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Masters of Horror: Family (2006)

George Wendt , Meredith Monroe , John Landis  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Wendt, Meredith Monroe, Matt Keeslar, Haley Guiel, Kerry Sandomirsky
  • Directors: John Landis
  • Writers: Brent Hanley, Mick Garris
  • Producers: Adam Goldworm, Andrew Deane, Ben Browning, John W. Hyde, Keith Addis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJTFB6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masters of Horror: Family" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Audio commentaries
  • Bio of director John Landis
  • DVD-ROM screen play

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It’s a beautiful day in suburbia where mild-mannered bachelor Harold Thompson (George Wendt of CHEERS) is happily at work in his basement building the perfect family. But when a young couple moves in nextdoor, Harold sets his sights on the sexy young wife (Meredith Monroe of DAWSON’S CREEK). In a sunshine world of picket fences and manicured lawns, is it ever possible to know what gruesome plans are percolating in the minds of your neighbors? Matt Keeslar (SCREAM 3, ROSE RED) co-stars in this grisly black comedy with a killer twist from Director John Landis (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, ANIMAL HOUSE) and Writer Brent Hanley (FRAILTY). Features: Still Gallery Original Storyboards Audio Commentary featuring writer Brent Hanley Director Bio Screenplay (DVD-ROM), Also on DVD Skin and Bones: The Making of Family Terror Tracks: Mastering the Family Score

John (An American Werewolf in London) Landis directed this blackly amusing and gruesome story from the second season of the Masters of Horror anthology TV series about a lonely serial killer's search for the perfect Family. George Wendt offers the lion's share of the chuckles--and the chills--as a seemingly normal suburbanite whose sweater-vest-and-groomed-lawn exterior conceals his true nature as a bloodthirsty murderer who kidnaps and butchers strangers in an attempt to assemble a flawless nuclear family; Meredith Monroe and Matt Keeslar are the neighbors who catch his eye as possible new additions. No stranger to mixing horror and humor, Landis' bloody blend is more successful than in his previous MoH outing, Deer Woman, thanks in part to the lead actors and writer Brent Hanley's script, which features one of the nastiest denouements this side of E.C. Comics. The DVD includes commentary by Hanley, making-of featurettes on the production and the score, a still gallery, and the original script in DVD-ROM format. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In my top 3 of all MOH episodes August 1, 2007
This was just an amazing episode from a hit or miss series. The acting by George Wendt was brilliant. There are many twists, some come very early on, but the final one caught me way off guard (which is hard to do). Family is much better than last seasons Deer Woman, though I enjoyed that one as well. I hope John Landis tops this one next season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FLICK May 26, 2010
Excellent film for those who love a mix of comedy and horror and a touch of Hitchcock.
I knew I was going to love it when the opening movie pans shows a picture of Dick Cheney in the psycho's house. His crazy moments are masterfully done. The dirty talk by Meridith Monroe, we were lead to believe was part of the psycho's imagination. I too admit, I missed the plot twist...and I was looking for one. Kudos George. I don't want to say too much about the plot as it might ruin the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have definitely found the consistency of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" anthology series problematic. I was thrilled by the conceit, pleased by the selection of talented directors, but somewhat mystified by some of the actual episodes. The second season, in particular, started out rather unimpressively. John Landis, who clocked in last season with "Deer Woman," returns with "Family." While many people didn't care for "Deer Woman" (about a woman with a deer body, in case you don't understand the title)--it was, at least, humorous and bizarre. I wouldn't have recommended that episode, either, but it attempted something different.

When I saw the preview for "Family," I was pretty stoked. It didn't, however, look horrifying--it seemed to be relying on the comedy angle. That's cool, I enjoy comedy/horror. After watching the episode, though, I think it's fair to say that it's not funny enough to be a comedy, not scary enough to be a thriller, not particularly original, and the twist ending was telegraphed a mile away.

George Wendt stars as an ideal suburban husband who is not what he seems at first glance. His family, after all, isn't alive--and they're not even his real family. They are skeletons that he has accumulated from various victims through the years. When a young couple moves in across the way, he becomes infatuated with the wife. He thinks she might be an excellent addition to his brood.

What follows should be a fun game of cat-and-mouse, but it just doesn't get going. I think the main problem is the tone. Meant to be a satire, most of it comes across flat. Wendt, who should be having a ball, delivers a one-note performance. You might smile a few times, but this is ultimately forgettable. KGHarris, 12/06.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching Just for the Twist Ending May 23, 2007
Bare Bones (Quick facts):

Family is the latest offering in the Masters of Horror series. This time, director John Landis (American Werewolf in London, Animal House) lends his unique vision to the horror genre. The result is a campy little horror movie that's very enjoyable.

