Skeletons in the Closet (2018) Poster

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A collection of less than mediocre stories...
paul_haakonsen2 August 2019
Well, "Chop Shop" (aka "Skeletons in the Closet") wasn't exactly a horror anthology that got me all worked up. Actually, far from it. But then again, it is rare that a horror anthology comes along that truly is outstanding.

Of the tales told in this 2018 anthology, only the first story was the most entertaining and interesting, although it was in itself not particularly impressive in comparison to stories found in other horror anthologies.

"Skeletons in the Closet" was lacking proper horror elements, and it wasn't particularly scary or disturbing. Especially not to a seasoned horror veteran such as myself. But I can't really imagine that this 2018 anthology would be particularly scary even to a younger audience. It just had an almost family-friendly feel to it.

Would "Skeletons in the Closet" work as a TV series instead? No, hardly so. Not if it was done at the same level of storytelling and production as they did with this 2018 movie. Then it just wouldn't become a very memorable horror anthology series.

It should be said that some of the special effects throughout the anthology were actually quite good. Not impressive, but working well enough to serve their given purpose. So there was a little bit of gore and mayhem in these stories.

The acting in the stories were actually fair, just a shame that the actors and actresses had very little to work with in terms of storyline, script, plot and characters.

I can't claim to have been overly entertained by what I saw in "Skeletons in the Closet", and it is most definitely not a movie that will find its way back to my screen again.
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An interesting take on the anthology film
Reviews_of_the_Dead17 November 2018
This was a film that I got the chance to check out the worldwide festival premiere at the Nightmare Film Festival. I was intrigued when it was stated to be similar to Tales from the Crypt and having 80's nostalgia. The official synopsis for this Skeletons in the Closet is the titular late-night, horror anthology television series featuring The Widow (Ellie Church) and her dead husband, Charlie (Adam Michaels).

The first thing that struck me for this film is that is pretty meta actually. We have a young girl, Kacey (Lia Sullivan), as she is getting ready for that night's episode of Skeletons in the Closet to air. She has a new babysitter, Tina (Elizabeth Stenholt), who mocks her for the show.

When it airs, the opening credits are for the film itself, but it shows The Widow showering and getting dressed. It strategically doesn't any nudity, but being that it is later at night there is some swearing. She goes down into her basement where Charlie is waiting to watch a movie. I won't harp on the look of him as this is a cheesy late night show. He actually does look pretty good though to be honest. They settle in to watch Chop Shop, which is an anthology film that features three stories that are connected.

Being that this film takes place in the 1980's, they are watching it on a VHS tape. We get the old familiar things like tracking and static. The tape isn't in the best shape, which The Widow and Tina both point out. This has an Inception feel in that we are watching two people watch a television show where two people are watching a movie. The film has to do a lot of jumping from each level to ensure we don't lose the characters as well. To do this we get the footage messing up with static and other abnormalities you might get with a VHS. I will admit though, it did get annoying after awhile. They just went to that well one time too many.

This film is also part comedy, which I'm not always the biggest fan of. I didn't mind it for this one though actually. For the best ones, when they blend horror with comedy, the comedy starts to die away past the halfway point where it gets a little bit more serious. I think that actually works to the advantage of this film.

As for the stories in Chop Shop, the first one is a mother, Rebecca (Renee Domenz) is estranged from her mother, Grandma O'Malley (Leigh Rose). She needs her to watch her daughter so she can go on a business trip. We see that Grandma is harboring a pretty horrible secret. The second story is of an actress who takes her role a little too far. The third is a robbery goes bad. It is all brought together with a wraparound story that takes place in what looks to be a warehouse with someone being tortured.

All the while, Tina becomes meaner and meaner to Kacey who just wants to enjoy her show. She does come up with a way to get back at her. There is also an escaped mental patient that is on the loose and could be watching the house.

I know what you are thinking, I jumped around a lot in recapping this, but I had to. That is kind of how the film plays out. There is a lot going on and maybe a little bit too much for a film of this length. I do think that they balance going through each level. I really only found Kacey interesting because she a young horror fan. I was more interested in The Widow and Charlie though. Their banter is great and she is quite attractive. The ending is a little bit clinched, but it fit the film.

Acting in this film is quite interesting. I thought Stenholt and Sullivan did an excellent job at making this film feel like it is from the 80's. I don't really buy what Sullivan did in the end though. Church and Michaels were also good in that they are a bit cheesy being horror film hosts. Michaels though makes some really insightful comments and their banter is great like I said above. The rest of the acting is also cheesy, because they are in a low budget horror film. I can't fault them for bringing to life what they are going for. I will give that to the film.

As for effects, I actually thought they were good for the most part. A lot of it looked to be practical, which I happen to love. There was some CGI blood, but we only get a glimpse of it and it didn't really bother me. The rest of it looked practical and quite real. I did hate the effects they tried to use to make this look like a rough VHS tape. A little bit of it was fine, but it became tiresome as they quite doing it over and over again. It does tone down as the film goes on. I did think the film looked really good though.

Now with that said, this film was pretty fun. I thought the concept sounded good on paper, but it became a little bit too much on the screen. I think that the film needed to have a little longer run time to really execute it properly. It didn't ruin the film, but I just wanted more of The Widow and Charlie. The acting for the film was pretty good for what they were going for. I thought the effects for the most part were good, but the bad VHS things were used a little too much. The score of the film didn't really stand out to me, but it also didn't hurt the film either. I still think that this is an above average film and worth a viewing. It is definitely a fun film with a lower running time.
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You've got to be kidding
Snootz13 January 2019
Aside from the astounding number of 10-star reviews that all surprisingly appear almost the same date (can you say "bought reviews?")... we have this gem of wisdumb:

"Safe for kids barring language, violence, and very brief nudity." (And the review actually seems to be serious.)

