Quick Reviews: Valerie on the Stairs (Masters of Horror)

After a short break, let me return to the Showtime Show.  Once again, Mick Garris has decided that his work on Sleepwalkers makes him a ‘Master of Horror’… In this Episode/Movie, a House for Writers holds many strange secrets… An unpublished Author moves into a House for unpublished Authors, since that is a thing. Incidentally, […]

After a short break, let me return to the Showtime Show.  Once again, Mick Garris has decided that his work on Sleepwalkers makes him a ‘Master of Horror’…

In this Episode/Movie, a House for Writers holds many strange secrets…

An unpublished Author moves into a House for unpublished Authors, since that is a thing.

Incidentally, this is a Clive Barker Story (originally), so is this how we should picture a young Barker?

He starts to see visions of a woman named Valerie, but she’s not real…Is she?

She’s being followed by a mysterious black creature.  What is the Story here?

Oh, it is a literal Story.

See what I did there?

Basically, three of the Residents made a Story and the energy in the Hotel made it come real…or something.  It is all just a bunch of silliness.

Ultimately, our Hero defeats the Monster and takes Valerie outside…where she evaporates.

As the Police show up (since three people died in like 20 minutes), we learn that our Hero isn’t real either- he’s just part of the Story.  The End.

Decent stuff, but nothing great.  I’m not going to pick on Mick Garris too much here, but this is nothing too remarkable.  To be clear, he has a Screenplay and Directing Credit here, so you shouldn’t disconnect him too much from the final product.  The Story is decent enough, but hinges upon the twist of the Story.  If you don’t buy it into, nothing really works.  It was so-so for me.  They made sure to explain plenty, but I’m still not sure how ‘the energy of the Hotel’ made the Story come to life.  I’m not going to pretend to be a full-on Novel Writer, but I can at least get behind the idea of Fantasy being affected by Reality.  I just didn’t ‘feel’ the connection they were going for- if that makes any sense.  The basic concept of Valerie on the Stairs- interesting.  The execution- hit-or-miss.  There is some fun in trying to diagram what is and isn’t commentary from the original Story by Barker about himself.  Is he Lloyd’s Character- the one who wrote a ‘bad’ Novel and had it made into a ‘worse’ Film- or is he the new guy’s?  Decide for yourself, I suppose.  I’m sorry, but Garris continues to give me more so-so Films in this Series than people like Argento, Dante or Carpenter.  Speaking of so-so, is anyone else getting a bit of a Wishmaster vibe from the creature (especially if you think of the gray version from 3 and 4)?

Eh, I’ve seen better and worse on this Series.  It still isn’t good enough for me to not give Garris crap for calling himself a ‘Master of Horror.’

One Comment

  1. This is one of the few episodes I still remember from watching that show years ago… but that's not really a compliment. Maybe the setup had promise but the 'twist' let all the air out of it? I just remember thinking it was kind of dumb… like I usually do with 'none of this is real' story reveals.

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