Movies have always been able to point a lens at society. They shine a light on topics and can help foster discussion. The coronavirus has shrunk the world in a way never done before. It is a horrible shared experience that everyone can relate to.
The Pandemic Anthology is a series of short films made during the quarantine. It may sound like a sick marketing ploy to capitalize on a worldwide tragedy. In reality, it is an fascinating look at how people around the world look at this unprecedented situation.
The Fantaspoa Film Festival is a Brazilian genre film fest. In March, it invited filmmakers to make and submit shorts about recent world events. Fourteen were selected and put together in The Pandemic Anthology. This may be the most unique horror anthology ever made. The stories are filled with creativity and scares. What makes them more interesting is the insight they give regarding the common bonds between people.
Unsurprisingly, many of the films have some form of video chatting. As expected, the majority of the conversations are based around longing. There is much talk about what is missed and what people would be doing. There is a depressing feeling of relatability in all the films. It also is not much of a shock to see how people are coping with the lockdown. Some couples play music and read poetry to each other through chat. Others have taken to meditation to cope. The films do a great job of getting across a sense of isolation.
Many of the stories move passed loneliness to paranoia. These shorts are some of the most powerful in The Pandemic Anthology. They are also some of the more traditional horror stories, complete with jump scares and supernatural villains. Arguably, the most interesting are the films that explore the coronavirus itself. There are some that deal with the nature of transmission. Topics such as technology and even robots are brought up. What makes the terror more genuine is so much is unknown.
Of course, some entries in The Pandemic Anthology deal with what will happen when quarantines have been lifted. These are especially poignant since every state in the country has begun the reopening process. Naturally, these films take a scarier – and in one case – comedic look at what will happen. Still, it does not lessen the uncertainty many feel regarding what will happen next.
Horror anthologies are tend to be very fun. They offer audiences a chance to see everything the love in horror. The stories also have an air of silliness around them that acts in balance to the terror. The Pandemic Anthony is scary, but what makes it so great is what it says about the human spirit. It also shows that while fear and doubt are universal, so is hope.
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