The Fair Haired Child
MASTER OF HORROR: WILLIAM MALONE,
THE FAIR HAIRED CHILD


Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



The child ghoul of The Fair Haired Child (2006) is tres cool & creepy, but the film surrounding him is far less effective, though it must be admitted the Masters of Horror anthology series has included vastly worse & on a comparative level this is one of the too-occasional winners.

The Fair Haired ChildA nice-seeming middle-aged couple kidnap & torture teenagers in their basement dungeon. The adults contrive satanic rituals to bring their ghoulish son back to life.

The wife in this warlock couple is played by Lori Petty, who was great as Tank Girl (1995), but here she's just another mediocre cable tv actor scraping up the rare role as her career tanks.

Tara (Lindsay Pulsipher) is an eccentric picked-on school girl who gets tossed in the basement with a mute teenage boy who communicates by writing in the dust. He's red-headed Johnny (Jesse Haddock) who Tara will eventually realize can transform into the hideous fair haired child (Walter Phelan, so much smaller than Johnny that the transformation seems to require shrinkage of everything except the big head). As a boy he's guilt-ridden & unhappy; but as the fair haired child he stalks Tara around the basement.

Flawed by general all-round hokiness, The Fair Haired Child struggles absurdly to be gothic & cool but is disjointed & ridiculous. The main thrill is the costume & make-up for the ghoul, but a costume is just a costume & if you look too closely at this one, it resolves into a big mask that fits over the head.

When watched on dvd it's too easy to slow down the speed with which the unconvincing costume flashes by, & it really does look like the entirety of the costume is just a high-end rubber mask from Champion Costumes. But let it slide by swiftly as intended & it's a pretty great rubber mask.

Jonathan wants to die, & he likes the girl, so the idiotic tale actually tries to be a love story without regard for Tara being only thirteen years old. Eventually we get a deux ex machina love-horror twist in the end. This comes off as a so-so episode of Tales of the Crypt but certainly not the work of a master horror filmmaker.

All that said, some of my fellow horror fans think this one was an effective little cable-shocker, & I suppose if you've watched a shitload of direct-to-video independent horror films lately & lit upon nothing better than see-through CGI killer pythons, dorky zombies, dorkier teenagers doing ten-cent slasher gags, or trashy vampires sloshing through pools of cherry syrup, then this made-for-cable alternative will be great stuff by comparison.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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