Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

15 May 2008

Dreams in the Witch-House, dir. Stuart Gordon (2005)

NIKKI says:
Is it wrong to be shocked that a Masters of Horror could be so good? I think what separated this from most of the bad films is the class of filmmaker -- Stuart Gordon may actually be a Master of Horror. I don't think he's had anything as pointless and stupid as this series' Chocolate on his resume. There's just a level of class to this one, from script to production value, that places it well above its contemporaries.

We continue here with Lovecraft Week, this film based on the story of the same name. A young man rents a room near his college campus (Miskatonic U, of course), and ends up going mad. It's the getting there, obviously, that provides much of the fun here. Basically, there's some evil residing in the place, and sacrifices are afoot.

Gordon builds tension well. He gives us a likable main character and some suitably bizarre background folks. He places them all in a creepy old house and lets ancient witchcraft do its thing. We get rats with human faces, dreams of naked witches, and flesh-tearing so grossly real you'll think this was a documentary.

The success of this one probably has to do with Gordon's clear reverence for Lovecraft and his stories. Gordon made Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Dagon -- all good Lovecraft-inspired movies.


STEVE says:
This was the first of the Masters of Horror series that I'd seen, and the reason my expectations were so high for the rest. As it happens, Stuart Gordon and co-writer Dennis Paoli set me up for a fall: I would wait a long time until another episode reached the high-water mark set by Dreams.

Watching it for a second time tonight, I've decided it's some of the most disturbing work Gordon's done. Re-animator and From Beyond had a sense of humour about them, whereas Dagon was more of a straight horror piece. Dreams falls into the latter category, with very little in it to elicit the slightest chuckle (although I did find the human-faced rat-thing kind of silly).

Enough of this Masters of Horror crap. I want to see Gordon get his own show where he does all the Lovecraft stories. This one-hour format seems perfect for that sort of thing. I'd love to see his take on Pickman's Model, The Dunwich Horror or The Lurking Fear.


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