Five French Horrors, One Quirky Anthology
Horrors are notoriously difficult to get right on a tight budget. From splatter-filled gore-fests to films that take themselves so seriously the end result winds up comedic, there’s a special art-form to getting an Indie horror right that few manage to achieve. Necrologies may not be the best Indie title out there, but it is one with a distinct charm and personality that helps it rise above mediocrity, one that interweaves five different tales together to form one cohesive anthology. While some of the practical and technical effects don’t always hit their mark, for a film made on a shoestring budget of under £10,000, this is a valiant effort.
The film begins with an introduction to our main protagonist; horror enthusiast Ludovic. After sneaking in to the graveyard after dark, the grave keeper there convinces him to head inside to listen to some spooky tales and thus, setting up the rest of the film. Across 75 minutes, our spooky host introduces each of these different tales, told with varying degrees of success. From a strange gnarled beast in the woods to an insatiably hungry monster (pictured above) stalking its prey, each of the stories bring something new to the table. This ever-evolving range of horror is ultimately what helps set this anthology apart from others but inevitably there are lulls in the action making this a bit of a hit and miss selection.
The differing stories spill over to the technical efforts achieved for each title and given a different Director worked on each segment, there’s a unique spin to each of them that helps keep this one feeling fresh. The red and blue neon-soaked scenes in the first story contrast completely with the aforementioned monster tale that includes a comedic edge and feels very reminisce of films like Gremlins in its execution. The result is something that very cleverly tailors its content for different appetites of horror and while there isn’t really anything distinctly scary or that frightening (although the second story does inject some uneasy tension into the mix), there is some enjoyable content here worth digesting.
The acting is pretty standard for a film like this although the old grave keeper (played by Jean-Claude Dreyfus) does put in a wonderfully camp and theatric performance that’s arguably the stand out of the bunch. Alongside this are some surprisingly smart edits that hide a lot of the budget restraints and do a good job with what little resources are available. It’s not perfect, and those after something truly scary will certainly be left wanting.
In essence, Necrologies plays out as the French equivalent of Tales From The Crypt, only not quite as effectively written. Given the budget and imaginative ideas on display, if you’re a horror affectionate Necrologies is worth checking out if you can look past some of the aforementioned issues. While this is far from the lofty heights of a title like Cube, there’s enough in the bag to make this French anthology a fun ride nonetheless.
This title is available in the UK through https://www.ukfilmchannel.co.uk/necrologies and through SRS Cinema for now on Blu-Ray, and later on DVD and digital: https://srscinemastore.com/products/necrologies-bluray
Verdict - 6/10