Movies Galore takes a look at director Mathew Mark Hunter’s debate anthology feature “Darkside Stories” from 2017!

Written by David Strege

Darkside Stories

Brought to us by MMH Productions is an anthology of three horror short films by beginning filmmaker Matthew Mark Hunter called Darkside Stories from 2017 which I became a producer of from its Kickstarter campaign.

The film consist of a wraparound story of a camping scene and three Tales of Horror that follows being Silver Bullets, Balloons and Late Fee.

The film begins as a group of six or seven friends start out on a camping trip, so we see some comradery between the friends before they meet up with their other friends so that they can go to whatever campsite that they are going to. I’m not sure whether Mr Furter  is a camp counselor or something like that but he appears to be the leader of this camping trip and as the boys gather wood while their friend Rick sets up the Tents the boys begin to talk about wanting to tell some scary stories by the campfire…

Ed begins to tell the story of Silver Bullets in which A young man by the name of Justice Yang wakes up rather tired by his mother when he hears a report on the television about a grisly murder that happened about the killing of two young girls.  His mother warned him about the weird stuff that is happening in the park and to be back by a certain time. Justice goes to meet his girlfriend in the park and they get harassed by an ex-boyfriend of hers, when they returned home because their parents are worried about them being out and about because of what seems to be happening Here’s where it’s weird it’s daylight and his girl’s father who seems to be a reverend and a doctor grills him about some medication that he must be taking everyday and that he mustn’t stop taking it. We then see Justice having trouble sleeping and then change into what looks like a werewolf as he goes out into the night.

Two neighborhood girls who are just passing by notice that something is wrong with him and then get attacked… The next day Justice runs into the ex boyfriend again only this time he’s got some other boys  with him and because he supposedly stole his girl he aims to be Justice up but in the midst of throwing some punches Justice changes into a wolf midday and kills again now the police are after him, his girlfriend knows that she’s dating a wolf and his mother finally Admits his father was a wolf as well,  he is a danger to himself and to others but I’m sure they weren’t expecting what happened next…

In Balloons which is told by the disbelieving of the story before this protagonist Holden, Little Juliet Anderson is talking to her goldfish when her mother steps into the room and tells her to wake her sister Becky so that they can have some breakfast  and eat some pancakes. It just so happens to be Juliet’s birthday and there are obviously some at home problems since some of the bills don’t seem to get paid and their mother makes Disappearing Acts with Paul and once again Paul calls their mother and she runs over to his place when technically she should be home with her youngest celebrating her birthday.   What I find kind of funny is the horror film that they the sisters decide to watch is actually She Was So Pretty which I can find the kind of fitting since the director of this Anthology was an actor in the sequel to Director Brooklyn Ewing’s underground Indie hit feature.

The first time I saw this anthology I wasn’t impressed but now that I’m going back and watching it again even though I produced it I like giving things a second chance and sometimes I have to grow into liking the film in my own way but the second story really hit home to me the second time that I’ve watched this.   Paul wouldn’t allow their mother to leave to go home to spending time with her daughter on her birthday and gave her a black eye but she left anyway. leaving Juliet Home Alone Had its consequences as their father had an old spell book among his belongings that Juliet has gotten into and she found a spell that would be able to get rid of the people responsible for her and her sisters unhappiness…  for some reason the story really hit home to me this time around and so far this was the strongest story we will see you after I watch the Third tale… Especially when Paul came back to their house looking for their mother and picked up a knife like he was going to get some more violent and then the balloons took care of the rest…

In the story Late Fee told by Sean, a young skinny looking kid named Brett is found asleep on the job behind the counter of a local Family Video by his boss Mr. Brenthworth and he is about to be fired but his boss gives him one more chance by working the late shift. There’s only one thing with zero To None sleep and giving the kid a gun what the hell did you expect him to do one being alone for many hours of the night…

So after the telling is foretold it would seem that after the boys had tried to top each other stories there was so much ego and testosterone flowing around then a fight ensued and the storytellers started to kill themselves some with a hatchet some with a blade and I think having someone killed as an actor who is also the director behind this whole Fiasco was kind of neat as well.

I would have to say because I know werewolf films pretty well that the first tail could have been active better let’s not lie to each other the storyline was decent but the acting was really bad and I believe on all of the actors involved in that first short but the last two stories and the wraparound we’re relatively strong and ultimately for a first-time effort of trying to put a decent anthology in an SOV  kind of style Are You Afraid of the Dark kind of Storytelling In the end wasn’t bad and I am glad that I was able to be part of the producing aspect. If you enjoy this kind of a film from what I have described about it I would say definitely see if you could hunt it down and check it out if you can if just for a one-time viewing. From what I understand Matthew is now working on a new short film called Nightmares Unleashed as he has just recently released a trailer.

Here is the trailer for Darkside Stories:

Starring William Abbot as Sheriff Roger, Zach Bonvenuto as Allen, Jennifer Brown as Emily Anderson, Kirizma Cieplinski as Lily Pondstomper, Autumn Cohara as Rebecca Anderson, Grant Guyton as Jacob Williams, Johnny Herbert as Kid 1, Phil High as Paul Newton, Matthew Mark Hunter Sr. As Mr. Furter, Matthew Mark Hunter as Ricky Furter, Olivia Jade as Natalie, Harley Kasper as Justice Yang, Noah Kenyon as Sean Amp, Anthony Liotta as Mike, Linda Lukat as Janet Yang, Nick Mowry as Bently the cop, Jovanny Ortiz as Holden Lorge, Leah Pajarillaga as Girl 1, Larry Patterson as Marcus the Cop, Holland Petway as Dave, John Polace as Brett, Devlin Pope as Mr. Brenthworth, Michelina Sajovie as Juliet Anderson, Mariam Sita as Girl 2, Carson Strnisa as Dr. Pondstomper, Jacob Washington as Michael, Zach Waterbury as Eddy Huff, Chris Wiggins as John Culver.

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