When Creepshow hit theaters in 1982, it made an unexpected splash, raking in more than $20 million in sweet ‘80s coinage and going on to become Warner Brothers’ top-grossing horror film of the year. Of course, Creepshow wasn’t doing anything new — the horror anthology had been a part of cinema since the 1920s — but it definitely reinvigorated moviegoers’ interest in the form. As a result, a deluge of horror anthologies were released in the years immediately following Creepshow’s success.
The 1980s became the heyday for modern horror movie anthologies, but by the time the ‘90s rolled around, public interest was waning — at least at the theaters. Though only a handful of notable anthologies were released on the silver screen during the next two decades, horror fiends could still get their fix on television, where shows such as Tales from the Crypt, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Masters of Horror prospered.
However, within the past five years, the horror movie anthology has undergone a bit of a renaissance. A new group of directors has latched onto the genre, releasing modest hits such as V/H/S and The ABCs of Death. Perhaps they were buoyed by the form’s ability to showcase multiple voices on a low budget, or maybe they were just inspired by the anthologies of their youth. Either way, we’ve decided to trace the trajectory of the modern horror movie anthology from the 1980s until today. So buckle up and enjoy the strange, hypersegmented journey.