Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 71: Masters of Horror: Family

This is another one of those episodes that I thought was going to suck. I saw the cover art and thought "Oh God, I would rather watch paint dry," and thus I avoided it like the plague until this horror movie challenge, and I decided that since I've avoided much of the "Masters of Horror" movies for this long, I had better at least give this one a chance. Again, this movie wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Actually, this one is pretty good and it works much better than I thought it ever could. George Wendt, for those of us old enough to remember the show "Cheers," is in this movie, and it's creepy to see him playing such a freaky weirdo. Right from the beginning, his happy, smiling face is contrasted with the horrible, sick things he's doing, and that juxtaposition is enough to make these scenes chilling. I wanted to smack the camera guy who made a slow pan of every square inch of this guy's house in the opening sequence (overkill, dipshit, we get it, he's alone and has a quiet, clean house) but when the camera finally pans to the basement, the money shot is worth the wait as we see what our kindly neighbor is doing in that basement. Eep.

The new couple moving in next door have their own problems (though we know their problems are about to get a lot worse, and they don't seem to realize this). The husband a wife have recently suffered a tragic loss (there seems to be a theme running through this season of Masters of Horror; tragic family losses and the people who are left to pick up the pieces afterward) and they spend so much time wrapped up in those troubles that they don't realize there's something weird going on with their neighbor until the shit has hit the fan. I feel bad (well, I feel bad for the wife, but if I'm honest with you, I didn't like the husband and kind of wanted to push him off a cliff so I had trouble working up too much give-a-shit where his fate was concerned) but the movie delivers the chills (and they're some nasty chills, at that) so it's well worth a watch. Much better than you probably think it will be.

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