FrightFest presents Tiny Cinema, available on digital from September 6th 2022.
Premiering at this year’s FrightFest, Tyler Cornack’s Tiny Cinema is a comedy/horror anthology that tells six different stories set in a bizarre and twisted universe. Tiny Cinema has its roots in Cornack’s YouTube channel, which features more than 80 episodes of similarly strange and grotesque stories. Including the eyebrow-raising Butt Boy, the premise of which was turned into the director’s debut feature in 2019.
The roots of the comedy/horror anthology date back to Tales of Terror and Creepshow. After watching Tiny Cinema, it’s clear Cornack wished to replicate these while also offering something new. However, the extent to which he has been successful is debatable. Each of the six short films deals with highly sexually explicit and indelicate topics, often presented in a needlessly distasteful and over-the-top manner. The episodes each try to describe existing and taboo societal problems, such as the overuse of the double entendre “that’s what she said”, erectile dysfunction, being a single woman in your 30s and dysfunctional relationships.
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However, given the mixture of the themes present, the film’s tone is not serious enough to properly delve deep into these issues. As a result, Tiny Cinema only ends up scratching the surface in a way that is neither gory nor funny. Here there is a strange discrepancy between the subject and the tone that results in a confused film that never reaches its potential.
Game Night and Mother******* both deal with taking a sexual joke too literally in two very different environments, where the consequences are both violent and provocative. While Daddies Home serves as a “cautionary tale” where the main character unknowingly snorts some of the ashes of his new date’s late father, only to turn into a middle-aged “daddy” himself.
Meanwhile, Bust concerns a group of young adult men, one of whom has dealt with impotence since his early teens due to trauma. His friends are willing to go the extra mile and try the most ridiculous things to recreate the only event that has made him climax, only to end up in a shootout with the police.
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Then we have Deep Impact, a sci-fi tale that sadly does not manage to deliver anything innovative with its remote location and mysterious premise ending on a rather kinky but anticlimactic note. Finally, the best story of the collection comes in the form of Edna, a tale of a lonely woman who randomly stumbles upon a body bag and starts dating the dead man found inside it. This short comes the closest to achieving a great mixture of black comedy and social criticism and highlights what Tiny Cinema could have achieved.
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Parody as a genre deliberately exaggerates everyday situations that allow it to comment on and often criticise subjects via a satirical or ironic imitation. Here Edna succeeds in this by pointing out the social pressure and expectations aimed at a single woman in her 30s while also commenting on the hardships of dating. Given the hilariously exaggerated and over-the-top presentation of the matter, this episode is the funniest and most thought-provoking of the anthology.
While the premise may have looked good on paper, Tiny Cinema feels like a horny teenage boy’s video project – full of creativity but void of deeper meaning. Tiny Cinema starts with the narrator promising that we are in for an uncomfortable and even offensive ride, but this, unfortunately, fails to turn into anything memorable or enjoyable.
While the premise may have looked good on paper, Tiny Cinema feels like a horny teenage boy’s video project – full of creativity but void of deeper meaning.