61 Days of Halloween- Masters of Horror: Family

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Masters of Horror: Family

Masters of Horror: Family (Starz Productions)

The Masters of Horror series, when it was on the air, was a valuable and important addition to the horror genre. It frequently employed those who had made their name in the genre and subsequently had made it better. It also allowed them through these tales running approximately an hour to push the envelope, explore new ground and to pack quite a punch in this odd little running time that sits just past the feature film mark.

John Landis’ film Family is a perfect example of how this series allowed those who worked on it to excel. This material finds the director in top form. The material is two-sided allowing Landis to explore both the humor and horror of a situation. It tells the tale of a loner (George Wendt) who has a very strange way of building a family.

The film cuts well and uses audio creatively to help bring the world playing out in the protagonist’s mind out into the open so we can all see it. A world which is convincingly conveyed by George Wendt.

The film like a few in the series has an interesting twist at the end which is carried out with some panache and a few scares. The effects work is decent if inconsistent they do drive home the sick process this character goes through.

This series as a whole is worth checking out if you are unfamiliar with it and John Landis’s Family should be one of the first films you look for.

8/10

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