Skeletons in the Closet
There's no doubt that as the 80s and 90s kids get older, many of them - especially horror fans - love to reminisce about all the great things to come out of their/our childhood: video games, music, television, toys, and of course, horror. So it comes as no surprise that so many projects lately play as an ode to the cheesy horror of yesterday; some do it really well, others... not so much. Two years ago, an anthology film entitled SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET - written by Johnny Hlousek and Tony Wash, and directed by B.A. Lewandowski and Tony Wash - was unleashed upon the masses which acts more like a tv show than it does a movie, and honestly it's pretty fucking sweet. In the film, "Skeletons in the Closet" is a late night, horror television show where a woman known as The Widow is joined by her dead husband Charlie, and they watch horror shorts with the viewer much like an Elvira or Cryptkeeper would. There's some jumping between the shorts and the couple, but for the most part, the three short stories play without much interruption. What makes the overall storyline just a little bit better is that the television show is being watched by a young female horror fan and her babysitter, and the nostalgia that the writers put into the film is very, very real. The shorts that follow may not be the best horror stories we've ever heard, but they are far from the worst. What makes Skeletons in the Closet stand out is definitely its overhead storyline which is seriously a whole horror short in itself, which really gives you four different stories throughout the entire film. But to put it simply, if you're looking for an entertaining anthology for your quarantined friday night, look no further than Skeletons in the Closet.
Instead of going too deep into the actual plots of the stories, let me just say this: while the framing device and the first story are definitely the highlights of the film, the other two stories are far from awful. They just don't really stand out as anything memorable or shocking, and they are not anything that will keep you up at night. But where Skeletons in the Closet falls a little short, it makes up elsewhere in the film to make sure it delivers a fun, nostalgic glimpse into horror in the eighties. Quite honestly, none of the characters in any of the stories are all that memorable: I'd be surprised if you any of them ever enter your head again after the movie ends. But they are great for where they need to be and what they need to be doing, so while the characters themselves aren't anything to write home about, their roles and the acting that go along with it make for a great watch. I gotta admit, I loved the interactions that were going on between the babysitter and the younger girl, as well as The Widow and her undead husband: both sets were entertaining, funny, and were a great distraction from the other stories that were being told. They really hit the nail on the head with that.
You won't get much more out of Skeletons in the Closet besides an hour and a half of random chuckles, clever nostalgia or some pretty wicked gore fun - but that's not to say the film isn't worth your time. The first story will undoubtedly pull you in and hold your attention, and while the other stories may not have the same intensity, I'm fairly certain you'll at least find some spooky fun within the walls of the "Chop Shop" VHS. If nothing else, you'll be taken back to the days of your childhood renting horror movies at your local Blockbuster, plopping down in front of your box television set and taking in some bedtime terror. If anything, that's what the team behind this film definitely knocked right out of the park. And for that, I gotta say Skeletons in the Closet is worth your time if you're looking for something a little different and a little more fun than the typical anthology film. I'm sure you'll have as good of a time as I did.