Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Masters of Horror Valerie on the Stairs|
Actors: Christopher Lloyd, Tyron Leitso, Suki Kaiser, Nicola Lipman, Jonathan Watton
Director: Mick Garris
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
IT'S CALLED HIGHBERGER HOUSE, A PLACE FOR UNPUBLISHED WRITERS TO LIVE & WORK. BUT THE BUILDING IS HAUTED BY MORE THAN JUSTTHE SPECTER OF FAILED AUTHORS.
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N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 08/11/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Mick Garris may have created Masters of Horror, but the director's (and frequent adaptor of Stephen King tales to the small screen) work for the show hasn't been anything to write home about so far. Valerine on the Stairs, based on a Clive Barker tale, finds a haunted writer (Tyron Leisto) moving into an eccentric building community, only to find things further haunted still. The sole reason to check this episode out is the great Christopher Lloyd, who provides the kind of enjoyable, crazed performance we've come to expect from the wonderful actor. The gorgeous, and frequently naked, Clare Grant plays the titular title role of the episode, and genre stalwart Tony "Candyman" Todd plays a ghoulish role, but Valerie on the Stairs ends up falling flat. Garris' direction is uninspired, and the episode as a whole just moves along too slow with little suspense, and even smaller payoff. The gore effects are decent, but don't make any impact until too late in the episode. The overall result ends up being pretty lame, which is a shame because the potential was ripe here. All in all, Valerine on the Stairs is a disappointing installment of the Masters of Horror series, and while it's worth a look at least for fans of the show, it's not worth picking up and adding to your library unless you're a completist."
Upping your Chances for Contracting a CinematicallyTransmitt
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 11/04/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When watching what the Masters of Horror collection has to offer, I really don't set the bar high. The thing they are trying to accompish it quite amazing, and the fact that I can buy the series for a good price is really beautiful. I honestly just need a few jumps to keep me guessing, maybe some laughs if they are going for comedy in the gore, and a little cohesiveness when it comes to the storyline. When I started watching Valerie on the Stairs I thought I was going to get that, too, but as I journeyed further into the abyss I began to realize that this wasn't one of the good or even the middle-ground episodes.
No, it was really bad.
Basically, we have the story of a writer who moves into this creepy place subbing as a haven for wannabe writers, and the writer begins hearing things that are, well, haunting. Soon after getting settled (if putting some of your stuff down and pecking at a typewriter getting settled) he sees something rather terrible/erotic; he hears some noise and goes to check on it and sees that there's a naked woman settled on the staircase outside just before she is dragged into the shadows by the hands of something bestial. If you haven't guessed, her name is Valerie, and the premise sounds enticing.
For a few moments the movie is, too, and makes you think you've stuck gold.
Sadly, like a child with a handful of pyrite, you soon realize that the cinema gods have duped you.
The problem with the Valerie, aside from the fact that much of it is determined to be a softcore skin flick, is the fact that it doesn't maintain its edge. At first it starts out sharp, creepy even, but it looses that rather quickly and makes you wonder why. It honestly felt like it had been written well at first, almost like there was effort at the start, but then someone had gotten bored and had constructed the end on a bender. Strangely, it wasn't the acting or the effects or even the location that hurt the movie. It was simply the storyline and the direction that made this one a sure miss.
The only people I would say that need to see this are perhaps horror wachers with lots of B-movie needs, hardcore fans of the Masters of Horror series, and perhaps people making a movie who need something to study on what "not to do." I would try to talk them out of it, too, but people have to do what people have to do. I guess I can understand that - I had to see it for myself and had the same type of warning.
This is a not recommended and then some - sadly, I might add. For ten minutes I thought it would be soo much more."
Predictable but some good things going for it
Tim Janson | Michigan | 09/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Masters of Horror creator, Mick Garris, steps in as Director for the second time in the series on "Valerie on the Stairs". Rob Hanisey (Leitso) is a struggling novelist who finds himself out on the streets when he cannot pay his rent. With nowhere else to go he finds a unique living situation at an old tenement called Highberger House. The house allows writers to stay rent-free UNTIL they make their first sale. Not a bad deal and evidently the current residents know it as many have been living there for some time including Everett Neely, played by Christopher Lloyd in yet another wild-eyed role.
Rob has barely settled into his room when he begins to hear strange sounds...a knocking at his door although no one is there...footsteps...and then a woman crying. Rob questions the other tenants about the noises and if there is a ghost but none offer any help. The sounds turn more direct as rob finds a very beautiful, and very naked woman on the stairs leading up to the next floor. As he draws closer to her she tells him, "He's coming" and then disappears into a solid wall. The haunting continues as Rob finally sees the thing that Valerie is referring to: a black-skinned demon who snatches Valerie away every time Rob gets close.
Rob's probing brings him into conflict with the other writers and with the home's landlord who threatens to throw him out on the street, published sale or not. Rob corners Everett and eventually learns the dark secret of Valerie, the Beast, and Highberger House.
Garris wrote the teleplay based on a screenplay by horror icon Clive Barker. The film stars out as a rather typical ghost story. The mood is set effectively with strange sounds and the unsettling knocking at Rob's door. But when the rest of the tenants deny any knowledge of a ghost or a woman named Valerie had lived in the house, the episode plays its hand too quickly. You know right away that they indeed know who Valerie is although their secret is held for a bit longer. The story may have been very effective on paper as a short story but loses some effectiveness when transferred to the screen.
I mean, besides just for some gratuitous T & A, what was the reason that Valerie walked around nude during the entire episode. Clare Grant is certainly a beautiful girl but I'm not so sure how it forwarded the story. Christopher Lloyd is always fun to watch, even when he is playing his umpteenth crazy guy but besides him the rest of the cast was fairly uninteresting. Tony Todd plays the beast and like Lloyd, he's playing another role that he's grown all too used to...the menacing, growling, and supernatural monster. Unlike Lloyd, he isn't quite as fun to watch. The ending does provide the really only original plot twist to the episode and helps raise the grade on this one a bit. The DVD comes with an Audio Commentary with Mick Garris, a couple of featurettes, and a photo gallery.
REVIWED BY TIM JANSON"
Haunting, smart, erotic and gory!
HB Fan | Sherman oaks, CA | 08/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collaboration between Clive Barker and Mick Garris showcases both creators at their very best. Clive's story of the power of frustrated, unpublished writers to bring their nightmares to life is brought beautifully to life by Garris's directing, which is at a career peak here. His cast, especially his brave and beautiful star Clare Grant (reminiscent of a young and radiant Sissy Spacek from her "Carrie" days), is uniformly excellent. The gore will satisfy fans who need blood and guts. But what really impressed me was the film's thoughtful and haunting tone, which is more European in flavor than US. The special features are uniformly entertaining and help to make this feature even more impressive. This may be my favorite MoH episode ever, and that's really saying a lot!"