Director – Mick Garris
Cast – Henry Thomas, Matt Frewer, Stacy Grant, Jake D. Smith, Michael Curtola, Katharine Horsman, Paul Wu, Leah Graham, Lucie Laurier
Release Year – 2005
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Mick Garris made a name for himself mainly because of his film adaptations of Stephen King’s novels Sleepwalkers, Riding The Bullet, Desperation, and also directed several episodes of King’s The Stand TV series. Luckily, maybe his biggest accomplishment was getting all of these great “masters of horror” together for this TV series that Mick Garris himself created. Of course, because I suppose he himself believes he is a “master of horror”(or needed a few more slots taken up) he gave us Chocolate, his first of two entries into the “Masters of Horror” series. While this film is flawed and several aspects, it is a stunning watch that includes a storyline I have yet to see in another film.
Chocolate stars Henry Thomas as Jamie, a recently divorced man who works as a scientist creating “tastes” for edible products companies. During a bout of loneliness, Jamie breaks from his diet and devours a chocolate, which from then on turns his world upside down. He begins to see from the eyes of a beautiful woman whom he has never met, nor even seen. He feels her emotions, her sensations, and is a first-hand witness to a murder she commits. Jamie becomes obsessed with finding out who this woman is, and his investigation comes with some dire consequences.
This is one of those flicks that really did not interest me at first, but as the film went on I slowly became more and more involved in what was going on. It is told in a flashback sense, a tactic which more often than not I usually enjoy, but the content itself was what took me a while to get into. As the film progressed it came more and more sensual and voyeuristic, which is most likely what got me going and peaked my interest. Heh. The pacing was a bit off during the first half of the film, but when Jamie begin getting more in tune with what this woman is going through things begin to pick up.
Watching his descent into a fragile mindset that leaves him yearning to meet this woman was a nice touch, especially when you consider he is recently divorced and missing his son, which already had me a lonely fellow before the chocolate-induced phenomena. While I did not mention this earlier, Mick Garris has made part of his “name” as a writer. He wrote The Fly II, as well as another film he directed, Critters 2: The Main Course. As cheezy as those films are, it was nice to see that he can writer a mature effort that attacks adult-themed dependence on chocolate and how it can affect someone.
Mick Garris’s direction is a positive effort. His only setback would be the slow pacing of the first half of the film, which can be blamed on a slow/poorly developed screenplay, which was written by him anyway. Thankfully, during this film’s few gore scenes he laid the gore on great and gave us a treat to watch.
Overall, this is an OK watch that starts off a bit weak but materializes into a positive production during the latter half of the film. If you are looking for an interesting plot then this may be for you, especially if you like chocolate.
– I ranked this film #24 of 26 entries in my Ranking the “Masters of Horror” Entries post.