ALLEGORIA is a loosely connected anthology from…No, you know what, I’m not going to say it yet. Let’s keep it until the end as a surprise for all those cool 90s kids.
The main plot of ALLEGORIA is art, and screaming into mirrors about art. Also horror, but art, you know? Yes, it faintly sniffs pretentiously as a whole “art is horror and horror is art” level of messaging, but it was very fun to see each segment as a different medium. We get to see something about acting, painting, writing, music, and – arguably – sculpting.
Each segment of ALLEGORIA is loosely connected to the next or to another in some way interweaving together. But not as closely interwoven as say Trick r’ Treat. But it goes leaps and bounds in tying things together compared to other horror anthologies I’ve seen such as Asylum (yeah, I’m going old school), Bad Candy, or Phobias. And I think that’s because it was all directed and guided by one director.
While it might not be as catchy or clever as it’s hoping or trying to be, there’s something endearing about it. It’s holding up each artform as craft and horror — paying homage to the artistry while also evoking the darker murkiness of inspiration. Call it divine. Call it madness. Evil. Despair. Curiosity. ALLEGORIA is poking at that question and digging deeper.
ALLEGORIA takes itself very seriously (and holy Toledo, John Ennis is a flippin’ powerhouse); but honestly, it was when it didn’t take itself seriously that I really enjoyed the film. When segments settled in those moments of dumb everyday life of watching a stupid slasher about a Killer Baby Man, talking about the brown note, or having an awkward first date, and then you’re smacked into something sinister suddenly, that was terrific. It was a great tonal shift because it felt more honest and true to life.
The cast for ALLEGORIA is great. Krsy Fox was all hands on deck by starring and helping behind the scenes by working on the music and producing the movie. Adam Busch, Edward Hong, and Josephine Chang were terrific and I hope to see them in more films soon.
Now, drum roll for the writer-director reveal! He’s actually had a hand in horror before with MTV. So has his brother, Rob Zombie. It’s none other than Spider One! Still not ringing a bell? Well, I suppose that’s what it’s like when worlds collide. Yes, he is the founder of Powerman 5000, and now I feel old.
If you’re into art and horror, ALLEGORIA will speak to you. If you like low-budget horror with practical effects and anthologies, I’d also invite you to give it a go. And if it’s not for you, you can always shout artistically into a mirror too.
ALLEGORIA will be available On Demand, Digital, and Streaming on Shudder August 2, 2022