When Showtime announced their Masters of Horror series, I have to admit that I was very skeptical. I expected thirteen poorly acted, not scary and boring episodes. Luckily for fans of horror, the Masters of Horror episodes thus far have run the gamut. There have been great episodes like Incident on and Off a Mountain Road and Cigarette Burns to the truly awful Jenifer. This episode is actually worse than JENIFER as it lacks nudity and manages to hit the trifecta of poor acting, terrible writing and a boring premise. Seriously, you might consider watching a movie on the Hallmark channel before you sit down for this one.
The movie centers on a 13 year old gorgeous blond named Tara (don’t worry, she is older than Tara Reid in real life so you can look) who, for some reason is ridiculed at her Connecticut high school. Don’t you love those movies where a girl who looks like Amy Smart gets made fun of in school with no explanation? Where are all the 13-year-old boys trying to get in her pants? But I digress. So, the movie starts out solidly (first ten minutes) as Tara walks home through the woods, is stalked and hit by a van, and finds herself in a hospital bed in Vermont. Judith, the nurse, played by Lori Petty, explains to Tara that the hospital found her on the side of the road. When Tara calls her mother to tell her that she had been abducted, her mother in what was probably intended to be a drugged out haze says that she will talk to her later. Wow, that was a pretty lazy move by the writer. Oh well…
Judith then proceeds to ask some strange questions “Are you a virgin?” “Have you been baptized?” Tara freaks out and before you know it, Judith and her husband throw Tara down into their basement. The movie was decent until this point, but oh what a slippery slope. While in the basement, Tara encounters a mute named Johnny who, like the rest of the cast, save the husband, is just a bad actor. Unfortunately for the audience, Johnny relays the rest of the plot either by drawing words in the sand with his stick or by acting it out Pictionary-style. “What’s that Johnny, you’re dead? And your parents need to sacrifice someone to bring you back to life?” Unfortunately, that is the gist of the plot and I won’t apologize for spoiling it because I know in my heart that your 50 minutes will be better spent elsewhere.
The acting in this movie is atrocious. Who knew that Petty’s acting ceiling would be her role as the little sister in League of Their Own? Also, the writer really just phoned it in. He relied on flashbacks that had dialogue that was taken straight from “Wooden Dialogue Weekly” and having Johnny’s mumbles reveal the rest of the plot like Lassie’s distress barks is just sad. In fact, the writer’s laziness provided the only humor in this piece of garbage.
Okay, so we have clearly established that the Masters of Horror series is hit or miss. Fair Haired Child was a serious miss. I will even say that it is worse than Jenifer, which before this review was my choice for worst episode of the series. Let’s hope we don’t have to give the title to any of the remaining episodes.
RATING: * (out of four)