Trilogy of Terror II (1996)

More than twenty years after the original Trilogy of Terror, Dan Curtis would return to the portmanteau with a sequel that takes not only its framework from the original, but even one of the stories from another Curtis anthology. No matter — I devoured this film.

We jump right in to the first story, The Graveyard Rats, which is based on Henry Kuttner’s short story. A wealthy man (Matt Clark, Tuff Turf) learns that his wife (Lysette Anthony, Krull, the 1990’s Dark Shadows) is sleeping around with her own cousin (Geraint Wyn Davies, who was Nick Knight on Forever Knight).

The rich man threatens blackmail; the young man proposes murder; the woman shoves her husband down the steps. After some duplicitous actions by all, the access to the dead man’s money is lost, lovers attack one another and giant rats devour everyone. You know how it goes.

The second story is the Richard Matheson story Bobby, which also appeared to great effect in the Curtis movie Dead of Night. Anthony takes over the Karen Black role here, reappearing in all three stories, as she wishes for the return of her drowned son to horrifying result. This story is just as impactful as it was in the first iteration and has some moments of sheer terror. Well done.

Finally, another Matheson tale, He Who Kills, is quite literally the sequel to the original Trilogy of Terror crowdpleaser Amelia. Yep — that lil’ Zuni warrior is back and the story pretty much follows the same format as the one you know and love. There’s a fun meta moment where a security guard is reading a Dark Shadows comic that made me laugh.

Trilogy of Terror II is a decent movie, but it’s the sequel to a film that’s been the gold standard of made for TV horror for decades. Go in with the knowledge that it can’t live up to that and have some fun.

Here’s the entire movie on YouTube.

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