Masters of Horror present: Clive Barker’s Valerie on the Stairs on DVD  » Movies  »
3.5
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  • I bought the DVD second-hand at a going-out-of-business sale at a rental store for $3.50, USD
  • Running time for the movie is 60 minutes, which is, in my opinion, great
  • On a personal note, I don't think that Rob or Valerie are quite the actors needed in their specified roles
  • Viewers will see some female nudity, so definitely keep this in mind if your kids ask to watch
  • I don't think it's something that I would ever pay more than a few dollars to buy

    • by Ash Marie
      TRUSTWORTHY

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      I recently purchased the movie Valerie on the Stairs on the recommendation of a good friend. I bought the DVD second-hand at a going-out-of-business sale at a rental store for $3.50, USD. My friend was incredibly interested to hear this, as he had only seen it once or twice on television and could not find anywhere locally to rent or buy it.

      Running time for the movie is 60 minutes, which is, in my opinion, great: enough time for a good story, but not so long that you get bored and give up on it. It was first sold in 2006 (although it looks like it could be much older) and is directed by Mick Garris. The movie is apparently adapted from a Clive Barker story. (I have not read the original story, so I cannot comment on the move from paper to video.) The movie is part of the Masters of Horror collection.

      The cast includes: Tyron Leitso (Rob), Christopher Lloyd (Everett, the neighbor), Clare Grant(Valerie), and more. The story mainly revolves around new resident Rob, three of his neighbors, and Valerie.

      On a personal note, I don’t think that Rob or Valerie are quite the actors needed in their specified roles. Rob just isn’t quite the strong male character that I would expect in the role he’s in, and Valerie, although very innocent


      looking, just isn’t quite attractive enough to captivate as much attention as she does realistically.

      In the story, a young and unpublished writer, Rob, is unable to pay his rent. After a resident dies, a space opens up at Highberger House. Rob quickly moves into the group home, which offers free housing to writers in his situation until they are discovered.

      Rob soon finds out that the residents are keeping a shocking secret. The young man continues seeing a beautiful but distressed woman on the stairs (Valerie) and the story continues to build on his journey to save her and to convince the other Highberger residents that he isn’t delusional. He continually questions the residents, only to be blown off as a troublemaker.

      The movie is not rated, but the box says it contains mature content, which is true. The movie is very sexually charged. There is mention of a vibrator early on and there is a ton of sexual tension between our main character and the sometimes nude spirit on the stairs. Viewers will see some female nudity, so definitely keep this in mind if your kids ask to watch.

      I like the basic story very much, although I can’t say so much for the entire movie. The plot progresses pretty quickly, but there is a lot of buildup. The feeling of failure ...


      • and despair that the floundering authors feel really lends itself to the story. I never expected the ending, let me just say that. I think the ending being the way it was really tied everything up quite well and I finished out the movie on a positive note.

        I think the real story behind the story is that, as a writer, you have a responsibility to (figuratively speaking) bring your characters to life. The cast of downtrodden, failed writers start out creating a collaborative work and end up playing a torturous game of cat and mouse with their characters. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll stop here.

        I feel that another major theme in the movie is obsession. Rob is obsessed with finding out the real story behind Valerie, our super creepy antagonist, who comes in later in the story, is obsessed with his beautiful love, and the writers are obsessed with their amazing collaborative story. These, in combination, lend to creating an eerie feel that remains throughout and after the film has ended.

        With the good story, I do think that it’s a little cheaply made. A lot of the computer-generated images are kind of iffy and the actors aren’t the best, although it does star Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future). Other actors have also done other movies, but

        I still don’t care for them. I don’t know if it’s bad acting or just poorly developed characters, but I could pass on the majority of them. I also want to note that the dead bodies hanging in the basement are very obviously cheesy manikins. The antagonist, however, is very eerie and well-costumed, although its end is less than epic.

        I wish that there was a little more effort put into this movie. In the right hands, this story could have been a winner. It has such potential, but I think it’s wasted in its current state.

        Overall, I would give this movie a C. Not terrible, but not above average in any sense of the phrase. I think that the story was wonderful, despite the mildly unsatisfying characters and props (and the pitiful battle between Rob and the antagonist). I would recommend the movie, but not that you pay any large amount of money for it. I don’t think it’s something that I would ever pay more than a few dollars to buy. Renting is probably the best option here. I just honestly think that with a little bit of extra funding and effort, this could have been an incredible movie, but it’s certainly lacking all of that in its current form.

        I hope this review has been helpful for anyone interested in purchasing or renting this movie.




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