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Chilling Visions: 5 Senses Of Fear (Blu-ray Review)

Chilling-Visions-5-Senses-Of-FearHorror anthologies might be making a comeback on the smaller stage.  The V/H/S films have found a big audience recently and may have kicked off more people doing them.  The horror network Chiller TV has put into commission an anthology of their own.  And they went as they should with taking young filmmakers, having each create a short story of horror.  This is a nifty avenue to serve as sort of an audition for the filmmakers to possibly lead to them helming their own full length feature down the road.  And what better avenue to get this seen by horror lovers than to release it through the Scream Factory label.  Scream Factory’s mission to to put out vintage titles, but every once in a while there comes a modern title being added to the catalog.  And because they are so few, the titles they do pick to release probably should have your attention.

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Film 

This horror anthology bases each of its stories off of one of the 5 senses.  They are appropriately titled Smell, See, Touch, Taste and Listen.  Each one deals accordingly with a vicious horrific act using one of the senses.

Smell tells of a man down on his luck in life.  Divorced with a dead end job.  An Avon-like sales lady shows up at his door and offers him a cologne that changes his life’s fortune.  The man’s life soon turns completely around, but it comes with a great cost.

See is the directorial debut of Miko Hughes (that creepy kid from Pet Semetary, Full House and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare).  An eye doctor is able to harness memories and visions from his patients and put them into eye droplets.  When put in the eye, one can experience these things.  He attempts to help an abused patient of his by putting heinous visions in her boyfriend’s eyes leading to an unexpected bloodbath.

Touch follows the aftermath of a car crash where a young blind boy is left stranded and must seek help for his parents.  He stumbles upon the cabin of a serial killer.  The boy must use his other senses to escape this deadly chase from the killer himself.

Taste shows us the job interview of a hot shot hacker.  The head of this corporation is a total man-eater (literally) who has bad news for our hacker when he turns down her job offer.

Listen is our mandated found footage movie for the anthology.  It follows two artists trying to recover a song that has long been lost.  As they gets tapes and start putting it together, they start finding out why nobody wanted this thing put back together in the first place.

While Chilling Visions is meant to be a display of the directors’ talents, I couldn’t help but think it played far better as an demo reel for the effects artists involved.  The most impressive takeaway from the anthology is the gore special effects in each short.  If there was CG anywhere I couldn’t really tell.  And in a film shot on clean video like this, those CG gore effects always stick out as incredibly obvious.  No, this is dominantly practical effects.  And they are top notch ones at that.  Things look as real as they can for this low budget feature.  Things looks like they hurt and they look very disgusting.  Its truly effective work done here and my hat is off to the effects teams that worked on this.  This was the most impressive aspect of anything in the movie.

Since this is an anthology, there’s enough here that hopefully you like something.  The acting in the films was mediocre to bad most of the time.  Also the direction is pretty standard fare for most of it.  The writing is actually pretty strong in the story department and along with the gore it carries the film.  These stories feel original or fresh like fresh takes on something you may have seen before.  I found something interesting enough to keep me watching each story.  And the runtime is only 88 minutes.  So if you’re not down with something, its going to be over very shortly

Chilling Visions: 5 Senses Of Fear isn’t some amazing groundbreaking or gamechanging horror anthology, but its pretty solid one.  The stories feel a little more bubble gum pop compared to something that takes dark and disturbing turns like the V/H/S movies.  Its a decent enough watch that I can recommend it for a rental watch.  The practical special effects in this movie are grounds enough for me to recommend it to those of you that appreciate that sort of thing.  The stories are fun enough and the film doesn’t ask for a lot of your time.  Check it out if you can find it.

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Video 

The visions come in a chilling 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoding.  The 1:78.1 frame is a nice bright and clean picture.  The image is sharp and crisp in most places.  The detail is and isn’t incredibly strong.  Facial features are well displayed and look entirely natural.  Hair, skin wrinkles, stubble all comes in at a high quality presentation.  If I have any sort of knock, at times the image is almost too vivid and too smooth.  Some of it looks like some dingy BBC stuff at times.  All in all this is a high quality picture, but I can’t help but feel there could have been some more dazzle to it.

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Audio 

There is the option to go with DTS-HD MA 5.1 or DTS-HD MA 2.0.  The 5.1 track is actually a good clean and fun track to accompany the terror displayed on screen.  It has some fun with, but uses the rear channels in a natural sense.  The dialogue is clear and the effects are nice and crisp and crunchy.  The 2.0 is a nice loud and serviceable track.  It works quite well and all, but if you have the capabilities for 5.1, you gotta go with that one.

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Extras 

There isn’t a whole lot provided here.  The “Teasers And Trailers” section does offer a tiny bit of behind the scenes discussion.  On the back of the packaging it lists a “Still Gallery” as a bonus feature and it is not anywhere on the disc.

Deleted Scene (HD, :55) – A gross, gory shower scene excised from Smell.

Teasers And Trailers (HD, 3:26) – Commercial spots promoting the premiere on Chiller TV.

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Summary 

If you’re looking for a fresh, new horror anthology, do not fear giving Chilling Visions a shot.  Scream Factory delivers it with a masterful presentation.  The lack of bonus features is kind of a bummer, especially with how great the practical effects are in the movie.  A little behind the scenes on those guys would have gone a long way.  As it stands though, this is a pretty good low budget movie that should surprise and entertain horror fans.  If you can find it for good price on Blu-ray, on TV, streaming or OnDemand check it out.  I recommend it on the gore effects alone.


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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Chilling Visions: 5 Senses Of Fear (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Nice!
    How come I never heard of this?