Country : USA
Running Time: 60 minutes
George Wendt of TV's "Cheers" in a role like you've never seen him, directed by the legendary John Landis.
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
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.
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.
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com