Magnolia Pictures

Natalie Paterson

If you have a penchant for the gorier things in life, The ABCs of Death 2 might just be the film for you. The critically acclaimed follow-up to its 2012 predecessor was an official selection for both the 2014 Toronto After Dark Film Festival and the 2014 Rio Grande Film Festival. The basic premise of the film is 26 shorts, each revolving around a letter of the alphabet, directed and written by 26 different filmmakers from around the globe. Directors include Larry Fessenden (Session 9), Vincenzo Natali (Cube), and even some Canadian talent in Chris Nash and Jen and Sylvia Soska.

Once the letter was chosen by the directors, they chose a word beginning with said letter, and created a story involving death. The shorts are all alike in that they all feature death, but it isn’t always a person that dies. As well, the methods of death vary widely and are all creative in their own respects.

The opening credits to ABCs 2 give a very ‘American Horror Story’-like vibe to the film, but it also lulls the viewer into a bit of unsuspecting calm. It works to prepare the viewer to be on the edge of their seat for the remainder of the film, as they should be. Some of the shorts are more cinematic in feel, such as the ones corresponding to A and K. Some are lighter in feel, but then take a turn for the gruesome, as seen in B and P. Then we move into the ones that are just indescribably weird, like D and H, for example. Finally, there are the shorts that make you question why you opened this movie in the first place, like Q and T.

I highly recommend this movie if you enjoy (or have the stomach for) that genre of horror. Admittedly, it isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Scaredy cats, you’ve been warned. It’s available in stores now on DVD and Blu-Ray.