Thursday, March 19, 2015

Quick Reviews: Chocolate (Masters of Horror)

After a bunch of Episodes by others, how about one by the guy who actually started this thing?
In this Episode/Film by Mick Garris, a man gets mysterious visions which lead him on a dark path...
The Film/Episode begins at the End (ooh, how arty!) with the man being questioned while covered in blood.
Flashing back to earlier, we see our Lead in a rough situation.  He's divorced, doesn't see his kid much and is very lonely.
When he tries to live his life in peace, he starts to get weird visions of places he's not at!  Timing!
After some more awkwardly-timed visions (including mid-coitus and when his ex-wife shows up), he finally can see the person who's eyes he's seeing through.  Sorry for the black bars- I really am.
Things get really bad when he links up with her again at the moment that she kills her lover!
Using visual clues from earlier, he tracks her down.  She is, naturally, creeped out at first, but seems to believe that he loves her.
...until she decides that he has to die.  In her defense, you knew that she was crazy from the get-go!
He battles for his life and he gets one last vision during their big stand-off.  He kills her (obviously) all the same and is presumably going to Jail now.  The End.
Not bad, but kind of odd.  The Story has a neat hook, even if the execution is a bit odd.  The Lead sells the chaotic nature of them..but I never really bought him as being that sane.  The key is that he starts normal and is slowly driven crazy.  He always seems 'off' though.  Aside from that, they make the situations seem real enough for you to buy into the Story.  It eventually escalates at a good rate and has a good Climax.  I almost wonder if the Framing Device hurts the Film more than it helps.  It does tell us that something bad is going to happen, which is good.  On the other hand, it makes the Story 'show its hand from the get-go.  How many of these have 'Happy Endings?'  Not many.  So was it necessary to tell us that it has a Bad Ending?  Oh and not to be 'that guy,' but our Lead doesn't end up with blood on his neck like in the Interrogation during the Events, so where did that come from?  The brief moments of Gore are well done, since this (like all of the MoH stuff) were done in part by Greg Nicotero.  There is one moment with a fake hand that seems a bit silly.  It is a good-looking fake hand...but the angle of it is all wrong.  That is such a minor point, I know.  Mick Garris does better than I expected, but didn't exactly blow me away.  You know what does though?  Punk Rock Matt Frewer!
As far as Mick Garris Films go, it is pretty good.  Compared to other Episodes though, it is alright.

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