Trapped Ashes

Trapped Ashes
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham
Joe Dante
Monte Hellman
Ken Russell
John Gaeta
Produced by Independent Film Fund, Cinema Investment
Written by Dennis Bartok
Starring Jayce Bartok
Henry Gibson
Lara Harris
Music by Kenji Kawai
Cinematography Zoran Popovic
Makoto Watanabe
Distributed by Independent Film Fund
Cinema Investment
Tokyo Broadcasting System
Release dates
  • September 12, 2006 (2006-09-12)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Trapped Ashes is a 2006 American horror anthology film with segments directed by Sean S. Cunningham, Joe Dante, Monte Hellman, Ken Russell, and John Gaeta.[1][2]


Seven strangers visiting Hollywood movie studios are locked inside an ill-famed House of Horror. To leave the trap alive, they have to tell their most terrifying stories.



Received "33%" approval rating on a Rotten Tomatoes review (average rating 4.3/10).[3]


Bartok, who wrote all four episodes as well as the wraparound segments (which was directed by Joe Dante), certainly has an enthusiasm for the underused subgenre [sic] that is the horror anthology, but as a first time writer, is unable to deliver a knockout here. While each director does a descent job with the material they are given, the stories themselves are uneven and lack the power they need to propel from one to the next. The stand out episode is "Jibaku" with its interpretation of Japanese Hell and usage of animation, while "Stanley’s Girlfriend" has slow burning mood and subtle punch line but feels out of place amongst the others. "The Girl with the Golden Breast" essentially exists for Rachel Veltri to show off her ample boobs, while "My Twin, the Worm" is practically ruined by embarrassing CGI, especially given its director's resume.

The material would feel much more satisfying in a television horror anthology instead of a movie, so that each segment could either be appreciated or written off independent of one another. The stories have a small screen appeal, and with their zinger endings and dark humor, would have been welcome on the Tales From The Crypt TV series. This comparison is made all the stronger by the elderly guide who pushes each of the tourists to tell a story, while the twisty-winding rooms and hallways of the haunted mansion seal the deal.

Ryan Midnight, Geeks of Doom[4]


  1. "Trapped Ashes". FilmAffinity. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. "STANLEY'S GIRLFRIEND (EPISODE FROM "TRAPPED ASHES")". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  3. Trapped Ashes at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. Midnight, Ryan (31 August 2008). "DVD Review: Trapped Ashes". Geeks of Doom. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

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