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Family Review

Cover art Country : USA
Year: 2006
Genre: Horror
Format: Broadcast
Running Time: 60 minutes
Network: Showtime

George Wendt of TV's "Cheers" in a role like you've never seen him, directed by the legendary John Landis.

Credits
Directed by John Landis. Written by Brent Hanley. Starring Meredith Monroe, Matt Keeslar and George Wendt.


From the master of horror and hilarity John Landis comes the second episode in Showtime’s excellent horror series Masters of Horror. In “Family" Landis makes me remember why I love him as a director, and I have to say I hated “Deer Woman” so this brings it full circle for me. This installment has to be one of the series best. It is a powerful, unforgettable experience.

In “Family”, Mr. and Mrs. Fuller (Matt Keeslar, Meredith Monroe), a young married couple, move from smog-riddled and traffic-ridden California to an idyllic little town in Somewhere, USA. They soon meet their new neighbor, Harold Thompson (George Wendt), an unassuming fellow who putters away in his front lawn at his various landscaping hobbies; however, his enthusiasm is anything but innocent.

George Wendt stars in 'Family.'

The screenplay, by Dallas native Brent (Frailty) Hanley, is way ahead of its time in both its dialogue and surprising construction. This guy has got to be the king of ‘twists’, just as with Frailty, I did not see it coming. There are no real murder set pieces per say, but the implications are dazzlingly executed. Without giving it away, the sequence with with the old lady and her groceries is one of my favorite moments in the short.

The character of the occasionally charming, partly threatening Harold Thompson is played flawlessly by George Wendt who never had a role as memorable as this one, and he is perfect. Meredith Monroe is outstanding as the film's anticlimactic heroine, and all of her early scenes, although not dealing with a horror aspect, manage to vibrantly come alive, thanks to her.

The cinematography in this episode should be nominated for an Emmy, as it consists of some of the most stylish photography I have seen. It adds a great deal of atmosphere, foreboding, and mystery. And the flawless, eerie musical choices are amazing.

John Landis’, "Family," is a masterpiece in all senses of the word. As a horror short film, it is a horrifying study in terror, and as short film in general, it is a brilliant study in style and mood, as well as the darkest regions of a person's psyche.

Landis redeems himself with this one in my eyes and well-earns title, "Master of Horror." He is truly a "Master," in more than one sense of the word, too.

OFFICIAL SITE
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'THE V WORD' REVIEW
SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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