Home Video Hovel: Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Created as an original movie for the cable channel Chiller, Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear is a horror anthology film (think Creepshow or V/H/S) focusing on the five senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. The bad films outweigh the good, but the good ones are really worth watching.
One of the better films is Nick Everhart’s Smell. Seth, played by Corey Scott Rutledge, is a recently divorced office drone whose receives a complimentary cologne sampler from a mysterious visitor. The cologne unleashes powerful pheromones with some nasty side effects. Smell features a story that blends office hijinks, romance, and gnarly special effects in a fun way.
The best film in Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear is Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton’s Listen. Presented as a found footage videotape, Listen details a documentary crew trying to get to the origins of a lost Russian instrumental piece of music that kills anyone that listens to it. Editing together the fragments of vintage footage from submitted tapes, the crew tries to uncover a successful performance of the song. The dread in the story builds to a nice finish.
Less impressive are the other three films. In his directorial debut, Miko Hughes (he played Simon, the kid Bruce Willis protected in Mercury Rising) directs See in a very chaotic fashion. The concept of an ophthalmologist converting his patient’s memories into eye drops that he uses to experience brief fragments of their lives is a good one, but it’s crammed into a revenge storyline that is far too rushed. Emily Hagins’ Touch tells a trite tale of a blind boy looking for help after his parents are injured in a car crash. There are fleeting moments of suspense on display, but the whole affair falls flat with an ending that wraps things up a bit too easily for the protagonist. Eric England’s Taste is about a young man who gets an offer for a job interview in a posh hotel where things are not as they seem. A creepy beginning devolves into a climax that tonally feels like something out of an entirely different film.
Available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Shout! Factory under their Scream Factory label, Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear has a trifling of special features. The lone deleted scene from Smell is a disgusting scene set in a shower that would have slowed down the ending. The collection of TV spots has some brief comments from the directors. An audio commentary would have been a welcome special feature. Chillings Visions: 5 Senses of Fear has its high and lows, which is typical of horror anthology films. More scares could have helped things out, but there’s some fun to be had here.