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October 4, 2015

Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch House

by Keith McDuffee, posted Nov 4th 2005 11:05PM
masters of horrorTonight we had a short story by one master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft, entitled Dreams in the Witch House. This time the guest "master" of horror is director Stuart Gordon, best known for his work on Re-Animator. You definitely see a difference from last week's episode, which shows a lot of promise for the rest of this series; who wants to see the same format over and over again?

It seems Gordon has a thing for involving complicated science with horror. Hey, I'm definitely not saying that's a bad thing! It's actually very cool, and adds a very interesting portion to the story that I'd love to see more often in horror movies, actually.

Dreams follows grad student Walter, who's just taken residence in a dilapidated old boarding house due to his meager student wages. In between trying to study string theory and take care of his neighbor's son, the walls of the house begin to turn out some, er, strange visitors, including a rat with a human face and a shape-shifting witch. Or is he just having one hell of a lot of weird nightmares?

The lead actor, played by Ezra Godden, actually reminds me a bit of a young Bruce Campbell in some ways. He has the looks and the somewhat awkward lankiness that Campbell had in his earlier Evil Dead films. Hey, the movie even features the Necronomicon! I'm not sure if they were planning that or what.

Like any good B horror movie, we get a nice dose of full-frontal female nudiness. Well, it's good up until the point it turns into a nightmare for both the viewer and Walter. If you saw the show, you know what I mean. If you didn't, don't say I didn't warn you. Scary shiat.

There's definitely a good amount of gore toward the end of the episode, though it seems that, so far, the Masters of Horror has this thing for massive, bloody eye damage. And nobody likes dead babies. I have a one-year old son, and for someone like me, that's more of a nightmare than any naked, wrinkly old witch could dish out.

There's one flaw with the movie that bugged me a bit. If Walter was so afraid for the little baby's life, instead of asking his mother to leave the house, why the heck didn't he just pack up and leave himself? I know, I know. It's just a movie, but it was something I felt that was just brushed aside for convenience.

Overall I'd say this was a weaker episode than last week, though it's probably mostly a matter of personal taste than anything. It was definitely unique, bizarre and had its fair share of gore, but it's nothing to go talking about for the next week or so.

Quote of the episode:
  Nurse: "And this woman would just disappear?"
  Walter: "Yes! That's what happens when you travel through space and time!"

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I love horror films but there is something that troubles me about Witch House? SPOILER here on Witch House if you haven't seen it. I can't stand the fact that the baby was killed in this film! This story could have been fine with the baby being saved at the end by the cops - the wound on his neck would have been enough for them to put the main character in a mental institution so why kill that sweet little baby? Maybe I just hated it because I have a baby close in age but then again, I never liked any film where babies had to die. JMO. Also, there were too many unanswered questions... I do realize that it is a short horror film but why didn't the witch try to get the old man to do her dirty job again? Also, if a man is the only one that can kill the baby in a sacrifice, then why did the rat do it?

November 15 2005 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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