First, I'd like to open up this discussion of Don Coscarelli's Incident On and Off a Mountain Road by pointing out how much I like the Masters of Horror title sequence. It's been a while since I've watched any MoH episodes, so I had forgotten how much I missed that blood drop opening. Sure, it's full of some generic images of pain and anguish, but I dig the music and it's a nice reminder that this is an anthology horror television show. As for the actual episode, I still think it holds up as an energetic, slightly creepy tale even after having seen it several times over the years. I don't think it's flawless, though.

One of the reasons I find myself such a big fan of Coscarelli's adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's short story of the same name isn't the actual story, but the method in which it is told. As a straight-forward narrative, this is just a familiar yarn about a damsel in distress (Bree Turner) in the mountains who fights back against the freak of nature (John DeSantis) who has kidnapped her. However, the heavy and consistent use of flashbacks is what really makes it work beyond that simple set up.

Sure, this format is hardly novel. The TV world is rife with episodes that construct themselves around flashbacks, but most of them use it as a "how did we get here?" gimmick and only flash back a day or so prior. Incident, on the other hand, uses it to A) tell two damsel in distress stories at the same time and B) efficiently convey that Ellen has the means and mindset (but not necessarily the experience) to be doing things like setting up booby traps.
categories Features, Horror