March 18, 2011

FEAR ITSELF

 
FEAR ITSELF

(TV-series, 2008-2009;
anthology series with thirteen 40minute horror episodes, created from a few well-known and not-so-known horror-directors and -writers)

Wiki ~ Imdb




Season 1

Episode 1:
THE SACRIFICE

German Title:
Die Opferung

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Breck Eisner

8/10

A terrific start from shooting-star Eisner: a brilliantly haunting and highly atmospheric vampire tale, thrilling and creepy, incl. a wonderful cast (Rachel Miner!!), wonderful settings (that totally reminded me of "Ginger Snaps Back"), a superbly written story, a few great-looking creatures and some decent gore

Wiki ~ Imdb





Episode 2:
SPOOKED

German Title:
Die Heimsuchung

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Brad Anderson

7/10

Cool episode from the ingenious Brad Anderson. At times a bit too slow and tedious but overall really great. An interesting story with a few nice plot twists, a wonderful cast (Eric Roberts - brilliant as always), terrific-looking settings and a couple of outstandingly scary scenes and moments.

Wiki ~ Imdb





Episode 3:
FAMILY MAN

German Title:
Im Körper der Bestie

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Ronny Yu

6/10

Yu's episode is a quite mediocre body-swap thriller, not very tense, not very original, but fortunately with some neat dialogue and a really badass ending. There's also some ok gore and the acting is decent - except for Colin Ferguson whose performance is just annoying.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 4:
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

German Title:
Bis dass der Tod...

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: John Landis

8/10

I'm really surprised about the huge amount of negative reviews this episode has gotten, because I totally enjoyed it. John Landis and script-writer Victor Salva deliver a super-suspenseful and well-paced little chiller, full of nice acting, cool camera work, funny dialogue and many, many terrific plot twists.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 5:
EATER

German Title:
Der Kannibale

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Stuart Gordon

7/10

A tense little horror-thriller, about a creepy-looking supernatural Hannibal-Lecter-like cannibal, from godfather Stuart Gordon. Most of the time it's highly atmospheric and thrilling. The acting is pretty great (especially Elisabeth Moss), the settings all look quite eerie and there's also some really cool gore. Only flaw: the last third is a bit dull and implausible.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 6:
NEW YEAR'S DAY

German Title:
Blutiges Erwachen

USA / Canada
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

5/10

Bousman's episode is about as lame as 2 of his 3 "Saw"-sequels.
I like the story, the cool ending twist and the beautiful Briana Evigan - I dislike the boring and badly paced script, and all the completely uninteresting-looking zombies.

Wiki ~ Imdb 



Episode 7:
COMMUNITY

German Title:
Vorort zur Hölle

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Mary Harron

4/10

The overrated Mary Harron desperately tried to create something like Truman Show vs. Wives Of Stepford vs. Orwell's 1984, but in the end she totally failed. Some tense and atmospheric moments and a few good actors, but overall horribly slow, tedious and uninteresting, due to a awful script. Bad highlight: the ending which made absolutely no sense.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 8:
SKIN AND BONES

German Title:
Haut und Knochen

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: Larry Fessenden

7/10

Wonderful story about a gruesome Wendigo-possession, from producer/actor/director Fessenden and the 2 "Cigarette Burns" script-writers. A bit too slow in the beginning, but thereafter it gets more and more suspenseful, scary and action-packed. Doug Jones' performance is outstanding, all the settings look just beautiful, it's filled with great scares and the climax is just brilliant.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 9:
SOMETHING WITH BITE

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Ernest R. Dickerson

6/10




A solid but unspectacular werewolf-adaptation from Dickerson. The first half is quite funny and original (mainly because of Wendell Pierce and Paula Jai Parker's hilarious performances), the second half is sadly rather dull and predictable. Some nice gore and cool-looking wolfmen. The climax sucks, the epilogue is mediocre.


Wiki ~ Imdb




Episode 10:
CHANCE

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: John Dahl

8/10


Another episode that everybody seems to hate, except me. John Dahl delivers a rousing and highly suspenseful little mystery-story, full of super-thrilling and nerve-wracking edge-of-seat scenes, a few pretty good actors, great-looking settings and some brutal kills. Loves it!

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 11:
THE SPIRIT BOX

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Rob Schmidt

8,5/10


It's funny how I'm not a big fan of Schmidt's full length films but totally enjoy his TV stuff. "Right To Die" was awesome and the "Spirit Box" is also really terrific. A great plot combined with a brilliantly paced script, two surprisingly excellent teen-actors (Anna Kendrick & Jessica Parker Kennedy), lots of suspense, lots of atmosphere, a few great scares and a cool ending.
My favorite 'Fear Itself'-episode.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 12:
ECHOES

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Rupert Wainwright

2/10

A super-dull and tiring reincarnation-story, about as dull as Wainwright's "Fog" remake. An ok ending, some ok gore but apart from that, just forgettable.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Episode 13:
THE CIRCLE

USA / Canada, 2009
Director: Eduardo Rodriguez

5/10




The disappointing finale of a good but quite underwhelming series: an "Evil Dead"-inspired episode from a pretty unknown director which starts out pretty interesting in the first half but falls flat in the second half. Pros: cool story, nice acting - cons: a horrible script, many lame-looking CGI effects.

Wiki ~ Imdb


8 comments:

  1. Dang! I never saw any of these. Where are they available? Most look quite good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The DVD box is available on amazon, but as far as I know the whole series is also on netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maynard, how did you manage to see these? :) Never heard of these TV series, but they look great. I'll try to find those online.

    ReplyDelete
  4. bought it on amazon.com

    You really never heard of it? It's the quasi-follow-up to Mick Garris' "Masters Of Horror"

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  5. Interesting that, despite the fact it aired on NBC, a number of people (including myself) were either completely oblivious to it or never got around to seeing any episodes (I kind of feel like the glut of horror product the last few years makes it hard for anything to stand out, but that's another discussion altogether). But thanks for this great retrospective; it'll make it much easier to sample the series starting with the good stuff...

    ReplyDelete
  6. i was deeply disappointed in this, but it was on NBC so i guess you get what you pay for. masters of horror was just so so so much better. in my opinion that was the best horror of last decade.

    ReplyDelete
  7. exactly, Masters Of Horror is in fact waay better.

    ReplyDelete

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