‘Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear’ is an anthology film made up of five short horror vignettes, each centered around a basic human fear. It is the second such film in the ‘Chilling Visions’ film series, following after ‘Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear.’ As a whole, the movie is entertaining and has a slight Twilight Zone tinge to it. The shorts do tend to fly by rather fast, forcing the plot to unveil at a breakneck speed, and rendering many plot subtleties lost, however this imperfection is almost entirely nullified by the film’s clever writing and various plot twists that will keep audiences at the edge of their seats.
The first short ‘Ego Death (Sandy)’ is a very strong starter that centers around a man haunted by the mistress he buried alive. While it starts off with a rather obvious premise, it does offer a somewhat unexpected payoff.
‘Separation (The Trouble with Dad),’ the film’s second short follows an older man in the later stages of his life as he deals with a succession of memory problems. It demonstrates very well that some of the scarier scenarios a person can experience occur when they must face they’re own mind and beliefs.
‘Mutilation (Tick Warning)’ the third entry in the anthology is about a couple venturing into a desolate and closed-off portion of the woods to spread the ashes of a dead relative. They unknowingly stumble into ground zero for a terrifying disease with horrifying and gory consequences. This is probably the weakest storyline in the film, but it is still a captivating watch.
The fourth short is ‘Extinction (Ghost Daughter)’ focuses around a mother who is reunited with her dead daughter as she herself attempts to commit suicide to be with her. It quickly becomes all about revenge and the question of how far a parent will go for their child’s love.
Finally, ‘Loss of Autonomy (The Caregiver),’ the anthology’s fifth and final short, follows a former philanderer and newsman, rendered an invalid by a stroke, after he is put in the total care of his vindictive wife. While it starts off rather cheesy this quickly becomes one of the more interesting and suspenseful of all of the movie’s stories.
The acting and production values for the entire film are very high, and render the movie extremely watchable. This is definitely a plus because the visuals carry a heavy burden in furthering the plot, especially given the short film set-up. This is a task they are more than able to accomplish.
Fans of horror will find a lot to like with ‘Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear.’ The central theme binds the various shorts together well, yet still allow them to each maintain their own respective manner of scary story. Many of the shorts put a lot of emphasis on human emotions and relationships, which not only boost their story but make them more relatable.
Airs on Chiller Friday, July 18.