La petite mort is a French expression sometimes used to describe an orgasm. It means the little death. Knowing that, viewers should head into Little Deaths with the knowledge that the three tales contained within this British horror anthology movie all deal with sex and death.
The first tale, House And Home, is written and directed by Sean Hogan. It’s all about a well-to-do couple (played by Luke de Lacey and Siubhan Harrison) who invite a pretty homeless girl (Holly Lucas) into their home and proceed to let her bathe, eat and drink some wine. Their motives, however, aren’t as selfless and pure as they make out. But maybe their victim isn’t quite as she appears either.
The second tale, Mutant Tool, is all about a mutant, Nazi penis. Yes, you read that right. I was going to be more subtle, but I think it’s important to highlight just how bizarre this tale is. Jodie Jameson plays Jen, a woman who is given some experimental medication by a doctor and then finds herself suffering from headaches and nightmarish visions. And there’s a mutant, Nazi penis.
Last, but by no means least, is a tale named Bitch. Tom Sawyer is Pete, the submissive and downtrodden boyfriend of Claire (Kate Braithwaite). Claire is only ever shown to be weak when dogs are nearby. She’s afraid of them, which is something Pete remembers when he’s pushed too far and decides to finally get some revenge.
Unlike some of the recent horror anthologies that fans have loved/hated, Little Deaths benefits from two main plus points. First, there’s no story created to frame the three tales and, second, the fact that the movie only features a trio of short films allows each one to have the time to feel like more than just a quick attempt to shock viewers (yes, I’m thinking of The ABCs Of Death with that comment).
The acting is very good from everyone involved, with Tom Sawyer and Kate Braithwaite edging ahead of everyone else in the final tale, and the writing and directing from all three helmers shows why they came together for this particular project. Each tale may not have a signature style, but they do feel different from each other while also maintaining a consistency in quality, style and ambition. There may only be three shorts to judge here, but none of them are bad and horror fans should find this movie well worth their time.
Little Deaths was released on shiny disc on August 12th here in the UK. The disc also contains a commentary track, a behind the scenes featurette and theatrical trailer.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: SEAN HOGAN, ANDREW PARKINSON, SIMON RUMLEY
STARS: LUKE DE LACEY, HOLLY LUCAS, SIUBHAN HARRISON, JODIE JAMESON, DANIEL BROCKLEBANK, BRENDAN GREGORY, STEEL WALLIS, TOM SAWYER, KATE BRAITHWAITE, TOMMY CAREY
RUNTIME: 94 MINS APPROX