Are you kidding me?
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Excellent throwback to 80's horror
debijohess17 December 2019
I am a huge horror anthology fan and was excited to find this. It was a fantastic homage to the ole school 80's horror style. Babysitter comes over to watch the kid, who is watching horror movies hosted by a wife who killed her dead husband and they together are watching horror movies. Lotta watching goin on here and it works beautifully. The effects are very well done, soundtrack perfect and general production value exceptionally high. The acting is quite good, the sets are excellent. I'd have to put this anthology high on my favorites list now!
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The movie is self-aware of how bad it is.
Constantine30621 February 2020
Was this created as an example of how not to make an anthology film? Cause you nailed it. Absolutely one of the worst anthology films ever. A movie about watching a kid who's watching an Elvira ripoff who in turn is watching an anthology of BS. You'll be fast forwarding before the characters start to, but you're better off not watching at all.
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What's in your closet?
OldManCopper5 October 2018
I could see this being made into a series. Skeletons in the Closet has all the makings of what good horror is all about - Shivers for your timbers, thorough character development and story-line, and wits as sharp as a dead man's tooth. Grandma O'Malley was my favorite character, and I enjoyed "sharing" the movie with Widow and Charlie (hilarious!), and Jaime (young Skeletons in the Closet fan) and Tina (classic babysitter from the 80s). Skeletons in the Closet hits the nail on the head like Grandma O'Malley mincing the meat!
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The true definition of a anthology horror film
audiemarsh10 February 2020
This movie nailed it. The different stories all put together in one movie and thrown in top of it! The actors and the way it was filmed! Amazing! The director, producers and editor of this film killed it! Great job!!!
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musicjunkie200120 July 2019
Turned this off an hour in. Terrible acting. I think I get what they were trying to do, but this was just god-awful. Rob Zombie, this is NOT!!!
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#1 Creepy Horror movie! 👍
spazu-128483 October 2018
Great movie to watch in October since Halloween is coming up. The junkyard scene kept me on the edge of my seat! Thank you (Jackass ) Tony , (Guard) Willy an cast for a well done Movie.
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#1 Creepy Horror movie
spazu-128484 October 2018
Movie was well directed. The part that left me on the edge was the junkyard scene. character's played by (Jackass) Tony (Gaurd) Willy Thank you for a horror movie that kept me entertained. Well done to the director!
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A Great Escape Back To The 80s!
Loomis0134 October 2018
One star reviews should be considered nothing more than spam on this movie. What a fun time! Perfect for the Halloween season too. The movie takes place in 1986 and follows multiple storylines including a young horror-loving fan Jamie and her annoying babysitter being stalked by a killer, a horror hostess (The Widow, played amazingly by Ellie Church) and her dead husband Charlie who are watching an anthology movie called "Chop Shop" on their show, which Jamie and the babysitter are watching on TV. It may sound a little confusing, but the way the stories weave in and out of one another is inventive, exciting, and completely captivating!

Lots of creepy moments, laughs, and overall enjoyment. Safe for kids barring language, violence, and very brief nudity. Include this indie gem in your Halloween viewing list, trust me!!!
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Very unique and creative film for the budget
Silverboy7618 March 2019
I attend several midwest horror conventions each year, and one thing I like to do is buy random films from the companies and actors who are in attendance. I know going in that these films may not have the best acting or editing, but I really appreciate seeing the passion that these folks put into their work and I like to support that.

I met some of the folks involved with Skeletons in the Closet at Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati in March 2019, and they were clearly very excited about this film so I bought a copy. This is one of the best films of this type I have bought at a horror con and I am very happy I was able to grab the second to last copy they had at their table! It is very well shot and has a slick look to it, and the acting and timing of everything was perfect for this type of throwback film.

I am not going to review the plot because if you read the summary here on IMDB then you will either watch it or you won't, but this is definitely a hidden gem. This is not a standard anthology film because unlike others (Creepshow, VHS, etc.) there are two "wrap around" segments (a babysitter watching a kid who is watching the movies, and two horror host type monsters watching everything unfold on their own t.v.) that are tying things together, each of which is almost a movie in itself. The segments themselves are stories that put a twist on your standard horror trope and there is a very energetic feel to everything throughout the film.

If you want something different from most of the low budget, indie stuff that is out there I would highly recommend Skeletons in the Closet. This is a great one to just sit back and watch if you want to relax and be entertained!
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A Ridiculous Headache
cerasaur21 July 2019
There were parts of this with intentional shaky cam and unnecessary constant zooming that were physically difficult to watch. The storyline was not nearly as cohesive as it needed to be and with all of the VHS references that miss the mark by miles, it feels like it was made by someone who never experienced them.
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Skeletons In The Closet' Is A Well-Crafted Anthology That Pays Homage To 80's Horror Cinema
nikzombie10 October 2018
Skeletons in the Closet is a film that I went into with high expectations and those expectations were met. If you're looking for a fun horror anthology to add to your Halloween watch list, look no further. I can almost guarantee that this one will satisfy lovers of 80's B-movie cinema!
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A movie for people with severe ADD!!
labonterobert28 December 2019
I don't think there's a single scene that's more than 30 seconds in this movie. In this movie the plot is a babysitter and kid watching a tv show about a woman and her dead husband watching movies. So I'm watching them, watching 2 more people who is watching someone else. I think whoever created this piece of trash has watched Inception too many times. The glitchy VCR effects and random glitches get annoying very quickly.. This movies cuts back and forth and is hard to follow. I knew it was going to be bad but thought I'd watch it for a laugh. Couldn't watch it to the end. Complete garbage. Do not watch. This movie isn't for people into B horror flix.
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