Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Night 1

Potential general spoilers in this post.

It was a mixed night for the premier of Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

"Battleground": The first half of the night started the series off with a bang (heh, heh). It was a really high quality show, and the performance from William Hurt was top notch. He was even more impressive given that he didn't speak during the whole episode. The story here was pretty simple, and it really didn't go for the big scare. The effect was more menace combined with dark humor. Given that, it will be interesting to see how the others play.

"Crouch End": This one did go for the big scare, or at least a series of little scares, and it fell flat on its face. Part of it was the effects. In fact, it was hard to believe this was part of the same series as "Battleground." For instance, the cat with the weird eye thing couldn't have looked any more fake. It was definitely an example of CGI being used where good old latex and fake blood would have worked just fine. Even aside from the effects, the story just didn't quite work. I liked it a little just because it was so weird, but it wasn't coherent enough to really entertain. I'm not entirely sure this is the fault of the TV version, though. I seem to remember having the same reaction when I read the short story.

Overall, though, this was still a very promising start to the series. I especially like the fact that they've brought good actors on board. Nothing ruins horror movies or TV more than poor acting. In that vein, next week will bring us another very solid actor: William H. Macy. I'm looking forward to that one.


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