SMELL – Directed by Nick Everhart. Left by his wife and stuck in a dead-end job, Seth Kyle's life is the definition of undesirable…until a mysterious saleswoman shows up at his door offering him "a scent to die for." Armed with a new air of self-confidence and a never-ending barrage of attention, Seth quickly learns that the smell of success comes with a deadly price.
SIGHT – Directed by Miko Hughes (actor from Pet Semetary). Unsatisfied with his own version of reality, an optometrist develops a machine that can harness the visions of all of his patients. In an attempt to show his favorite patient's abusive boyfriend the error of his ways, the doctor injects a series of viciously brutal images into his mind, leading to a visceral bloodbath of reality and hallucinations.
TOUCH – Directed by Emily Hagins (My Sucky Teen Romance). After a car accident leaves him stranded in the middle of nowhere, a 12-year-old blind boy stumbles into the stomping grounds of a sadistic serial killer. Using his memory and strong sense of touch, he must navigate through the unfamiliar territory as the killer quickly closes in.
TASTE – Directed by Eric England. A street-smart hacker is brought in for a job interview with a mysterious corporation. He soon learns that the company is led by a man-eater who has impeccable taste…and doesn't take "no" for an answer.
HEARING – Directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton (YellowBrickRoad). While researching an urban legend about a song that's long been thought lost, a group of friends piece together all the existing recordings of it, bringing it back to life for the first time in decades. Before long, they discover the bone-chilling truth of what happens to anyone who listens to it and why it was buried for so long.
'Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear' is another anthology horror film where each short is modeled after one of our five senses. Smell, Sight, Touch, Taste, Listen. I guess with the recent success of 'V/H/S' and 'V/H/S/2', Scream Factory wanted to get in the horror anthology game, and of course I'm always up for a good horror movie, especially anthology ones. Like most horror anthology films, there are good segments and bad segments. And with this particular film, the latter is more in play, but there are of course some great moments that should scare and please gore fans. If 'V/H/S' and 'Trick R' Treat' are the good films with some of our favorite horror directors, then 'Chilling Visions' is the college student thesis film. I did enjoy the fact that in some of these segments, they tried to bridge some of the other segments together, which is always nice to see. And as we start the film, we witness someone having their orifices or senses sewn shut and we are off to the first segment.
The first one up is 'Smell' and reminded my of the short from John Carpenter's 'Body Bags' called 'Hair' with Stacy Keach. Here, we follow a down on his luck, depressed man named Seth who works a job where he will never move up the corporate ladder and is recently divorced. Poor Seth. Fortunately for Seth, an odd and severely upbeat woman by the name of Margaret knocks on his door, and tells him that his problems are caused by his pheromones and scent. Luckily for him, Margaret has a new cologne that will fix everything for him, but she warns him to use it sparingly. As soon as Seth sprays some of the cologne on himself, things go from bad to amazing for him. Women are falling all over him and he receives a promotion at work. Everything seems on the up and up. However, a certain deadly side effect begin to develop on Seth. Wherever Seth sprays the cologne on his body, that portion of his body begins to rot quickly until he starts to look like one of the better decaying zombies we've seen in 'Day of the Dead'. There isn't much here that would actually scare you. In fact you might laugh at this one, but as Seth starts to decompose, the gore and makeup will appease blood thirsty fans.
The next one up is the sight segment or 'See' as this film calls it. Here, we follow an eye doctor named Dr. Tom, who has invented this device that can literally suck visual memories from his patients' eye sockets. He is then able to put them in the form of eye drops, which he in turn delivers to his own eye sockets so he can see his patient's memories, because he is unfulfilled with his boring life. However, when he takes a memory from a woman who is being badly abused by her boyfriend, he decides to take manners into his own hands and go after this guy. But the best and worst takes over Dr. Tom, and some cringe worthy blood spewing occurs. If you have issues watching sharp objects around eyes, then this will make you squirm all the way to the floor in the fetal position. Again, I don't think this will scare anyone, but it might make you look away.
Next up is 'Touch', which is a cool premise. This could have gone under the 'See' segment, but I understand why it's here. This little short centers around a little boy with a handicap. He is in a big car accident with his parents on a rural road. The little boy is okay enough to go get help for his parents, so he leaves the car and sets out to find someone that will help. Unfortunately for him, a sadistic killer is on the loose and out to get the boy. So, the boy must rely on his unusual skills to evade the killer. There are some nice twists and turns here, which you can see coming a mile away and have been done before in these types of movies, but with this segment, it's handled better than most. This is a great little segment.
'Taste' is next on the menu, and of course this is the goriest one. Unfortunately, this segment lacks any real story or plot development, but seems to only exist to shock you with gore. And that it does, which I'm okay with. This story follows a computer hacker named Aaron who arrives at a modern high rise apartment building in a limousine, completely unaware of why he is being treated so nicely or even why he is here. He is told that a woman named Lacey will interview him for a potential job, and he then waits in the lobby with several other people, who seem to not know either why they're there. If it were me, I'd bolt out of that situation, but then again, there would be no movie. Once Aaron is being interviewed by Lacey, things go downhill very fast for no reason at all. Let's just say, if you love blood, guts,and brains all over the place, this is the segment for you, however there is no real story or plot to serve here.
Last on the list is is the hearing sense called 'Listen'. And what would a horror anthology be these days without a "found footage" segment, which this basically is. Taking its cues from 'The Ring', instead of a video that kills you, it's a song this time around.There is a film crew that have been investigating and researching an urban legend where a song might kill you or turn you into something from '28 Days Later'. The documentary film crew begin piecing the song together after they find pieces of the music here and there, and before you know it, they have the entire song, which was thought to have been lost for a long time. Soon enough, they find out why this song was lost in the first place when all hell breaks loose. There are some creepy scenes here, but nothing that should make you hide under the covers.
'Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear' is a decent enough attempt at a horror anthology movie, but it never really truly scares at any moment in time. Instead, there is more gore and laughs that thrills. It's worth a look if you're a fan of the genre, but might not satisfy the seasoned horror movie fan.
'Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear' comes with a good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As with other anthology horror movies, each segment is slightly different video wise. Some segments look natural, while others look very saturated with fantasy colors, while one has a grainy black and white image. For the most part, the detail is sharp with well defined closeups of the actors, showing their wrinkles, individual hairs, and great makeup effects.
The blood and guts look especially good here. During the 'Touch' segment, there are some minor problems with motion blur and video noise during the lower lit scenes, but it's nothing to scoff at really. The colors all seem good here, with some instances of some intense saturation and grading in some of the tweaked sequences. Black levels are deep and inky, with the skin tones looking natural and smooth. This is a decent video presentation.
This release comes with a good lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix. The sound is great through all the segments, but sounds better in some than others. The best one is probably 'Touch', as we get the most sound from the surrounds as the boy is running through the woods to get help. The rest of the segments are front heavy.
Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand with some great gory sound effects. There is some decent directionality here as well. The fidelity is great with the dynamic range having a well balanced and wide presentation. There were no pops, cracks, or hissing that I heard. This won't rattle the walls or scare you, but it's still a decent audio presentation.
'Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear' won't scare you, but it's at least fun to watch once. And if you're like me, you'll watch it more and show it to people who love horror anthologies, as this one probably didn't show up on their radars. The shorts are decent enough, but never get over that truly terrifying hump we all want. The video and audio presentations are very good, but the extras are sorely lacking here. I'd rent this before purchasing to see if you're into it, which hopefully you are.