HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

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MASTERS OF HORROR: CHOCOLATE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Mick Garris

Starring:
Henry Thomas
Lucy Laurier
Matt Frewer

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A fellow in a lousy state of mind wakes up with the taste of Chocolate in his mouth after a rather vivid dream. Who is this dream woman? Is she real?
Is it good movie?
Essentially, this story is quite original. Our protagonist is somehow linked to a person who may be living or dead, in a psychic manner, and is able to see and hear what she does. The guy can often even feel what she feels..including sex..which is just brutal. Of course, he sets out to find her, thinking it is some kind of important connection, and of course, some ghastly stuff ensues, but i'm not going to give it away.

I thought this mini flick was slick. I dug the production values, the editing, and the acting too (always great to see Matt Frewer get work). I really bought into Unlike some of the other entries into the Masters series, this story really is a great idea. The notion hasn't been done before, I give it bonus points for originality. I really got behind Henry Thomas' performance. The dude really pulled off 'disturbed' rather well, and I was pretty impressed, definetely worth noting. The flick really tries to pull the viewer in with its awesome score too, you'll notice that until the essential climax, many plot points are given solely through visual and audio clues. I dug that.

This tale is not perfect because it isn't really 'scary' per se, as opposed to mildly disturbing and slightly creepy. I can sum up what I mean fairly well: this isn't your typical horror flick. It's slower paced, and if you're expecting a ton of blood and guts, you're not going to get them. Because of this, you may get a bit bored. I just can't help but feel that if this was the whole story, it's a good thing it wasn't given the full length, feature film treatment because I don't know what they could have added to it. I enjoyed watching it, and I recommend it, but it'll probably leave you wanting a bit more. There simply isn't a lot of 'meat', the whole things plays out like more of a psychological thriller.

Really when it all comes down to it, it just doesn't seem right to have a story like this as a part of a series called Masters of Horror. It's sort of like having a 1995 Acura with all of the extras and calling it a 'Classic Car'. I don't think that Chocolate deserves to be ignored, it's just a little bit of a stretch to have it here.
Video / Audio
In the video department, we're treated to 1.78:1 widescreen picture enhanced for 16x9 TV sets. It's one beautiful picture too, one of the crispest i've seen in recent memory. Everything is so sharp and lovely.

Audio is also quite a treat, coming in the form of a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track which is just as nice sounding as the picture is good-looking.
The Extras
As with all of the Masters series, this is where the disc shines. Anchor Bay has not disappointed.

The number one feature for my money had to be The Sweet Taste of Fear, an awesome and in-depth interview with Mick Garris, just in case you were wondering who he was and what he's done. It's neat to note that he'd been sitting on this script for so long, planning to turn it into a full blown feature, but then used it for this series.

We also get Working With a Master: Mick Garris, a nice piece that Mick must love watching, as many people who've worked with him in his past, including his own wife, talk about how great he is, and some of their memorable moments on set.

Next up are a couple of so-sointerviews with the stars of Chocolate, Henry Thomas and Lucie Laurier, which are fairly standard and interesting enough to watch once through.

The Making of Chocolate behind-the-scenes featurette was bizarre to me. It was fairly long, and was 100% behind the scenes footage, just tossed together with no commentary or anything. It just shows the film being made, and that's it. If you're a film student, you'd probably dig it.

There's also an awesome commentary track by Mick Garris and his DVD producer Perry Martin, which is chock full of details. You'll be exhausted and thoroughly interested by the time this is over.

Another neat little clip was the Fantasy Film Festival interview with a very young Garris interviewing the man, Roger Corman. It's ultimately a strange inclusion, but a very neat little clip, and I suppose it does pertain to horror.

You think that's it? You crazy! There's still a Photo Gallery, Trailers and a text Biography of Mick Garris to round this bad boy out.
Last Call
The movie, it's ok. The disc is fantastic. I don't think that Garris is necessarily deserving of the title 'Master' of horror, but he's worked his butt off and loves the genre, so I can't argue I suppose. This disc is an absolute must have for fans and horror collectors (it even comes with a Mick Garris Trading Card!), and is absolutely chock full of the good stuff, in a high quality way.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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