The word “uneven” is built-into any anthology film, and “The 100 Candles Game” is no exception. But here, the least interesting “story” of the eight sampled, is the framing tale, four people gathered in a candle-lit room telling tales of terror, then sent off to see if they see something spooky in a mirror in the next room.
Dumb. Not scary at all. Nothing the four leads (Magui Bravi, Clara Kovacic, James Wright, Agustin Olcese) do changes that.
That’s not true of any of the tales the four “tell” here, of child witches, a boy hunted by the “fog demons,” “black-eyed child” demons, a pregnant woman’s exorcism, a “buried alive” story with a cell phone twist and “Mom sees monsters when she’s off her meds” tale brought to alarming life by Amy Smart (the “Crank” movies, “Seventh Moon,” TV’s “Justified” and “Shameless”) and the like.
But none of them are stop-this-ride-I-wanna-get-off scary. They’re all too short, with the linking story playing like the dull filler it is.
The look, with seven directors signing on, is quite consistent. The effects are generally impressive.
And aside from the always-good Smart, I was most impressed by the Argentine Eugenia Kolodziej, who plays the hell out of that “waking up in a coffin” nightmare.
The brevity of the stories allows them to exit with an abrupt kick, a mild twist here and there. But most of them feel half-baked — punchy, going somewhere, until they don’t.
MPA Rating: Amy Smart
Cast: Magui Bravi, Clara Kovacic, James Wright, Agustin Olcese, Eugenia Kolodziej and Amy Smart
Credits: Directed by Victor Català, Brian Deane, Oliver Lee Garland, Guillermo Lockhart, Tony Morales, Nicolás Onetti, Nicholas Patterson, Daniel Rübesam and Christopher West, scripted by Mauro Croche and Guillermo Lockhart. A Devilworks release.
Running time: 1:38