26 directors, 26 short films, and a lot of death. ABCs of Death 2 is a 26-chapter anthology that highlights death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty. As an anthology, there’s only one important thing you have to get right—the good short films must outweigh the bad. It’s that simple. See, the major issue with the first film was that although there were some solid entries in the anthology, the bad films were so awful that they actually ruined what few good films there were. Sequels rarely elevate themselves above their predecessors simply because we already know what to expect. That’s not the case with ABCs of Death 2, though, as it clearly learned from its mistakes. And trust me, nothing can prepare you for this one.
There are far too many directors and individual films to break them down one by one so I’m just going to focus on the film as a whole. Being that there’s 26 short films featured in this anthology, you’re more than likely going to find something you really like and something you really hate. That’s sort of the beauty of an anthology though, right? But unlike the first film, most of the bad shorts come and go pretty quickly, leaving more room for the good films to shine.
The film starts out very solid with an interesting assassination-gone-wrong tale with a hilarious, bloody twist. Just the way you want to start an anthology. From there we’re hit with more of the same before the film hits somewhat of a lull, offering some very strange and uninteresting stories. But despite the middle being just ok, ABCs of Death 2 really hits its stride during the latter half. Some of the films towards the end are mini masterpieces, offering a few minutes of pure horror bliss. And much like the beginning of the film, the very last segment, Z is for Zygote, ends on a high note, delivering a brilliantly twisted short film that will leave your jaw on the floor. ABCs of Death 2 really wrapped up its anthology nicely with that one; you couldn’t have asked for a better finish if you ask me.
Really, the only downside with ABCs of Death 2 is its running time. Squeezing 26 short films into 2 hours starts to feel like a chore after a while, especially during the bad segments. And I think that’s why the first film was met with so much negativity. While 2 hours isn’t terribly long for a film, when you’re stuffing 26 completely different stories into the mix, you better hope they’re good. So when the bad trump the good, you’ve got a problem. I’m happy to say, though, that ABCs of Death 2 doesn’t have that problem. Far from it, actually.
There are a couple of duds here and there, and some films are just plain weird, but you’ve got a mostly fantastic anthology that delivers unending amounts of the red stuff with some nerve-shattering stories to go along with it. It’s the perfect way to round out your Halloween season, so grab a bunch of friends, sit down and prepare to be amazed… most of the time.