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‘Tiny Cinema’ review: Anthology’s mix of horror and humor not for everyone

Theater bizarre.

Tiny Cinema is a unique anthology that owes a debt to horror but does not rely on it. The film is made up of six stories that are bizarre, twisted, and funny. It defies categorization, but also remains watchable the entire time. 

Anthologies are a tricky thing. They tend to be fun, but going in there is also the knowledge the overall product will probably be an erratic watch. Tiny Cinema is intentionally all over the place making the frequent changes in pace more palatable. This brings an welcome unpredictability not always found in these types of films. 

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It would be most accurate to describe Tiny Cinema as a dark comedy. There are definitely some horror elements – especially in the first two chapters – but it is the humor that stands out most. Filmmaker Tyler Cornack previously worked on the underrated Butt Boy and that same style can be found here. Much like that movie, not everyone will appreciate the jokes. The middle three installments will be particularly trying for some audiences. 

Each installment succeeds at being silly without being flippant. ‘Bust!’ is a great example of a ridiculous premise that still has interesting themes. There is the obvious connection between sexual satisfaction and fear, but it also touches on the boundaries of friendship. The same can be said for the story about a woman who finds the perfect man only to realize she was doing just fine all along. There is a deeper meaning underneath the overt wackiness. 

'Tiny Cinema' review: Anthology's mix of horror and humor not for everyone

Still, Tiny Cinema is a horror movie in spirit. Conrack is not afraid to showcase his influences. From The Twilight Zone to Re-Animator, there are a lot of references for genre fans to have fun with. There are some well done scares and even in the zaniest moments, there is a scary tone to it all. No, it may not be for everyone, but that just adds to the charm.

Tiny Cinema will be in select theaters September 2, On Demand September 6, and available on Blu-Ray October 11

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