Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Two Sentence Horror Stories: Quota & Fix

Only the USPS would try to build public support by doing their job really slowly. Admittedly, nobody expected the pandemic-related shipping crunch, but for a private business, a huge surprise increase in demand would be considered a “good problem.” Regardless, shipping related issues are definitely top-of-mind these days, so it is very zeitgeisty the first story of the latest edition of Two Sentence Horror Stories is set within a shipping facility. That would be “Quota,” followed by “Fix,” tonight on the CW.

Christmas is coming in “Quota,” directed by Lynne Stopkewich and written by Melody Cooper, but Tina’s online order fulfillment center is running behind their target numbers. Her district supervisor has a super idea. He will lock them in for the night and only give her the exit code. Right, like that is remotely credible in our litigious society. The truth is he would have a heart attack if he ever saw a newspaper lying near a fire door.

Nevertheless, that is the premise and it keeps everyone trapped inside when all heck breaks lose. How so? That would be telling according to this week’s “Do Not Reveals,” but it offers the series an opportunity dabble in a hugely popular horror subgenre. The warehouse setting is definitely effective (and also realistic looking), but none of the third act twists are really very surprising.

Two Sentence’s second season measurably rebounds with “Fix,” directed by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garica and written by Kristine Huntley. It starts out as a tale of family dysfunction when a psych grad student Jackson finally resolves to check on his (maybe not-so former) junky sister, Sophia. However, when he reaches their spooky, isolated family cabin, where she is naturally staying, things take a rather dark, satanic turn.

“Fix” is not Aster’s
Hereditary, but you can see its influence in the way the characters’ guilt, angst, and resentment metastasize into some very sinister phenomena. There is also some really creepy prop and design work and Attieh & Garcia (who also helmed the really scary episode “Hide”) and cinematographer Naim Sutherland bring it all together with a lot of nifty visual style and flair. Kevin Alves is solid as Jackson, but Nicole Muniz really stands out playing the seriously creepy Sophia.

“Quota” is just okay, but “Fix” is the best installment of the current season since the opener, “Bag Man” and the scariest since the previous season. Both incorporate some classic horror elements, but “Fix” does it really well. Most fans can start with “Quota” a be somewhat entertained by it, but “Fix” is enthusiastically recommended when they premiere tonight (1/26) on the CW.