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Nightmare Cinema (2018) Movie Review

Updated on September 4, 2019
Noel Penaflor7 profile image

I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 13 years.

Is that sweater a salmon color?
Is that sweater a salmon color?
 
 
MPAA Rating
R
Running Time
119 minutes
Directors
Alejandro Brugués, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade
Writers
Sandra Becerril, Alejandro Brugués, Lawrence C. Connolly, Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, David Slade

The horror anthology Nightmare Cinema finally answers the question you’ve been asking yourself for at least 4 years: How is Mickey Rourke these days and is he still alive?

Actually, that’s 2 questions. From the looks of it, Mickey Rourke is fine and he looks very much alive.

Your questions have been answered. Now there is no other reason for Nightmare Cinema to occupy real estate in your mental headspace anymore. Move on, enjoy your life, find yourself a nice partner, get married, or don’t get married, get yourself dog, a cat, a fish, a raptor. Do anything but waste the time you won’t get back sitting through the pineapple pizza that is Nightmare Cinema.

One realizes that horror anthologies by their very nature, are hit-and-miss. That’s the beauty and the terror of these kinds of movies. You relish the variety, and chances are that if you don’t enjoy one of the stories, maybe you’ll like the next one.

What if “the next one” doesn’t turn out better?

What if “hit-and-miss” turns out to be mostly miss?

Because that’s exactly what you’ll be thinking before, during and after you sit through Nightmare Cinema.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch it and if you find yourself wanting to jump in front of a moving car after, don’t blame me.

I’m not saying you should jump in front of a moving car. I’m saying it would be perfectly normal for you to want to after seeing Nightmare Cinema.

But please refrain from doing so. I don’t want to get in trouble like I did after the Hellboy ’19 review debacle (RIP Bryan). You remember.

Synopsis

Nightmare Cinema opens with a central character from one of our stories walking into the Rialto theater (Translated, Rialto means, “Watch something else. There are 27 things on Shudder right now better than Nightmare Cinema. Even though there aren’t really any good horror movies on Netflix, surely you can find something better than this.”). He/she is the only person in the auditorium. Our lone character will now watch their story unfold onscreen…

  • The Thing in the Woods – Our soon-to-be final girl Samantha (Sarah Elizabeth Winters) is not having a wonderful time with her friends on vacation in their newly rented cabin in the woods. Sam and her boyfriend Dead Guy (himself) are being stalked by The Welder. A serial killer that kills using, (you guessed it) a welding torch and dressed up in a welding outfit. We’ll try to ignore the fact that a welder’s uniform seems a little too industrial to be found in the middle of the woods. But Samantha may soon find out that the Welder may be the least of her worries.
  • Mirari – Our soon-to-be final girl Anna (Zarah Mohler) and her fiancé David (Mark Grossman) are prepping for their wedding. Anna feels more than a little self-conscious because of a noticeable burn scar on her face. David loves her regardless, but he’s willing to pay top dollar for Anna to get top shelf plastic surgery at the infamous Mirari (pronounced like “Ferrari”) institute. But Anna may soon find out that plastic surgery may be the least of her worries.

Like every other wedding party.
Like every other wedding party.
  • Mashit (pronounced “Ma-sheet”, instead of something you do to potatoes)- Our soon-to-be final girl Father Benedict (Maurice Bernard) is in a bit of pickle. I know what you’re thinking. You read “Father Benedict” you think “Catholic Priest” and your mind immediately thinks it’s some kind of child molestation story. I’m here to tell you it’s not. It’s about some kind of evil entity that’s possessing children, torturing them internally, and forcing them to commit suicide. Even then, I’d trust my kids with an evil entity more than I would a Catholic priest. But Father Benedict may soon find out that suicidal kids may be the least of his worries.
  • This Way to Egress – Our soon-to-be final girl Helen (Elisabeth Reaser) needs to see a doctor. She’s been seeing things. Evil things. Over the past couple of days, everyone she’s interacted with has been turning into a demon. You know how that goes. Her 2 sons have been worried about her. They’re the ones that suggested she seek professional help. Even in the doctor’s office she’s seeing people change. But Helen may soon find out that people turning into demons may be the least of her worries. It’s still better than having to sit through Nightmare Cinema.
  • Dead- Our soon to be final girl Riley (Faly Rakotohavana- pronounced like “Ferrari”) is having a bad week. It started out promisingly because he crushed his piano recital and his parents are so proud of him. Then later that night they were killed by a random gunman (sad face emoji). Riley is still alive, but now it looks like he can see dead people, walking around like they’re regular people. But Riley may soon find out that this synopsis format is getting repetitive, but it’s still more entertaining that watching Nightmare Cinema.

Run!
Run!

What Works With Nightmare Cinema

  • The best segment in the entire movie is The Thing in the Woods. It’s the only vignette in the movie that has a sense of fun. It’s also the first segment in the movie and then the stories get progressively worse. This isn’t too bad because now you can walk out after the first segment. Feel terrible for those of us that actually sat through the entire movie (sad face emoji).
  • As previously mentioned, Mickey Rourke shows up as The Projectionist and is listed as a co-producer. He looks like he’s having a much better time than the audience. Maybe he’s secure in the fact that the check cleared and no one will see this.

What Doesn't Work With Nightmare Cinema

  • The worst segment is This Way To Egress. It’s pointless and shot in black-and-white for no other reason than to feel arty and pretentious. It’s a story that goes nowhere and has no real payoff. What makes it most disappointing is that its writer/director David Slade made Hard Candy, one of my favorite movies of the 2000s. He also directed the Twilight movie Eclipse, presumably because he needed the money or wanted to make a movie 13-year old girls and their moms could see.
  • Richard Chamberlain, it’s good to see you onscreen again. Sorry it has to be in Nightmare Cinema.
  • In retrospect, most of the stories have an effective enough setup, but the outcomes of almost all the stories are flaccid and the audience is left feeling uninvolved and wondering if they slept through a couple of parts. It would have been better if they had.

Overall

The only nightmares Nightmare Cinema will induce are those making you wonder how you could have better spent your time. You almost wish the movie were bad and fun rather than mediocre and dull. You definitely wish you had your 2 hours back.

2 stars for Nightmare Cinema

What would you prefer to do rather than sit through Nightmare Cinema?

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Comments

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    • profile image

      Michael115 

      5 weeks ago

      Just wait until Cats comes out...

    • Noel Penaflor7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Noel Penaflor 

      5 weeks ago from California

      Exactly. It makes 2 hours feel like twice that.

      My phone tells me that's 4 hours.

    • profile image

      Michael115 

      6 weeks ago

      Good review! Anthology movies can be quite a chore to sit through if they get progressively worse.

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