Masters of Horror: “Fair Haired Child” – 7

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Director – William Malone

Cast – Lindsay Pulsipher, Jesse Haddock, Lori Petty, William Samples, Ian. A. Wallace

Release Year – 2006

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I have never really cared for director William Malone very much.  I have seen a fair amount of his films, including the House on Haunted Hill remake, Parasomnia, and FeatdotCom. Quite honestly…I am not impressed.  However, because he has stuck with the genre and I guess because SOME people enjoyed his remake of House on Haunted Hill, he made the list as a “Masters of Horror” director.  After viewing this entry, I can say that this has to be his best work yet.  Yes, that is right, I was impressed.

This flick follows a young social outcast named Tara.  One day while riding her bike home from school she is hit by a motorist.  Much to her dismay, instead of the motorist taking her to the hospital, he kidnaps her instead.  She awakes in the home of the man and his wife, a warlock couple who’s son died in a drowning accident many years prior.  The couple has made an arrangement with an evil force, a force that will bring their son back from the dead if they feed it twelve virgins, one a year, on the son’s birthday.  It is the twelfth year, and Tara is set to be the twelfth victim.

I always marveled at the creature-esque child on the cover of this film, but because it also had the name “William Malone” on the cover, I was iffy on whether or not I wanted to watch this.  I felt this even more when the film began because throughout its first act I was not really feeling “it”, and was thinking “I hope he makes up for it with the creature“.  Sure enough, he did.  When the second act began things started to pick up, and in the coolest of ways.  We are thrown for a look regarding the other victim she is thrown in the room with, and when the third act kicks it all hell breaks loose.  The look and usage of the creature child was awesome, and Malone’s direction sold me on that.  His camera angles were well used, and he set up each scene as it should have been.  We get many creepy scenes, and for the most part this film paced pretty well.  Congrats Mr. Malone.

Story-wise this one turned out awesome thanks to the second and third acts picking up the slack from the first act.  From the second act on I was mesmerized by the story and constant developments taking place.  I have never been much of a fan of flashback scenes, and this film used a lot to explain the back story behind the events taking place.  For the most part they were positive, I wish Malone’s direction would have come off different during those scenes, but story-wise they did their job.  Thankfully, this film stayed true to it’s horrific nature and gave us a pretty sweet ending that just bleeds great horror.

Overall, this is a positive watch and one of the cooler “Masters of Horror” entries thanks to its creature usage.  This one surprised me given I am not a fan of its director and I recommend you give this one a watch, especially if you would like to see this mediocre guy do something really great for a change.

Rating: 7/10

– I ranked this film #10 out of the 26 entries in my Ranking the “Masters of Horror” Entries post.

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