We've covered many types of horror films in the short time our site has been active; from gory splatterfests to romantic comedies and lots in-between, we've been fortunate enough to sample the many flavors the genre has to offer. Now it's been touched upon in other reviews before, but one of the best attributes of horror is it's ability to accommodate plenty of styles and themes while still being perfectly fitting for the genre; and so it's guaranteed you'll always have something new to see.

This is where the short-film 'Avant-Macabre' comes in. A horror-themed video poem anthology directed, produced, and written by John H. Shelton. Its a black and white, highly abstract set of stories that are calmly and creepily narrated by Emma Dark, Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc (who also has one segment credited to her), and Dean Sills. Each story evokes a different kind of emotion from its viewer while still sharing a common thread of horror, bleakness, and dread. The visuals are reminiscent of E. Elias Merhige's Begotten and Travis Mays' video adaption of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale heart" (though less "scratchy" than the former film) and go a long way towards maintaining tension and viewer discomfort.

What really compounds the effectiveness of the visuals however, is the brooding and overbearing music that accompanies each story. Major props to Audionautix.com, Kevin McLeod, and Jingle Punks for putting something together that not only fit the on-screen action wonderfully, but elevated it as well. 

With a running time of only 5 minutes long, you'd think it'd be a fairly easy journey to endure, but that definitely wasn't the case here. When the credits rolled, I felt as if I had been put through an emotional wringer, indicating to me that Mr. Shelton had accomplished something special. And while the low budget production does get in the way of the film at times, the use of filters, lighting, and disorienting camera work do enough to distract from that negative aspect, ultimately leaving you with a film that's as much beautiful as it is disgusting.

Experience Avant-Macabre for yourself below. and be sure to check out John H. Shelton's website too (link under the video), if you like what you see.

Website: http://officialmrsheltontv.weebly.com/ Blogger: http://mrsheltontv.blogspot.co.uk/ Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5514564 "Avant-Macabre" - Cast: John H. Shelton & Steven Chamberlain - Made in Nottingham, UK - 2016. Directed by John H Shelton - Additional scenes filmed by Laus London.