUENCY ran for only one season, and diehard fans like me waited patiently for a box set DVD release. It never happened. Instead, VH1 broke the series into three parts with plans to release the shows as “feature films”, each one featuring four episodes linked together as an “anthology film”. I was just stoked to finally get a hard copy of the episodes. STRANGE FREQUENCY 1 and 2 both released to DVD, but they stopped before STRANGE FREQUENCY 3, so four episodes are still out there floating in the unseen ether. But don’t miss 1 and 2. Again- great horror stories and rock-n-roll! Hell yes!

 

DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)

One of the first horror anthologies, DEAD OF NIGHT features some classic ghost tales…and then there is “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy”. This segment has been warping viewers’ brains for generations and is still freaky as hell by today’s standards.

 

DEAD OF NIGHT (1977)

Yes, there are two horror anthologies, both called DEAD OF NIGHT. This one was actually a made-for-TV movie. All of the segments are directed by Dan Curtis and written by Richard Matheson, so you know you are getting something amazing. The best one of the bunch is, by a landslide, “Bobby”. It actually may be the best horror anthology segment ever. Seriously. EVER.

 

AFTER MIDNIGHT (1989)

I vaguely remembered the box cover for AFTER MIDNIGHT sitting on store shelves during my childhood. I never rented it. I didn’t see this one until last year. The stories vary quite a bit in tone, plot, and degree of success, but the wrap-around segment may be the best in anthology horror history.

 

GRIM PRAIRIE TALES (1990)

Starring James Earl Jones and Brad Douriff, this is another title that is trapped on VHS and notoriously hard to find a physical copy. The movie has four horror stories, all horror westerns.

 

THE THEATRE BIZARRE (2011) (COVER PHOTO)

Just as the title promises, this film is bizarre, but also fascinating and fun! Inspired by the legendary Grand Guignol Theatre (read all about that here), the movie centers around a girl who wanders into an abandoned puppet theater. The puppets then introduce each segment. Directors include FX legend Tom Savini, Severin Film’s David Gregory, and filmmaker Richard Stanley.

 

TALE OF TALES (2015)

This fairy-tale based anthology film is an astounding fantasy/ horror mix featuring some of the best practical creature work I’ve seen in years. Based off the stories of Giambattista Basile, the movie weaves several dark tales together into one breathtakingly gorgeous flick.

 

KWAIDAN (1965)

This Japanese anthology uses folktales to create some chilling shorts. With four stories total, each one is full of mood, striking cinematography, and of course, ghosts. KWAIDAN was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

 

HP LOVECRAFT’S NECRONOMICON (1993)

It is a crime that this film has never been made available beyond its original VHS release. If you are fortunate enough to happen upon a copy, the movie is a stellar look at several stories from writer HP Lovecraft. It also sports some epic special effects!

 

 

 

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