Main cast: Jeffrey Pierce (Point), Jesse Plemons (Lemmon), Rachel Miner (Chelsea), Mircea Monroe (Virginia), Stephen Martines (Diego), Reamonn Joshee (Navarro), Michelle Molineux (Tara), Bill Baksa (Reverend Janos), and Walter Phelan (The Creature)
Director: Breck Eisner
Fear Itself is a spiritual successor to the Masters of Horror series, but unfortunately, back then it was housed at NBC instead of Showtime. This means that there is a distinct, drastic reduction of gore and nudity all around, and the end result is a neutered kind of show that may frustrate fans of the other series.
The Sacrifice, the opening episode, is said to be based on Del Hawison’s erotic horror short story The Lost Herd, but the script only keeps the basic premise of some idiots finding themselves in a town with a dark secret – everything else is changed for, interestingly enough, the tamer. I wonder whether this is because of the limitations imposed by having a show on NBC instead of the more flexible Showtime. Heaven knows, Showtime showed Haeckel’s Tale in all its glory.
Anyway, oh yes, we have four criminals on the run. One of them is badly injured and will need medical help ASAP. Despite that, they drive down some right-into-nowhere road to avoid the cops, and oh boy, maybe the cops would have been a more benign option if they had known that they would run out of gas and end up stumbling onto a strange town completely walled up with only a single forbidding door to let anyone in… or out. The whole place is deserted except for an injured reverend and three young ladies, and it is clear that they are hiding something. What is that something? The idiots will soon find out…
Actually, this isn’t a bad episode in that it delivers some interesting concepts that can be a bit different from the usual stale old monster in the wilderness theme, and there is some solid atmosphere as well as build up here. But if I think a bit more about things, the entire episode makes no sense. The way they eventually get rid of the monster is something that they could have easily done ages ago – so the fact that they didn’t until now makes them come off as dummies that deserve whatever they get. There is no reason for some of the deaths to be this elaborate, unless the monster is giving out treats for the most creative kills, that is. The twist at the end is one that I guessed would come early on and was hoping it wouldn’t, so oh well.
The Sacrifice is a painless watch, as long as one doesn’t think too much while watching it.