Starring Henry Thomas, Matt Frewer, Stacy Grant, Jake D. Smith, Michael Curtola, Katharine Horsman, Paul Wu, Leah Graham, Lucie Laurier

Directed by Mick Garris

Expectations: Low. I’m not expecting anything from this series unless it’s a director I highly respect and I haven’t seen enough of Mick Garris’s films to really respect him.

Respectable and well made, Chocolate is a great entry into the Masters of Horror series. Director Mick Garris proves that he’s worth checking out, showing a great sense of suspense and careful plotting. Of his other films, I’ve only seen Sleepwalkers: a fun, if forgettable, early 90s horror romp. Garris loves Stephen King and has directed numerous adaptations of his work so I was surprised he didn’t go down the King path here as well. Chocolate is based on Garris’s original short story, adapted by Garris himself, making for one of the best written and filmed episodes of the series yet.

Starring Henry Thomas (Elliott from E.T.) as an artificial flavor chemist, the film follows him as he begins to have strange sensory losses. It all starts with the taste of bittersweet chocolate in his mouth as he wakes from sleep. As with any mysterious story, the unraveling is the fun, so I’ll leave the synopsis at this. The story does progress is ways you wouldn’t expect, culminating in a fitting finale. My only beef is that the ending itself is somewhat weak, garnering a “That’s it?” and a shrug. It’s not a big concern, as what happens after the fade to black is obvious, but it is a bit jarring. I respect Garris for not completely hand-holding the audience though, and allowing their intelligence to fill in the final blanks.

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