‘Allegoria’ Interweaves the Lives of Artists With Genuinely Scary Stories [Panic Fest 2022 Review]
The tortured lives of artists get even more painful in Allegoria, the new anthology from singer-turned-director Spider One. The little brother of Rob Zombie, Spider One has finally made the jump from frontman in the hard rock band Powerman 5000 to horror filmmaker. In a smart move, he’s chosen to put together a group of interconnected stories instead of committing to a full feature right out of the gate. The result is a genuinely creepy group of close-knit morality tales that become more and more disturbing as the film plays out.
The first story centers around a loud-mouthed acting coach shouting clichéd platitudes about the purity of stage performance. His spitting and spewing is probably the scariest thing in the movie considering that we’ve all just been through a pandemic. It’s intentionally gross. Brody (Krsy Fox), a shy young actress, gets the full brunt of his pedantic rant about bringing truth to the stage. The tables turn when the budding ingénue brings out her inner demon to the horror of her fellow students.
That introduction winds up being a clever wraparound to the last vignette where it’s finally explained why Brody becomes possessed. The last story centers around a punk band that find an evil combination of notes that conjure up sinister forces. It’s easily the most unnerving story in Allegoria using a lingering piano melody to create a real sense of terror.
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A first date goes horribly wrong when genre fave Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween) turns up halfway through Allegoria as a demented sculptor. She exudes a perfect combination of cool seductress and tortured artist that proves irresistible. Unfortunately, the dream date turns into a severely twisted rock n’ roll-inspired piece of performance art.
There’s also a quick story about a horror screenwriter’s imagination coming to life in the form of a serial killer who thinks his creator is a hack. Why make a slasher movie where the killer whistles before he attacks his victims? Later on in Allegoria, the fake movie version of The Whistler makes a cameo in a later story. It’s a fun tie-in that adds some much-needed humor to an otherwise profoundly dark collection of cautionary tales.
Spider One compacts a lot of short films into one complete story in a surprisingly effective burst of horror. Allegoria flies by with a runtime of only about seventy minutes, so it feels like an episodic. His heavy metal roots are still firmly planted making a few stories feel right at home in the rock ‘n’ roll horror space, a subgenre that definitely needs more entries.
To help set the tone, we’ll leave you with the film’s ominous final quote…
I’m an Allegoria of nothing
A reflection that refuses to look back
A human vampire with endless time
That’s about to run out
Allegoria had its world premiere at Panic Fest. It debuts on VOD, Digital, and Shudder on August 2, 2022.
‘Allegoria’ is a creepy collection of cautionary tales with a heavy metal edge that’s sure to get under your skin.