MOH: VALERIE ON THE STAIRS
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
A failed writer moves into a home for failed writers and quickly finds a ghost on the stairs who isn't what she seems.
Is it good movie?
Iíve grown to dig most of the entries into the Masters of Horror series. And I do call them entries over episodes, because no common link exists. No crypt keeper. No Rod Serling. Just a generic theme song and lots of blood. Which works perfectly if anyone should ever ask me, because it gives that blank slate that allow directors and writers to do whatever the hell they want. Anyway, I was saying I dug the show, and that feeling didnít change with the latest DVD release, Valerie on the Stairs. Written by Clive Barker and directed by MofH producer/creator Mick Garris, Valerie on the Stairs is a great dark, twisted flick, the kind that reminds of classic 80ís splatter films like Hellraiser. Whatís great about this film comes from its use of the classic (I often refer to it as stale) storyline involving a mysterious ghost calling out for revenge and help. Only here, a few things differ. For one, the ghost lives on a set of stairs. Literally. She sits at the top, moaning, nude, and begging for help. Sheís a hot piece of ghost ass, too. Two, sheís not really a ghost. Well, sorta. That doesnít make a whole lot of sense, but I for one donít want to spoil the fun. Just trust me. Swallow whatever the movie throws your way and go for the ride, because asking questions like what or why will ruin the fun. Just watch. Itís devilish. Itís nasty.
As for the story, it revolves around a failed writer (Tryon Leitso) who accepts a residency at home for failed writers. He quickly discovers everyone there is nuts and finds a hot, naked ghost on the stairs. From there, things quickly unravel as he starts to ask questions and starts digging deeper than any man should. Leitso turns in a great performance, but make no mistake, the great roles go to Christopher Lloyd (itís Doc!) and Tony Todd. Sure, neither of them dives into a new acting territory, but theyíre typecast for a reason. Lloydís works perfect as a nut, and whoís a better demon than Todd. Itís the voice, but with the voice, comes the Barker specialty that reminded of Hellraiser. Gore. Thereís good gore here. Mean gore. Angry gore as the demon takes revenge and brutally rips people apart. Thereís also great make-up and special effects. Now after watching the film, people will want to discuss the ending, as I would now. Iíd love to figure out exactly what it all means and ask questions, but thatís a no no for reviewers.
Video / Audio
The DVD looked great and sounded great.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen (1.78:1)
Like all the Masters of Horror DVDís, thereís just filled with stuff. And itís allÖ
Audio Commentary: Writer/Directed Mick Garris provides audio over his movie. My fav part comes from when you select the commentary track and the DVD misspelled the director's name. Nice touch.
Spine Tingler: The Making of Valerie on the Stairs: 14 minute doc. Great stuff.
Jump Scare: Editing Valerie 5 minute doc that details some of the more shocking scenes.
I thought the flick was great. How much more plain can I get. Great. Go get it. Watch it. And enjoy all the greatness.