Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fascination With FEAR ITSELF (2008)

~by Marie Robinson

Greetings, goblins! Even though I do not have cable, I do love a good television show. Though a continuous storyline has its perks—as a viewer you get to know the character, the setting, the storyline, itself—after so many seasons it can lose its freshness. My favorite shows are anthology-style, such as the Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Tales from the Darkside.

Fear Itself only survived one season, but I have cherished every episode. I found it on Netflix a year ago, but it originally aired in 2008 on NBC. The creator is Mick Garris, who is known for the Masters of Horror series and a slew of Stephen King adaptations. The producer, Adam Goldworm, also did Masters of Horror.

 "The Circle"
Now, I’m sure all of us horror lovers know that many episodes of Masters of Horror are notoriously awful (a friend and I recently laughed our way through John Landis’ Deer Woman), which is a shame since it has an extremely impressive collection of directors, but in my opinion they got it right the second time around with Fear Itself.

Fear Itself also has a few notable directors. John Landis returns, along with Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Brad Anderson (The Machinist), and Rob Schmidt (Wrong Turn). And while there aren’t any big name actors, there are a few you will see and say, “Hey, there's that guy/chick,” such as Anna Kendrick from Up in the Air and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Scream Queen Brianna Evigan.

"Skin and Bones"
Each forty-five minute episode is its own little horror story. Some are supernatural, some serial killer—they cover the classics and some original ideas as well. What I love about the show is the originality—each episode stands on its own. They pull you in and keep you watching, and they sure as hell get you sweating. This show masters suspense and of course, fear. I’m not kidding, this show is freaking SCARY! One episode, entitled “Chance”, about a man who is faced with his own evil doppelganger was so intense I turned it off! I’m sure you guys are judging me now, but watch that episode, I dare you!

My favorite episode is called “Skin and Bones”, directed by Larry Fessenden, and it is about a man who becomes possessed by a wendigo. In case you didn’t know, a wendigo is a creature in Native American folklore, an evil spirit that possesses people and turns them into cannibals. Now, unless we have some cannibals in the crowd (nice to meat you), I guarantee watching this episode will give you gooseflesh and gags.

Seriously, this show is the stuff of nightmares! It is a shame that it only lasted one season, but lucky for us all the episodes are on Netflix!

Anthology shows are probably my favorite because I am short story writer, myself, and I am always looking for examples of spooky, clever, and quality tales.

Check this show out and let me know what you think! And if you are familiar with the series and have a favorite episode, please, do tell.

*Editor's note:  After reading this synopsis of Fear Itself (and remembering that I not only watched some of this series when it was on but I actually did a small review of it here on FWF), I checked on Amazon and you can buy the entire first season (the only season) for only $13.20.  Matter of fact, I bought a copy for myself, so thanks Marie! / ch


Chris Hewson said...

Hey, I tagged you for an award!

Natalie said...

I loved this show -- I wish they would bring it back. I have a thing for horror anthologies and I loved this series! I am glad you featured it on your blog.