By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Charles Taylor
By Melissa Anderson
By Inkoo Kang
By Amy Nicholson
By Sam Weisberg
Horror anthologies aren't easy to pull off, given the difficulty maintaining quality throughout. This is especially the case with Locker 13, where the linking element isn't even consistent from vignette to vignette.
It's a breakroom locker in the principal story, involving an ex-con janitor at a Wild West theme park and his existential philosopher supervisor (I had to check if Wes Anderson had a story credit).
In "Down and Out," starring a dishearteningly craggy Rick Schroder as a boxer with only dementia pugilistica to look forward to, it's a gym locker. True, all are designated by the number 13, but unless I missed the interstitials where the sinister storage compartment winged through space-time like a hinged Loc-Nar, that's like making each character in each short observe that they used to wear size 9 shoes.
A lack of consistency mars the stories themselves, too. In "The Byzantine Order," a 1910s Shriners-esque club stages a jocular initiation for a new member. That is, until the arrival of the Order's grand pooh-bah, played by the Big Lebowski himself, David Huddleston, wheelchair-bound once again.
The transition from comedy to horror (and back) never fully gels, and nobody seems "on the trolley" with the period jargon. One or two segments piqued my interest ("Suicide Club" features gamblers wagering on depressives' demises), but most are predictable (possessed boxing gloves? What could possibly go wrong?) or laughably over-the-top, such as the vile revenge anecdote "The Author," in which Rick Hoffman (Suits) affects a Cuban accent so unbearable Al Pacino would ask him to tone it down.
Locker 13 brings the hurt, and not in a good way.
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