The Meat of the Matter (The plot):

Harold Thompson is a mild mannered man with a penchant for 1950's decorating, good family values, and gospel music. He also likes to kill people and use their bodies to construct dummies in order to have the perfect family. One day a new couple moves in. They are his neighbors and become his friends. But when Harold starts coveting his neighbor's wife, he decides it might be time to trade in his old wife and get a new member of the family... but first he has to get rid of her husband.

Viscera (My ramblings):

Family is one of the better offerings from Masters of Horror. I liked the corpse scenes, nice and gross. The acting is a little flat and the interactions a bit too staged. No one has manners as nice as these neighbors! Watching this you can tell George Wendt's performance seems off slightly, like a copy of a copy. The rest of the acting is wooden as well. The plot seems to drag at some spots. However, over all, I really liked this installment. The dark humor is great, and the morality play ending is spectacular. If you like Tales from the Crypt or Alfred Hitchcock presents, I think you'll really like the episode. But if you go in expecting something spectacular, gory, or novel you will be disappointed.

Recommended for horror movie fans with patience to survive the slow bits and a love of twist endings.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This was not what I thought it was. March 21, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I thought that this was one where George was an alien and it wasn't. Good but not the one I thought.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Episode by John Landis December 23, 2012
By Hwang
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Family is a tounge in cheek horror comedy by director John Landis - much in the vein of American Werewolf in London - that thoroughtly entertainments.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed A Little But Still Really Good October 2, 2011
For the most part, I really liked the Family. CGI takes me out of films a lot of the time and it was no exception this time. To the fake looking CGI blood when a woman gets her head smashed by a hammer (don't want to spoil, so I won't say who) to an old man having chemicals that deteriorate his body as it is poured on his lifeless self. It looked a fake and cheap. The story itself, on the other hand, is really good. It is basically John Landis' homage to films like Psycho and Last House on the Left. If you have seen those movies, then this film doesn't really hold that many shocks or twists.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good twist and depth of character June 1, 2011
John Landis directs Family, part of the second season of the Showtime series that asks important horror directors to create their own hour-long horror story. Landis, known for his dark comedy spliced with social satire and gore, takes that same campy direction on Family. The episode centers on Harold (George Wendt), an older bachelor living in the suburbs of LA in a quiet, beautiful neighborhood. A gospel-loving, sweater-wearing man, Harold loves his afternoon lunch of soup and milk served on a tray; he likes making flower arrangements in ornate vases; he likes to have the new neighbors, Celia (Meredith Monroe) and David (Matt Keeslar), over for dinner. He also enjoys bleaching bones and making people a part of his skeleton family.

Landis doesn't attempt to hide anything about Harold from the audience; in fact, the opening serves as a juxtaposition of Harold's relatively passive life - with a tromp through his tidy house being our guide to his generally stable mentality, and quickly after a presentation of his hobbies as he dissolves the skin of an elderly man. It's this clever and well-plotted presentation of Harold that keeps the viewer from turning against him too quickly. Instead, the killings and violence are left mostly off-screen, and so the audience is distanced from the murders so much that it almost feels as though Harold could not have committed them, even when we see the skeletons he harbors and talks to in his living room.

But Family is not just about Harold's perverse but lonely life. It also hinges on Celia and David as a inciting action, a couple who move in next door to Harold and enter his life in a way no one has in a long time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item arrived quickly and as described.
Published 1 month ago by Jonathan Kramer
5.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's good
If you like campy ridiculous kind of cheap horror movies - this is for you. I laugh through a great portion of this, particularly at George Wendt's portrayal, but the music cracks... Read more
Published 9 months ago by S. Comiskey-Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "B" movie!
If you like to collect Horror/Comedy movies this is a great movie to add to your collection. I had not seen this movie before I purchased it so, I wasn't sure what to expect, I was... Read more
Published 13 months ago by My2Cents
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
Glad to have found this movie i had been lookin git for a while it was in great condition when it was received
Published 18 months ago by robbie mcclure
5.0 out of 5 stars Guess Who's Coming To Dinner...
FAMILY is one of the better MASTERS OF HORROR offerings. George Wendt (HOUSE) is wonderful as the neighbor w/ serious family issues. Read more
Published on February 26, 2011 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm
This movie isn't brilliant. It's creepy. It's disturbing. Which are lusses in my book. But there could have been *so* much more that could have been added to make the storyline... Read more
Published on May 28, 2009 by Jami Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Masters of Horror episode yet!
John Landis brings his mix of horror and humor into this very entertaining episode in what has been to me a disappointing series. Read more
Published on May 1, 2008 by Horror Metal Girl 6
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most enjoyable MOH episodes you'll ever see
Family, directed by the great John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Animal House) and written by Brett Hanley (Frailty) stars Cheers veteran George Wendt as a suburban... Read more
Published on February 16, 2008 by N. Durham
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