Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Review: Masters of Horror: Sick Girl
A disturbing tale of two lovelorn ladies and a parasitic and deadly bug is told in this Masters of Horror installment Sick Girl. "May" director Lucky McKee is on to direct this time and brings on the star of that film Angela Bettis. She wonderfully plays the quirky and awkward entomologist Ida. The episode is based off of a short story written by Sean Hood who did the screenplay for Halloween: Resurrection. Ok, so not his finest moment, but this story is well crafted and interesting. Plus anything with bugs and horror usually creeps me out, as well as many others.
Ida looks dumbfounded by a bug.
The story follows the bug obsessed entomologist Ida and her problems with love. She soon has a new problem though. A mysterious package has arrived at her apartment with a new exotic and aggressive insect species. While she aims to learn what this new bug is and who it came from, she keeps it locked up in a container. Unfortunately not well enough because the insect (which she named Mick in a nod to series creator) escapes and turns a neighbors dog into lunch. It then uses the remains as a nest inside Ida's pillow. Ummmm......bugs in beds gives me the creeps! She finally does meet her true love in the quiet and shy artist Misty (Erin Brown). Misty has been drawing pictures of Ida as a fairy in the lobby of her work for some while. No, not creepy at all. Things start getting stranger and stranger. Misty's behavior is becoming increasingly erratic. Could this have anything to do with her disgustingly infected ear? Nah. Ida still can't find the escaped bug Mick and is becoming more and more disturbed by Misty's strange behavior. Something strange is afoot. Meanwhile Ida's landlord doesn't approve of her lifestyle and her obsession with bugs. So things are getting a bit out of control for our female lead here. In the end Ida does find out who the bug came from and what it is up to, as well as what is wrong with her lover Misty.......the hard way.
Ida and Max discuss her love problems. What about the escaped bug?
Angela Bettis is great in her role here as the serious and unloved scientist Ida. A stark contrast from her starring and creepy role in director Lucky McKee's film "May" (which I also loved). She manages to capture the emotions of the sad loner very well, while still maintaining a humorous cynicism to her. I've heard some people say that her voice is annoying, but it didn't bother me a bit. I thought it was perfect fit for the her character. Erin Brown as Misty exudes tons of sex and seductiveness in her role as Ida's shy lover. She is a veteran of soft core films so it's not a stretch. Given that, she also has no problem with nudity as seen in this episode. I thought she was very good and played shy, sexy, and crazy all equally well. I also quite liked Ida's colleague Max, played humorlessly by sex minded Jesse Hlubik. He's always asking for details about Ida's sex life for his pleasure. Although he affectionately gives her the advice...."Babes or bugs. You can't have both" in an effort to help her get a girl. Landlady Lana Beasley (Marcia Bennett) does a fine job as well playing the wicked old woman, who in some cases you almost feel sorry for. Don't worry, she gets hers.
Misty is not looking good.
While not a particularly gory episode, there are some funny scenes and a few creepy parts, so in that way it worked great. Merging comedy and horror is no easy task. Just ask other writers and directors from the Master of Horror series. This episode will give you the willies frequently, and especially if you don't like bugs, particularly killer bugs for that matter. The insect design was well done and the CGI worked fine in the parts that it was used. I was a little disappointed with a death at the end in terms of makeup and gore, but the other parts involving Misty's ear makeup were very well done and pretty gross. The story will keep you invested and guessing until the end. The twist, which is par for the course in any horror anthology series, was pretty cool as well. I would definitely recommend this episode. 3 (1/2) / 5 skulls.