***“Monster” on the Moors*** In England, circa 1890, Sherlock Holmes (Matt Frewer) and Dr. Watson (Kenneth Welsh) investigate the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville on the Moors, rumored to be rooted in a centuries-old family curse involving a devil-hound. Jason London is on hand as Sir Henry. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (2000) is a Hallmark production shot in the Montreal area, but with establishing shots from England (e.g. Montacute House, Montacute, Somerset). The main reason I wanted to see this TV version of the oft-filmed tale is I was in the mood for a Victorian-era mystery with fog, manors, candles, woods, 19th century lasses and the like; and the flick delivers the goods. Sure, it doesn’t have the production values of the contemporaneous “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), but that’s to be expected. Frewer’s interpretation of Holmes is spirited and amusing. I don’t get where critics say his take on the expert sleuth is unappealingly arrogant seeing as how he’s too animated and comical to be pompous. The core of the story centers on Watson’s investigation at the Baskerville estate with Holmes absent until the final act (although he’s on screen for the opening, of course). If you’re not familiar with the story you’ll constantly be responding “He did it, he did it!” or “She did it, she did it!” As far as the southern Québec locations go, I prefer them to the (boring) English Moors. The movie runs 1 hour, 30 minutes. GRADE: B-
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