Main cast: Henry Thomas (Jamie), Lucie Laurier (Catherine), Stacy Grant (Vanessa), Leah Graham (Elaine), and Matt Frewer (Wally)
Director: Mick Garris
Oh, Mick Garris. What is he doing here? Mr Garris is responsible for a bulk of adaptations of Stephen King’s works, which ranged from atrocious (Sleepwalkers) to “Well, it could be worse, really!” (the 1997 remake of The Shining and the TV miniseries The Stand). In other words, he has delivered as much crap as he had gold. Still, I suppose it is his right to invite himself to play, as Masters of Horror is his baby.
Chocolate, based on a short story written by Mr Garris himself, opens with a blood-splattered Jamie having to tell his story to the cops one more time. The poor man claims that no man has ever loved a woman the way he had, and that has much to do with the story, naturally. Our fellow’s life is defined by three things: an empty apartment downtown, alimony, and child support. Jamie doesn’t feel that life is going too well for him, until he suddenly tastes chocolate in his mouth. This soon leads to him somehow being able to see, hear, and taste the sensations experienced by a mysterious woman he has never seen before. This includes an amusing scene where he goes all wide eyed and shell shocked as a man shags “him”.
All this weirdness wrecks havoc on his normal routines as well as his efforts to start dating again, of course, as he ends up getting other people look at him like he’s weird. He doesn’t mind, though. He’s enchanted by the sensations as well as the woman who is experiencing them. Having “been there” with her when she uses a showerhead on herself only seals the deal. Even when he vicariously experiences the woman murdering her lover with a knife, he is not deterred. He loves her, so he must find her!
I like the premise of Chocolate. Jamie enraptured more by the notion that this woman is experiencing life in a far more vivid way than he can imagine, to the point that he slowly retreats from everyone else just to “be” with her. He also believes that this bond is a sign that she is somehow reaching out to him, but as the opening scene would suggest, this “love” is all one-sided. It is also hilarious that he builds himself a fantasy of the two of them falling in love, with him gallantly protecting her from the cops and such, never imagining that the lady will not be amused with his presence in her life.
The end result, however, lacks the intensity and pathos that would be appropriate for a story with such a premise. This episode is more of a psychological thriller than actual horror, but Jamie never seems pathetic or desperate enough to be as “empty” as he claims to be. Heaven knows, women keep throwing themselves at him and he has no problems hitting third base on the first date, so I don’t see where all this so-called loneliness and barren lives thing is coming from. The episode is pretty entertaining, if only for the gratuitous nudity (female, naturally) and Jamie’s arrogant assumption that he could just walk in and sweep the woman off her feet, but it lacks any dramatic or chilling impact.