We got a sneak peek at Dark Ditties, an up and coming UK horror-comedy anthology. Up to bat first in the series is “The Offer.”
Dark Ditties Presents “The Offer”; a twisted tale of treachery and sin that can be best described as a beautiful lovechild of ye’ old The House on Haunted Hill and Saw, possibly conceived on the doorsteps of the fantastic Tales From the Darkside series.
Not a bad way to help kick off a horror anthology, eh?
via Cult Screenings
Directed by Christopher Griffiths and Gary Smart, the dark horror-comedy anthology Dark Ditties aims to be a celebration of classic horror in the 21st century. Each episode of the series, that is currently making the festival run with pilot The Offer, is a self-contained story with new characters and new settings.
“Seven strangers are invited by a deceased millionaire to a mysterious house after each receiving £5000 in cash and the promise of up to £10,000,000. Once in the house, the seven are soon engulfed in a deadly game with each of them being killed in a horrific way at the reveal of a card. Each card displays the symbol of one of the seven deadly sins and it is soon apparent that their host is not what he seems. As the game continues each of the guest’s true characters and sins is revealed until there is all but one of them left.”
The Offer, which runs about 50 minutes, shows a lot of promise in the way of storytelling execution. The right amount of suspense without driving you away from plot-points carries well throughout the tale and is shot quite beautifully. It’s always a treat when special care is done in the cinematography department, as it adds the element of horror ambiance needed in these types of shorts to set the mood correctly. However, as a huge fan of horror theme soundtracks, one of my standout favorite thing(s) about The Offer is the gorgeous original score played all through the story, and Kenneth Cranham who plays the underhanded host, and very well at that, for the evening. He’s such a sleazy dickhead, and goddamn it is wonderful. Also, there’s a super cool gimp in there somewhere. If you like that sort of thing.
But, here’s the coolest part among it all: It’s a friggin’ Hellraiser family affair as a good portion of the cast from Hellraiser, and Hellbound: Hellraiser II star in this little gem. Kenneth Cranham (Dr. Channard), Oliver Smith (Skinless Frank), Barbie Wilde (Female Cenobite), Simon Bamford (Butterball Cenobite), and Nicholas Vince (Chatterer Cenobite) reunite for this Dark Ditties presentation. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Hellbound, so it’s sweet irony to see them all on film together again. If that alone doesn’t sell you into interest, I’m not sure anything else I say will.
via Cult Screenings
Also starring Bruce Jones, Gemma Gordon, Stanley Rawlings, and Darnell Spence, The Offer is brought to us by Cult Screenings and Dead Mouse Productions (Pennywise: The Story of IT and You’re So Cool Brewster: Fright Night Documentary). While The Offer isn’t yet available for public consumption, director Gary Smart is aiming for an April streaming release (platform not yet announced), with second entry to follow, “Mrs. Wiltshire”.
Want more from Patti? You can find more of her musings at her website Nightmare Nostalgia.