Friday, February 6, 2015

Quick Reviews: Family (Masters of Horror)

Another Masters of Horror that I missed originally on DVD.  It is the other John Landis one...
In this tale, we see a nice, new Family move into a Suburb.  They want to make a new life for themselves, but someone in town just might end theirs instead!
As one Family arrives, another is gone for good- although nobody knows just yet.
This Couple is holding onto some trauma- the death of their young daughter to Cancer-, but tries to make things work all the same.
They confide in the neighbor- George Wendt- unaware that he is a crazy person living in a house with some skeletons.
Beyond just that, he apparently thinks that they are real!  He imagines life with them as previously-alive people, with both the good and the bad.  Freaky.
After a fight, the husband seemingly disappears.  I should ask why it was necessary for her to be dressed like that, but I'm surprisingly-cool with it.
With the husband gone, Wendt plans to get a new member of his family- after nap time though.
He invites her over for a friendly dinner, but she eventually freaks out when she sees the 'Family.'  She puts up a fight- as you can see- but all things seem lost until...
...a mysterious person chloroforms Wendt and he wakes up strapped to a bed in front of two people- the new Neighbors!
They explain that they know he killed their daughter- the little girl he acted like was his- and explain that their earlier explanation was true, since 'You are f#$%ing Cancer!'

They take their time in killing him, finally getting the closure they sought.  The End.
Freaky, but good stuff.  Getting the balance of Humor and Horror is always a tricky thing.  Landis is generally quite good at it, as his Resume suggests.  In this case, he doesn't pull back on the Horror aspect at all.  This is all about a guy who seems to kidnap, kill and keep his victims around (albeit as skeletons).  We see him use lye on a body or two.  We see him sew the skeletons together with string to make them look 'normal' again together.  What the Film does well is really show you how his mind works- his warped and twisted mind.  We see him have 'family time' with the skeletons.  We see him have arguments with his 'wife' in front of 'his daughter.'  We see him in one Scene lash out at the 'wife' and imagine killing her with a hammer- which is just him smashing the skeleton.  There is a really neat scene where you see him eyeing some girls to be 'a sister' to the 'little girl.'  He looks at them and then imagines them 'talking to him' about why he should take them.  The Third Act Twist isn't a total surprise, but still felt effective.  Landis shows how he truly lives up to the name given to him here.  He takes a Story that can be turned either too dark or too light & manages to find a great balance.  I liked it, but it is hardly a 'family film.'  Wave good-bye, folks!
Garish, freaky and fun- Landis' second outing is less Comedic.  It is still quite good though.

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