Deadhouse Dark

2 out of 5

Created by: Enzo Tedeschi

If you’re going to do interconnected stories, then make them interconnected; if you’re going to do something thematic… then be thematic.

Deadhouse Dark is a 6-part anthology series of horror shorts, apparently / supposedly linked by (quoting the IMDB description) “a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, and then discovers the sinister secret it holds,” which is a tale that could seemingly wait until the fifth episode, and amounts to just wandering around with creepy music for its 15 minutes, then flashing images of the other eps to prove the connection. It’s also – again apparently / supposedly, this time quoting the Deadhouse Dark website – set in “a modern world driven by online connections, constant surveillance, insta-celebrity and (instant gratification),” which means you have somebody recording something in each short, be it on a cell phone, or dashcam, or, like, a regular old camera. Except those times when episodes don’t feature those things.

…This isn’t to say that these shorts are necessarily bad, but if the above paragraph is suggestive of a lot of hand-waiving that amounts to very little, then: yes. I’d say each entry has some successful shots, but most of them also have a surprising amount of filler for their short runtimes, and are clearly hampered by a need to remain open-ended and mysterious so that they can somehow fit within whatever uber-narrative wasn’t effectively told; that is, you’ll have some good ideas, and then we stare at the camera for ten minutes and drop the credits. Only one entry (concerning a date night) feels complete – it has a beginning, middle, and end, and is rather reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt, with a dark sense of humor – and though I do think this was all shot, acted, and scored well for a low budget, I’d guess a fair chunk of cash was wasted on an unnecessary (and rather silly) gag in the last episode, when one of the preceding shots would’ve been good enough to end it on.

It’s an admirable effort, and certainly watchable, given its brevity, but seems more like a POC for something a bit more fleshed out and official.