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Joseph’s Review: Tiny Cinema (Popcorn Frights)

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

The loopiest, most lunatic horror comedy anthology in recent memory is Tyler Cornack’s follow-up to Butt Boy, Tiny Cinema. It’s a truly mind-reeling experience.

Directed by  Tyler Cornack

I knew that the deliciously delirious horror comedy anthology Tiny Cinema was going to be my cinematic cup of tea when the opening segment, “Game Night,” revolved around a man (Austin Lewis in a riveting performance) obsessing over who the “she” in “That’s what she said!” is, and the story delivered the perfect combination of playing things straight and heading into the absurd, with a dangerous edge to the proceedings. The rest of director Tyler Cornack’s (Butt Boy) oddball, lunatic portmanteau follows suit, and the result is one of the trippiest fear-fare experiences since . . . well, Butt Boy.

I don’t want to give all of the film’s setups away, as adventurous viewers will be rewarded with six jaw-dropping, head-shaking tales — all hosted by narrator Paul Ford, who helps give an eerie edge to the goings-on — so forgive my lack of details, but know that you’ll be appreciative of it once you commit yourself to this wonderfully weird film. Another favorite segment of mine is the closer, “Daddy’s Home,” which finds a man (Sam Landers) and woman (Kristina Clifford) on a first date that seems to be going great — that is, until he snorts something she offers that he thinks is cocaine that is actually something else quite disturbing, and the effect it has on him leads to body and psychological horror of a rollicking kind. “Edith” concerns a lonely woman (Olivia Herman) who feels that she needs a man to complete her life, and it turns out that a corpse she finds floating down the river (Matt Rubano) may be a perfect match. Cornack, who cowrote the screenplay with Butt Boy cowriter Ryan Koch and William Morean, stars in one segment as a delivery person who discovers that he may have to have sex with his future self  (Kevin Michael Moran) to save the world. 

If you are not hooked by now, I don’t know what else to tell you. It may just be that Tiny Cinema is not for you. But if you go for insanity of both the hilarious and tragic kinds, the film lands its comedy and horror far more often than not. Cornack directs it with verve, he and Lewis have edited it tightly, the cinematography by Morean and Joe Lavold is splendid, and each and every cast member gives full commitment. Any fan of horror comedy should consider this anthology required viewing.

Review by Joseph Perry

Tiny Cinema screens as part of Popcorn Frights, which takes place as a hybrid event, in person in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and with a virtual program online, from August 11–August 21, 2022. For more information, visit https://popcornfrights.com/.