Revisiting things that go bump in the night
Masters of Horror Two: The V Word 8.30pm, Showtime
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