An anthology that tells 5 stories based around the 5 senses with the only link being the mysterious company Watershed.
I like my anthologies to have a wrap-around story, something that makes then all link together nicely & leave a feeling of resolution. I think it makes the individual stories better for it so I was dubious going into this.
The first sense covered is SMELL & the story sees, loser in life, Seth getting a visit from a cheery but strange perfume seller at home.
She gives him a bottle for free promising that it will make him successful in all aspects of his life as long as he doesn’t use to much of it. It works but begins to rot his skin wherever he sprays it & initially Seth can hide the damage but as success goes to his head he begins to use more & more of the stuff.
Smell is an interesting story that really peaks when it starts getting gross. The effect of rotting is really nasty & I couldn’t wait to see how it developed. Seth does a wonderful job of selling it but the minor plot point about winning back his ex-wife doesn’t work. The short run time doesn’t add any real depth to their failed relationship.
Next up we have SIGHT, one to make the squeamish look away. An eye doctor has a machine that extracts energy from his patient’s eyes which he distils into drops. He can then apply them to his own eyes & see what his patients have seen. One of his favourite is a woman suffering at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. Tired of her pain he gets her to send her boyfriend in for a test & pumps him full of bad images thinking it will make him change his ways…it does not have the intended result though.
I liked the idea behind this one but it never really gets going. The boyfriend doesn’t come across intimidating, more laughable but it does result in a nasty eye-gouging. Not for the squeamish.
The 3rd one is TOUCH & sees a blind boy & his parent involved in a car accident while driving in the woods. His parents are badly hurt so the boy goes for help discovering that the car was damaged in a trap & the woods are full of them.
A nearby house holds a victim who warns the child of a killer who doesn’t like to be touched. The child runs into the man who also happens to be the boyfriend from SIGHT & has to fight for his survival.
This is the worst of the bunch & I found it quite boring. The boy does a great job of making blindness seem less of a handicap especially around the traps. The problem lies with the introduction of the villain who just doesn’t scare. He’s outsmarted by a young blind boy…
TASTE sees a man arriving at big corporation unsure of why he is there. While waiting in the lobby he finds out that he is to be offered a job but no-one knows what or why. The job offer comes from a mysterious woman & involves him finding & piecing together a song. He is warned that there will be consequences if he refuses which he does. Everything gets a bit…bloody from this point on.
This is my favourite one even if it is short & makes little sense. It builds up interest in what the job is nicely & the woman offering it comes across both sexy & dangerous. His refusal is when it gets really good. She dons a mask & basically starts ripping the shit out of his face. It’s super-gory & the bit where he staggers through the lobby with most of his face cut open is pretty amazing.
The final episode is LISTEN & played out in the found footage style. 2 fella’s & a girl are attempting to piece together recordings of a song that supposedly kills anyone that hears the full thing.
It’s a creepy finish to a pretty strong line-up that is only really let down by the lack a strong connection.
Another good one…as the song comes together you get a really strong sense of fore-boding as the music film comes together. Self-mutilation always freaks me out (that bit in Event Horizon) & the sequence of events that arrive at the end is pretty cool to watch.
A disappointing TOUCH & an average SIGHT makes the anthology feel a bit light overall. It could also have done with a wrap-around story, a better connection then just the company. More details about the Watershed Company could have made each episode have a bit more impact as well. Still there is plenty of gore & gross out moments to keep you watching.
Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear