I haven’t done a movie review in such a long time. According to Instagram, the last film I watched was 11 weeks ago: The Devil Bat. I have been so “movie-d out” from last year that it’s a rare occasion for me to watch a movie but we are nearing the Halloween, spooky season and so I wanted to get onto that in the best way possible:
Watch a new film that was going to be on a dvd collection set. That did not happen. Instead, I went to Shudder and there’s a lot of great content on there after not looking for months (I do get the emails and updates on what’s new) but this film specifically caught my eye. It’s a 2022 release to Shudder exclusively and directed by Spider One who I don’t know much about but looking him up, he’s the younger brother to Rob Zombie.
I’m gonna review his anthology film Allegoria and spoilers beware! If you want to check it out yourself, please head to Shudder.
Allegoria is an anthology film of different artists manifesting and encountering demons, monsters, death, etc.
Let’s start with the positives: there’s a lot of potential. And by that, I mean, the different stories, the directing, performances, it’s a great start. There are some moments in the movie where I just felt “okay we’re going somewhere with this” more than once so I think that’s a good base to have.
What I also liked was Scout Taylor Compton’s performance. She’s just in one segment but my goodness, she carries that segment. I wish she was in another one or swapped out for maybe the first and last one or the 3 parts that had a connection. But perhaps because this seems to be low (limit) budget/independent, she couldn’t have been used for more. I did like her a lot, and the segment she was in particularly.
The makeup and special effects on the “monsters” or “demons”, I also really liked too. The credits revealed it was one person, I know the name is Ashley, but I don’t remember the last time but shout out to her, she did good all on her own.
Now onto what I didn’t enjoy:
The script is a big one. I think it needed to be tighter or we could have gotten rid of some dialogue. Spider One wrote this alone and honestly, he could have benefited having someone read and edit or also be a co-writer on some of the segments to help tie it in more together, which goes into my next problem:
This movie needed more cohesion or an overall connection that ties it all together. Think of Tales from the Hood, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Creepshow, Trick r Treat, VHS, Body Bags, these and others have a central focus that each story goes back to or has connective tissue. This movie feels like 6 separate short films or even down the line, student films. The way the segments end is so jarring at times with the music cues that don’t belong and we don’t have time to let them breathe.
The pacing is all over the place but for me personally, the one segment they could have cut out is the 3rd one? Whatever the one is with the screenwriter, that felt so out of place compared to the rest and perhaps it was just the interpretation from script to screen.
The last segment I really wish was just by itself because I really liked the concept of music, specifically 6 notes that can summon a demon and it happens. It ties into the first segment and the second and I kinda wish that was just it. Just flesh it out more.
I’d give Allegoria a 3 out of 5. It stars Krsy Fox, Adam Busch, Bryce Johnson, Scout-Taylor Compton (credited without Taylor), Robert Anderson Wright, Josephine Chang, Rachel Brunner, Lyndsi LaRose, Edward Wong, Brendan Shannon, Radek Lord, Adam Macinwoski, Aaron Marshall Cohen, Steven Ashbury and Tuesdai Murgia.
I would also recommend Bliss (2019) from Shudder as well, it gives me a similar vibe of a struggling artist who becomes addicted to a drug that turns her into a bloodthirsty vampire.