Writer-Director Nicholas Michael Jacobs (Urban Fears, Night) returns with Tales From Six Feet Under. This short film is indebted to 1980s horror anthology films in its set up and execution.
In each of its segments there are references to films past, including Tales of the Crypt and The Evil Dead. A synthwave score (composed by Jacobs) also pays homage to the low-budget music from this era, the most recognizable reference being John Carpenter.
The film contains three shorts and a wraparound segment. The wraparound follows a skeletal, death-like figure known as “The Visitor” (Nicholas Michael Jacobs). The Visitor visits a dimly lit graveyard, placing flowers on three graves. Each grave belongs to a recent victim of the Visitor. As the camera focuses on each headstone, the film transitions to each of its mini horror stories.
The first segment concerns a young man named Joe Roth (Brian Jacobs), who is asked to clean out the basement; finding an ouija board, he opens the door for a supernatural fright. The second segment is meta in nature. It follows an indie horror filmmaker (Nicholas Michael Jacobs) who is running out of ideas, a creepy puppet, and a neighborhood knife-wielding attacker. The third segment focuses on a young woman named Jennifer Burton (Alexis Beacher) who receives a mysterious text message from an unknown number.
In many ways, the low-fi horror elements on display are a pleasure to watch. The black and white cinematography adds atmosphere to the proceedings, while certain editing and framing choices—including cut aways to blood-splattered walls—add to the charm. While each segment isn’t particularly scary, they are still fun to watch. If pressed to choose the best segment, it would probably be the second one because of the way it winks at the genre.
It’s great to see anthology films experiencing a resurrection in recent years, given the popularity of such titles as V/H/S, The Field Guide to Evil, and Nightmare Cinema. Tales From Six Feet Under fits in well with its demented kin.
Sean Woodard serves as the Film Editor for Drunk Monkeys and a Co-Producer of the faith and spirituality podcast, Ordinary Grace. Focusing on a wide variety of interests, Sean’s fiction, film criticism, and other writings have been featured in Los Angeles Review of Books, NonBinary Review, Horrorbuzz, Cultured Vultures, and Los Angeles Magazine, among other publications. He is currently a doctoral student at University of Texas at Arlington.
By Sean WoodardPublished On: March 21, 2020Categories: Movies, ReviewsComments Off on Tales From Six Feet Under Resurrects the 80’s Anthology