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“Don’t cry for me Argentina!”...alright, I got that reference out of the way early so now I can discuss Terror 5 without any obstruction from Madonna. That is always a concern of mine, that Madonna of all people, will force her way into one of my reviews. It keeps me awake at night. But why Madonna? Because Terror 5 is by a pair of talented brothers from Argentina...and there you have it.

Terror 5 is a pseudo-anthology film. In fact it’s title is derived from the five stories that intertwine. Unlike the more common tradition of anthology horror films (ie Creepshow or Asylum) which have a single story that bookends the several other stories, Terror 5 blends it’s stories together in one atmospheric night of macabre violence similar to Trick of Treat,

The film begins against a backdrop of the grieving families of those who died in a building collapse. This collapse is attributed to sub-standard building practices brought on by local political officials who were bribed to look the other way. This of course brings on a public outcry and an investigation that proves fruitless. Finally, the dead return to life to exact their own justice.

While this is happening, a group of teenagers have assembled in the night to break into their school to punish their teachers for being hard on them.

This is followed by a group of twenty-something year old friends who are spending the night together drinkin’ beer and smokin’ bones at a self thrown costume party. Here at the party, one of the guys, who is dressed like Gene Simmons from Kiss, is trying to encourage his quiet and lonely friend to muster the courage to make a move on the young lady who he’s been pining over. The Gene impostor also explains that he knows some people at the local video rental store who share with him videos that aren’t on the rental shelves. These tapes aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re snuff films (These tapes come full circle in a later segment). As the evening marches on, the lonely guy, who was too nervous and self-conscious to com costumed, grows frustrated with his friends egging him on that he lashes out in violence.

Across town, there are two bros who are out on the town and they are on the hunt for hookers, which takes a turn as their prospect isn’t quite what she seems.

Last but not least, a young couple find their way to a hotel where they rent a room for the evening. While there they discover that their room – as well as others – have hidden cameras, and they are being filmed during their most intimate moments. But that’s not all. The operators of these cameras pay them a visit to, which doesn't come as a surprise at this point of the films, continue in the filming their murder. That’s right, Mr. X and his goons target these two lovers for another installation of his VHS snuff series, connecting this segment to the previous costume party story.

So that’s Terror 5 in a nut shell, and I have to admit that it left me wanting. None of these stories are exactly original, as I’ve seen each of them as the basis of other films, and they were all told better. The snuff story is just “Vacancy”. The undead seeking revenge is a number of zombie/undead curse movies, but for the lack a more specific example I will compare it to the Romero “Dead” trilogy, and so on.

The most original of the five, I think, is the hooker segment. It’s preying monster is a succubus...or, maybe a vampire… Regardless, this is the story that offered so little that it could go in ANY direction if it were expanded and as a result, it became the one I was most interested in once the reveal came about.

Co-writers Sebastian Rotstein & Nicolas Gueilburt don’t breath any new life into these stories, BUT what makes them feel so lack luster is the short run times of each story. After all these stories have to fit like puzzle pieces into a larger whole, which unfortunately doesn’t help. There is no time to develop the characters or add much atmosphere to make these common stories resonate. To put it more simply, these stories aren’t original and that’s fine, but what is a determent to their success is that they aren’t developed terribly well.

The weakest of the five was the angry students who punish their teachers. I wasn’t interested in their suffering enough to want to see them succeed OR to see them become the villain and then root for the teachers to survive.

I know it sounds like I’m taking a dump on Terror 5, but I’m not. The acting, casting, and cinematography is all very well done. It has a professional polished look and feel which is remarkable for a pair of filmmakers who have worked on very little before this. Terror 5 isn’t amazing, but it is an entertaining 90Min of beautiful stylized gory supernatural/slasher horror, that stands as a strong addition to the resumes of Sebastian Rotstein and Federico Rotstein. Terror 5 made me aware of the Rotsteins and I’m excited to see what they come up with next. In a sense; “I see what you have done and it shows promise. Now show me what you can REALLY do.”.

Recently Terror 5 was made available on VOD and DVD earlier this month by those fine people over at Artsploitation Films.

Reviewer | Producer & Editor | Resident Conspiracy Theorist

A blue collar dude with facial hair that would make his Norse ancestors proud. He is a collector of comic books, retro video games, and obscure relics from the VHS era.


★ ★ ★