‘Dreams in the Witch House’ (2005)

Ezra Godden as Walter Gilman in the Stuart Gordon directed "Dreams in the Witch House".
Ezra Godden as Walter Gilman in the Stuart Gordon directed "Dreams in the Witch House".

from Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series

Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Starring: Ezra Godden, Campbell Lane, Jay Brazeau, Chelah Horsdal

Walter Gilman, a college student, rents a loft in a building in the New England town of Arkham. While studying inter dimensional string theory at college he is haunted by nightmares of a 17th-century witch and her rat with a human face. He must prevent the death of his neighbour’s baby at the hands of these forces while it’s possible he could become the murderer himself. (from tv.com)

Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft

Quickie Review
Some things just go together, either by nature or by continued association: eggs and bacon, pork and beans, Stuart Gordon and the twisted horrors of H.P. Lovecraft. You could say that Gordon has made his career of filming Lovecraft stories and there’s a good reason: he does it well. Here, he does a pretty good job with his adaptation of this Lovecraft short story. He’s also got a good set of actors. Ezra Godden, who worked with Gordon on another Lovecraftian film, Dagon does a good job as the hero, Walter Gilman. And yes, he does look a bit like another Gordon favorite, Jeffery Combs.

The Good: Gordon has a great eye with this one, using odd angles to accentuate the weirdness peculiar to this story – especially given how angles play such an important role to the story. I also like how much resprct is given to the source material. Commonly, when a writer’s name is attached to a film, the resulting product bears almost no reselmblence to the original (“Lawnmower Man” anyone?). Stuart modernized this nicely without gutting it.

The Bad: Maybe I’m just different from other guys, but sex scenes in horror movies bother me. Mainly, because they are rarely organic to the story. The same is the case here. In fact, it omly seems to serve the purpose of making an up-to-this-point rational man look like a guy who only thinks with his dick.

The Ugly: Two words: Brown Jenkins. I don’t remember hearing his name in the film itself, but that’s the name of the big, brown rat that is the witch’s familiar. Anyway… Wow! What a bad effect. I know the effects on these aren’t going to be great, but this just seemed particularly bad.

Joe Lopez
Dubbed, "TerrorScribe" by a former editor, Joe made the conversion to horror sometime in the mid-2000s. Little did he know he'd favored the genre all of his life. When not struggling with short stories, he provided genre film reviews for local entertainment sites and later genre sites who could suffer his cynical views.

It was that same cynicism - and some might say hubris - that lead him to have a brief flirtation with filmmaking. His first two efforts, "Annotated" and "Antes Que Seja Tarde (Before It's Too Late)" both premiered at a local H.P. Lovecraft film festival. A third short, "Survivor Girl" proved to be his undoing though plans are in the works to revived the cursed project.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX., Joe now resides in a small Texas town. Statistics say more dead bodies turn up in small towns that big cities... though he claims to have NOTHING to do with that.
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