What a great idea for a short series; have the "best" horror-film directors do their own shorties - unencumbered by "corporate/studio" strings, and watch the creative juices flow. What has been the actual case, however, is that most episodes have been ho-hum, with no new themes, and embarrassingly un-scary. In fact, the opening montage/music on too many of these episodes has been the scariest part of the show! Putting aside "scary" however, there have been some entertaining episodes as well. Here's my personal opinions on every episode so far: Incident on and off a Mountain Road - the series opener. Nice scenery but very un-scary and dreadfully unrealistic. A woman trained by her survivalist husband uses Rambo-like skills to escape a near-supernatural lunatic. Her traps/devices would take an engineer a hour to work out, and she is doing this in seconds while on the run. Yeah, right. Also...in a true horror film, aren't the BAD GUYS supposed to win? Dreams in the Witch House - anyone who loves horror adores the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and I have to give this episode props for the story. Unfortunately (and this is one of the BIGGEST drawbacks of any horror film) sometimes things that are very scary on paper, where the mind is free to endless imagining, become very SILLY when they are translated into visuals on the screen. Case in point: one evil rat with a human face. Silly. "Guy Bonus" on this episode with the very striking female lead giving us her "visual all." This was a good story, though and while not scary was at least entertaining.
Dance of the Dead - should have been called "Portrait of the Annoying". I never got the point of this - some airborne acid-rain kills most of the population and leaves only extremely annoying hoodlums to roam. Morbid entertainment includes corpses brought to "life" to dance for a hugely annoying audience.
Jenifer - this was a good episode...not really scary but creepy and wow, face aside the Jenifer actress was H-O-T (she did play, after all, a seductress) and once again gave us her "visual all." Nice.
Chocolate - guy starts to live life through a woman's eyes, becomes obsessed, culminating in a oh-so-predictable ending. Once again, the nudity (another hottie playing an artist's model) outshined the plot. Eh.
Deer Woman - this episode is downright FUNNY. I actually really liked this one as I'm a Brian Ben-Ben fan. He was hilarious as was the supporting actor. Again playing on the ever popular "female-seductress-witch-thing-kills-men" theme (which this time showcased the ample assets of the female protagonist, i.e. Deer Woman). The actors made this highly entertaining but again, NOT scary.
Cigarette Burns - now THIS is what a Masters of Horror should be! This was a dark, dark episode with lots of raw and very graphic violence all supporting the theme of "the thing that should not be seen/heard/touched/owned" (which is a classic premise). Stealing amply from "The Ring" (another "thing that should not be seen" premise) this was maybe not original but was very, very good. Genuinely creepy, good performances. Kudos to John Carpenter (who made the under-achieving but VERY good film "Prince of Darkness"). This one was T-E-N-S-E and very good.
So I'll watch the rest - even though only we've only had one truly scary episode (Cigarette) we've had, IMHO, 4 "good" episodes (Witch House, Jenifer, Deer Woman, Cigarette). Two episodes were abysmally poor (Dance, Chocolate) and one was....eh (Incident). Happily, the MoH lot has been free-flowing and unabashed with the nudity (leading to the predicable "Masters of Whore" label) for those of us liberal enough to admit to enjoying seeing the fine, female form. Looking forward to McNaughton's episode as "Henry" was a very good film.
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