Re­vis­it­ing things that go bump in the night

Masters of Hor­ror Two: The V Word 8.30pm, Show­time

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Si­mon Can­ning

THERE is some­thing about a good hor­ror flick that brings back mem­o­ries of teenage years. In the midst of ado­les­cence, hav­ing the be­je­sus scared out of us in the com­mu­nal en­vi­ron­ment of a cin­ema seemed some­how com­fort­ing.

It’s hard to pin down, but a well­crafted hor­ror film de­liv­ers the same sort of anx­i­ety fol­lowed by an adrenalin rush that can of­ten be cap­tured only by an act of rank stu­pid­ity, re­sult­ing in risk of se­ri­ous phys­i­cal harm. It’s like be­ing dared to walk along the top of a high wall, but the hor­ror film comes with­out the risk of med­i­cal bills and- or hu­mil­i­a­tion.

Show­time’s Masters of Hor­ror Two is an op­por­tu­nity to in­dulge in that sort of anx­i­ety again.

More sig­nif­i­cantly, it’s an op­por­tu­nity for the present gen­er­a­tion of teenagers to wit­ness just what some of the great direc­tors of hor­ror movies are ca­pa­ble of: how they can take a sim­ple story and an im­age on screen and twist the guts of the au­di­ence into a ball of ex­hil­a­rat­ing ten­sion.

Ernest Dick­er­son is best known by fans of the genre as the name be­hind Bones and Tales from the Crypt: De­mon Knight . Tonight’s of­fer­ing, The V Word is a re­turn to the ba­sics of what makes a hor­ror flick good: some ob­tuse teenagers full of bravado, a mor­tu­ary and a vam­pire.

Like the sub­jects of The V Word, the key to en­joy­ing such an of­fer­ing is to never think too deeply. Hor­ror is a genre that does not take kindly to the ap­pli­ca­tion of logic.

Kerry ( Ar­jay Smith) and Justin ( Bran­den Nadon) are two sim­ple Mid­west kids whiling away the evening with their shoot-’ em- up com­puter games.

Justin is in the midst of a phone ar­gu­ment with his fa­ther and, hav­ing hung up, pro­ceeds to brood.

For rea­sons not im­me­di­ately clear, the teenager de­cides to ex­act re­venge on his old man by chal­leng­ing Kerry to break into the lo­cal mor­tu­ary to view the body of a friend killed in a car ac­ci­dent.

‘‘ I guess that would be some creepy shit,’’ Kerry ob­serves, be­fore agree­ing to head off to the dark­ened, leaf­strewn cliche that acts as the venue for the film.

‘‘ All that’s miss­ing now is a black cat and shit that creaks,’’ the ob­ser­va­tional Kerry notes.

The pair ar­rive ex­pect­ing to find Bran­don’s cousin, who works the night shift.

In­stead they find some­thing they didn’t ex­pect, but an au­di­ence of fiveyear- old pan­tomime fans would have seen com­ing a mile away.

How­ever, Dick­er­son’s touch is deft with this lit­tle demon­stra­tion of hor­ror 101, and de­spite the dog- eared cor­ners on the script, he de­liv­ers a fit­ting trib­ute to our teenage years.

Scary stuff: A vis­i­tor in the mor­tu­ary in Masters of Hor­ror Two: The V Word

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