MASTERS OF HORROR SEASON ONE, EPISODE TWO: DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE

MASTERS OF HORROR SEASON ONE, EPISODE TWO: DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE-United States-2005

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Ezra Godden as Walter Gilman

Ezra Godden as Walter Gilman

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Teleplay by Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli

Based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft

You would think that since I am such a connoisseur of all things horror that I would be familiar with the works of one Howard Philips Lovecraft. I’m not. In fact, my familiarity comes from Stuart Gordon and his adaptation of Lovecraft’s work. I have watched Re-animator countless times and I’ve seen From Beyond at least twice. I’ve also seen The Unnamable; that one’s not Gordon, but it is Lovecraft. So, I’ve seen H.P. quite a few times; but it is only recently that I have begun to read Lovecraft. So far I’ve dove into “The Beast in the Cave“; and I am now smack dab in the middle of “In the Mountains of Madness”. I know Lovecraft is regarded as one of the masters of the horror genre. So, with all that, why did I find Gordon’s adaptation of his Dreams in the Witch House a bit…underwhelming?

Is it because I’m not familiar with the work of Lovecraft? This Masters of Horror episode helmed by Gordon about a student at MIskatonic University (an H.P. staple) who moves into an apartment full of strange tenants, rats with human faces; and a witch who travels from world to world via intersections in time and space. The episode hints at Lovecraft, but it doesn’t seem to dig too deep into him or the short story it was based on. There are the Gordon trademarks; Dreams in the Witch House features a student moving into a new place the same way Herbert West did in Re-animator in 1985. Like I said before, I haven’t read a lot of Lovecraft; but I am smart enough to know when something’s missing.

Like Incident On and Off a Mountain Road in episode one, Dreams in the Witch House isn’t a bad episode of Masters of Horror; but it’s not a very good one, either. I like Gordon and I loved Re-animator; I just think that this would benefit from less Stuart and more H.P.

TRIVIA

In this movie it’s the second time Ezra Godden has a character that wears a ‘Miskatonic University’ t-shirt in a Stuart Gordon film. The first one was Dagon where they both were involved.

On the DVD commentary for another Stuart Gordon movie called From Beyond, Gordon and Brian Yuzna mention that they had planned to make an adaptation of Dreams in the Witch-House in the 1980s after the success of Re-Animator. From Beyond ended up getting made instead.

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About Written in Blood

I was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina on March 4, 1962. I guess that makes me old, but I certainly don't feel that way. I still play video games and listen to rock and roll music. I love movies, especially horror films. I have a beautiful wife who is my all time best friend. She supports me in everything I do. More importantly, she calls me out on my bullshit. This blog is dedicated to her for everything she's done for me.

Posted on 12/02/2012, in Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I have to admit that the Lovecraft connection pulled me into this one. I didn’t think it was all that bad. I did like this series because they had released all the episodes individually, which allowed me to pick and choose which ones I thought sounded decent.

  2. I saw this! Unfortunately I don’t remember a ton about it (I watched the whole season pretty much in a week) but I know I didn’t dislike it. This is definitely a uniquely fun series.

  3. I actually liked this episode. I had also read the story, one of my fave Lovecraft stories and would say that not too much was missing in this adaptation. There is more explaination to the angles of the room and the entry into another dimension, which makes you buy into the whole premise of the Lovecraft story to begin with – but three pages of exposition about theories would probably not have made for a good film. Besides, the real horror of the story is that the main character killed the baby and maybe he was just psychotic. Re-animator was probably more Gordon than Lovecraft – Lovecraft stories don’t have gore or anything sexually explicit.

    • Hey, I’m still in the learning curve with Lovecraft. I understand that I may have missed the point of the story a bit. Thanks for giving me a little more info on HPL and his work.

  4. I have been contemplating renting this episode but have never heard anyone’s opinion on it. Thanks for the review.

  5. I was wondering what you would think about this collection of shortrs. I have seen a few but would love to get the whole set (downloaded or streamed what have you). This was entertaining but I agree missed a little something. My favorite two are Jessica and Imprint.

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