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05/07/2008

Fear Itself (TV) - "The Sacrifice" (2008)

I am amazed. I am, frankly, amazed.

Some of you might know that I am a huge fan of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" - but only of the first season. The second one was largely disappointing, but oh well.

So, I was curious to see what "Fear Itself" would be like - the successor of "Masters of Horror". And as I didn't want to take a nap, didn't want to read Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" (yes, I am a heretic, I think Poe is boring), I decided to have a look at the first episode - "The Sacrifice". And man... awesome. 40 minutes later, I am still enthusiastic.

The plot... well. Four guys have bad luck with their car (one could say that they get stranded in a very remote area), one of them being really sick and coughing up blood. We all know that people coughing up blood are never a good sign.
Aforementioned four guys then try to find shelter at a big, ancient-looking, positively creepy ford, whose main feature is the overabundance of graves there. And I swear, it is creepy. Not in J-Horror "creepy", but it has a certain atmosphere that makes you uncomfortable. It's too empty. Too dark. Too... well, creepy.

This short doesn't bother us with too much character development: The roles of the four guys are pretty set, but they still don't come across as stereotypical. I enjoyed that I could finally watch a movie again in which I don't have to hear the agonising details of the characters' lives in agonising detail (Narok aka Hell comes to mind...) before some action starts.

And the action starts fast, although I wouldn't exactly call it "action"... this short is wonderfully suspenseful. It's rare that I go completely wrong in my assessment of what is going to happen in a horror flick, and I was taken completely by surprise several times. Kudos to the script writer (Mick Garris)... and the director, Breck Eisner. Heck, kudos to all those involved in this episode. I liked it. A lot.

So, the apparently empty fort is home to three pretty young blondes, wearing quite old-fashioned garments. And I mean OLD-FASHIONED (though still not changing that they look really pretty, at least in my humble opinion). They also have no car, no phone, no electricity and no running water. Something tells us that... well, SOMETHING is wrong.

At this point I want to point out the camera work. It is delightful. Maybe it's my constant fare of B-Movies of the bad kind, but I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and the camera in this episode. Light, colours, shadows... everything fits. The pictures are just... I wouldn't go as far as saying they're perfect, but they sure as hell are better than those of most other movies I've seen recently.

Back to the three old-fashioned, pretty sisters. One of them agrees to help the poor guy who is coughing up blood. She does it in a very unique way. Can I say that I think it is awesome beyond words to see lips stitched close? I have a slight obsession with needles combined with human flesh anyways, so that made me really happy.

Well, this episode isn't called "The Sacrifice" for nothing, but I won't give the details away. Just let me put it this way: There is one very special way of seducing and trapping a man with female wiles. I lol'd.

I truly recommend this episode. It was full of unexpected twists, actually was suspenseful like fuck, and a real joy to watch. I enjoyed it a lot.

Also, the monster is really cool. I won't give any details away, but... man, it's been AGES since I watched a movie in which the monster in question is not "kewl" and "hawt". I loved it.

Granted, the ending was a bit clich├ęd, but still. A very good episode. I hope that "Fear Itself" will keep up this standard.

7.5/10 chained reverends who do not want to be freed.