The horror genre has seen many anthology tales over the years and Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales is yet another entry into the time honoured tradition. Clocking-in at almost 2 1/2 hours, Twisted Tales brings together a selection of nine bite-sized stories, introduced by Holland which first premiered on the internet (via Fearnet).
The nature of the beast is that the pendulum is going to swing between success and a failure in the nine tales presented here. That’s okay because you expect that going in and if you accept that then you won’t be disappointed by what’s on display. Some feel a tad stretched beyond their confines and others could be extended further but each episode and each Twisted Tale has enough of a quirky kernel to captivate your attention. The budget may be very low but there are a few familiar faces (Ray Wise, Danielle Harris, William Forsythe) amongst the cast of relative unknowns.
Over the years Tom Holland has brought many iconic horrors to the screen, including Psycho II, Child’s Play and Fright Night and the Stephen King adaptations Thinner and The Langoliers. Those efforts all showed an understanding of wit woven into the horror and that’s what you get with this collection. Each Twisted Tale may verge more on comedy than terror but Twisted Tales feels like a bite sized Tales from the Crypt for the 21st Century (not surprising considering that Holland helmed some episodes of the series). Werewolves, vampires devils and magicians litter the stories which look at human nature through the horror microscope. There’s no through-line to these – each one is simply a morality tale that ends with a sting.
Entertaining more than essential, Twisted Tales is a fun horror diversion that delivers what you would expect from a section of macabre vignettes. It would give you any sleepless nights but it will pass the time – and that’s all you want from something like this.