Finally caught this. It's a mixed bag.
Despite the title sequence spoiling the set-up, I enjoyed the 1st half for what it was... an urban legend-y EC Comics almost-anthology (without the background, informing the comeuppance). Some fun stuff and creepy imagery (plus I have a deep-seeded clown phobia). By the 3rd tale and climax, I was kinda bored. They introduce the wraparound story late (which I liked, if the summary doesn't already spoil it for you), try to keep the main antagonist hidden (he was obvious), and it becomes all too clear that the movie's shaping up to end like "SAW as the Joker's origin".
Could have been worse, some lingering thoughts kept me from falling to sleep immediately, and the Elisha Cuthbert lookalike was nice eye-candy, but it's not really a lost gem or anything. I can kind of see why it got lost in the release shuffle.
Some bizarre plotholes too (highlight):
- Why did the trucker try to run over the boyfriend, if he was indeed NOT the villain in Shelby's segment?
- So the entire asylum "set" was underground beneath that shack? And the shrink with the weird accent just shows up there and goes in, escorted by the teen FBI wannabe? She doesn't recognize her infamous patient?
- How did Tabitha get out of the back of the truck to drive away at the end?