100 Candles is further proof of the importance of horror anthologies. The film sets up a fun premise. A group of friends sit in a circle of 100 candles swapping scary stories. As they finish they blow out a candle. Naturally, as the room gets darker, the movie becomes more frightening as the night progresses. It is as good of set up as you can get.
It does not take much to get a horror anthology off the ground. It can even be argued that the simpler the premise, the better. An overarching plot is needed to bring everything together, but is not the determining factor in how good an anthology is. It is the stories that make up the movie that decide how good the film actually is.
100 Candles is a great example of this. While it is filled with great individual segments, the overarching story is weak in comparison. Yet, the movie as a whole is a fun watch. It also highlights why horror anthologies remain so popular. Though it is far from the only genre, horror has a bad habit of taking a good to decent idea and stretching it for too long. This ends up ruining a fine story.
The advantage horror has that other forms of film do not is the possibility of an anthology. No other type of movies have mastered this form of storytelling. This allows for what are essentially short films to be made. Stories do not have to watered down to increase runtime. This allows for the full impact of the original story. It is the equivalent of the ghost stories that are shared.
100 Candles has a number of strong segments. None of them seem overly long or have superfluous scenes. They each deliver the maximum intended impact. The film is a series of quick hits for the audience. Ultimately, this is the point of all horror. Fear is supposed to attack hard and suddenly. Anthologies serve this perfectly. The terror is unrelenting and satisfying.
100 Candles releases on May 18
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