RETURN TO THE THEATRE OF TERROR *** USA 2023 Dir: Tom Ryan. 149 mins
Tom Ryan returns to the supposedly abandoned movie palace for another horror anthology, which is a major improvement on The Theatre Of Terror (2019).
Of course, with a bigger budget, the effects, scenery and talent are brilliant, especially for an indie horror.
One of my favourite segments was ‘Splinter’, mostly due to the storyline but the effects had a strong influence on this too. Tree branches growing out of fingernails isn’t something I ever expected to see, yet I absolutely loved it. Even before this scene, the storyline was intriguing and something newish. The twist worked well and my only issue would be that the Native American theme has been done before.
Another brilliant segment is ‘Haunted’, starring Gareth Tidball who puts in another excellent performance, along with her co-stars that were all believable and engaging. Some of my interest came from my love of the supernatural, making it more enjoyable. Without spoilers, it would be difficult to detail why the effects were great but they seemed realistic and Ryan didn’t aim higher than his budgetary limits allowed.
Ryan’s cinema wrap around gives the audience another dose of nostalgia for old school movie theatres. Ryan may direct but he also takes the time to portray Colin, the creepy projectionist who ties all the segments together.
This is a great anthology with plenty of interesting characters and effects that stay within the creators limits, leading to a higher quality film.
Review by Poppy Blundell
RETURN TO THE THEATRE OF TERROR is available to pre-order at: