Fear Itself is a horror anthology series that aired on NBC nearly five years ago. It was born after the series Masters of Horror was discontinued on Showtime. Although at the time US audiences hoped the series would be given a new lease of life on NBC under the title Fear Itself, it ran out of steam relatively quickly and was not renewed after its first season.
I have mixed feelings about its cancellation, based on this shaky first season. There’s much worse television out there, but then again, horror-lovers have a lot stronger fare competing for their time (Ryan Murphy’s outstanding American Horror Story to name just one).
Some of the entries in this series contain interesting things. A rather creepy atmosphere is well evoked in icy vampire tale The Sacrifice, directed by Breck Eisner,and Stuart Gordon’s film Eater contains a terrific performance from Mad Men actor Elizabeth Moss (pictured above). Sadly, some of the weaker entries (such as the dreadful Spooked) lower the quality of the series as a whole.
If you are willing to sit through the odd dire episode in order to relish the more effective ones, this series is worth a watch. Anyone with little time to spare may wish to seek out their scares from more consistent sources.
A note on the disc: Lionsgate has offered up a pleasing transfer of the series. It’s framed in an anamorphic widescreen ratio and the image detail is very good. Though a blu-ray would have been preferable, this standard definition release should do most people quite nicely.
Fear Istelf (2008) is released on DVD by Lionsgate, Certificate 15. It is released in the UK on 28 January.