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17/10/2008

Fear Itself (TV) - "In Sickness and in Health" (2008)

Aaaaand yet another "Fear Itself" episode on this very blog of mine, just for your enjoyment and definitely not because I just wanted to watch something short enough whilst devouring my deer steak. Yes. Deer steak.
Delicious stuff, trust me. Cut in even more delicious and appealing 4 cm slabs of fresh, raw meat, acquainted with the frying pan for 20 seconds each side, voil√° - deer steak √° la cyn. Not recommended if you're vegetarian, vegan or not fond of pretty much raw meat. Alternatively, I could be rude and say that only pussies like their steak well done and shy away from my version of the ultimate meat, but that would indeed be rude of me. And you all know that I'm not a rude person, I just sometimes give the impression of being a tad rude. But I'm not. Hence me not stating the above, and acknowledging that people can like different things than I do and still qualify as people. I would go as far as to state that I even might be found sharing a beer or two with people who like their steak a bit more dead than I like mine. See, that's how considerate I am.

Pointless babbling aside...

In Sickness and in Health takes a very simple premise and runs with it: What if, on the day of your wedding, you receive a note.



This note.

Directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Showtime's Deer Woman and Family, as well as Jacko's "Thriller" video), this episode of "Fear Itself" shows what the guy can do. One thing that immediately literally jumps into your eye is how he uses the statues of saints, Jesus, the virgin Mary etc. to an eerie effect. And I mean "eerie" when I say it. Not just statues - murals, paintings, windows, statues... I never noticed how creepy those things look, given the right circumstances. Landis definitely manages to come up with circumstancial shots that make those things the perfect prop for a horror story.

Back to the story of In Sickness and In Health.

The joys of marriage...

Suspicions run wild, everyone is sort of acting in a weird way. What do the two bride's maids know? Is there a reason for the decidedly strange way they're acting in? What is the problem with the husband's best man? Is he in onto something? Why does the uncle of the husband (Carlos - the husband, not the uncle; the uncle is called Bob) seem to be afraid of his nephew? Why are Bob and his twin brother smiling in that weird way? What happened at the wedding of Carlos' parents?

And: What's the problem with the husband and the wife?

One problem with this episode of "Fear Itself" is that... well, some things are hard to believe. For example, the idea that a bride to be has a motivation that consists of "A totally random stranger gave a friend of mine a note about my future husband that said that he is a serial killer and I am totally scared now!!!" just doesn't really work with me. Maybe that's just me being me, but... sorry, nope, doesn't work like that.

However, that problem is resolved in the end. I won't tell you what happens, because, you know, I don't want to spoil too much, but... twist! Yes, tremble in fear as another twist lodges itself in the realm of horror. No, seriously, it's not that bad. A bit... well, it's a twist. There are good twists, bad twists, and twists that just exist without actually being either a good or a bad twists. They just are. The twist in In Sickness and In Health is one of those. However, the good thing about this twist is that you see some of the dialogues and effects in a totally new light after it (I should know, I am watching this thing for the second time as of the very writing of this very review, as in, I'm typing and watch the stuff).

The acting in general is very good - both the two main actors and the supporting cast (although the story is carried by the protagonists and their interaction, to be frank). Something that I also liked about this episode was that it all takes place over the course of one evening, in one location. Simple. I don't want to have to think about layers of meaning and all that stuff whilst eating a steak. Pacing and light are also effective, so nothing to complain in this department. Sure, this episode is not that great - you won't find me singing its praises on the intarwebs or to strangers and/or friends at parties, but still. Solid, nice little thing.

Although I could have done without the twist, honestly. But alas... *sighs*


A neutral 5/10. I can't get enthusiastic over this one, as much as I try.