Masters of Horror: Season 2, Episode 8

Valerie on the Stairs (29 Dec. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Horror, Thriller
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,481 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 21 critic

Taken from a Clive Barker original screen story, tells the tale of a novelist who discovers there are fates worse than literary anonymity in this sexually-charged tale of terror.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Rob Hanisey
Nicola Lipman ...
Nancy Bloom
Bruce Sweetland
Everett Neely
Patricia Dunbar


Rob Hanisey is an aspiring author who moves into a large boarding house called Highberger House, a place where struggling writers live until their works become published. While trying to write his first book, a horror thriller, Rob has repeated encounters with a mysterious young woman named Valerie who pleads wit him to save her from a unseen force. But Rob's neighbors, including the elderly and eccentric writer Everett seem to know more than what they are letting on about who (or what) Valerie really is. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Horror | Thriller


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Release Date:

29 December 2006 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The rejection letter in the opening shots from DMG Publishing House is dated February 29, 2007. Obviously that date does not exist in our world, as 2007 is not a leap year. See more »

Crazy Credits

(pre-credits title card) "Culture uses art to dream the deaths of beautiful women." - Elisabeth Bronfen See more »


References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Did This Even Make Sense?
4 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A young writer checks into a hotel where you are allowed to live for free as long as you like, as long as you never publish anything. The moment you get something published, you are asked to leave the hotel. Within the hotel, though, is a woman named Valerie (on the stairs) who needs to be saved from some supernatural force. What is our young writer to do? I thought the story had potential after reading the synopsis. As an aspiring writer myself, I like the idea of a place that lets you focus on your writing on your schedule, but has you enter the real world once you're done. This film is alright... except that most of it makes no sense and its very repetitive (within one hour).

Clive Barker is a well-known horror writer, so we expect a lot from him (though, in all honesty, I can't for the life of me tell you much good he's produced). And we have director Mick Garris -- the man who directed "Chocolate" from season one, which many people (not including myself) consider to be the worst episode of that season. Garris is second-rate, I won't even try to defend him. He has made nothing that will leave a lasting dent on the horror community in generations to come.

The best thing about this short film is the acting. The main character is alright and another housemate (Bruce) is even better. Valerie... not so much. Tony Todd ("Candyman") shows up, but sadly is given a role that doesn't really have him doing anything besides be menacing. Christopher Lloyd is yet another housemate and does a fine job with it, though there was nothing about he role that demanded the presence of Christopher Lloyd.

As I've been saying, the film makes no sense, and that's the biggest drawback. We have some decent gore, scary sound effects and plenty of nudity. But I didn't follow why any of it was going on. The biggest mysteries are explained about halfway through, but others are left untouched and the ending is complete and utter nonsense. In fact, the ending being changed just slightly would have made my rating of this film go up at least a little bit.

We are now through eight films of the thirteen episode season, and I continue to be unimpressed. With the exception of Landis and Argento, "Masters of Horror" has been more like "Masters of Bore". Mick Garris a great man for creating this show, but perhaps he needs to stay out of the director's chair. If his season three contribution turns out to be no better than "Chocolate" or "Valerie on the Stairs", he really should refrain from directing altogether. This episode can be missed without little loss on the viewer's part.

13 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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