Masters of Horror: The Fair-Haired Child (2006)

The definition of ‘master’ really has been pushed to its limits by this series. The directors seem to fall into one of two camps: either they’ve not directed anywhere near enough to be considered a master, or they’ve directed lots of things, but anything half-decent happened decades ago, with their more recent output being, bluntly, shit. William Malone falls somewhere between the two, because he’s only made a couple of movies, none of which were very good. Which actually puts him further away from being a master than most of the others. But I digress.

Right, The Fair-Haired Child. Well, it’s basically the old monkey’s paw story, again. (Filmmakers really love that one at the moment, don’t they?) A couple try to resurrect their dead son, but have to make a hard bargain to do so. And when they get him back, he’s not really all that happy about it, anyway. Thrown in is another narrative in which a young girl is kidnapped by the couple and kept in their basement ready to be sacrificed to some unknown evil, which might appear at any moment.

There are some pretty cool scenes in the first half, with some real tension being built up by the utter weirdness of it all. As is all too common lately, though, the second half squanders it all with a hugely unsatisfactory ending.

It’s quite pretty to look though, I guess, and the monster’s quite scary, even if it is in an Asian-influenced clicking-and-crawling dead thing kind of a way. So this isn’t a complete waste of time. But it’s not great, either.

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