The first episode of "Masters Of Horror" season two turned out shockingly well, moreso because of how immensely disappointing this same creators were in the terminally awful "Dance Of The Dead" episode, which was both dull and stupid. It may be in part because, instead of being based on a story by the writer of the episode, this one is based on a story by Ambrose Bierce (though I imagine the basis is tenuous at best) and the quality is immediately more apparent, though the episode seems far from literary. In fact, it's still a fairly stupid episode with no clear goal and no explicable purpose to the creature or force, the titular "damned thing", making up for the lack of content with a decent visual style delivered by Tobe Hooper, some decent acting by Marisa Coughlan (out of her comedic element) and Sean Patrick Flanery, and plenty of gore, sure to please all those complaining jackass gorehounds who refuse to recognize anything as "horror" if it doesn't swim in blood and feature people being chased by monsters or slashers.
Hooper and his writer have shown how bad they can possibly be in "Dance" and this episode shows that they can do servicable, if not great, work. Despite writing flaws, Hooper manages to give it a theatrical look and it features plenty of shock moments (you haven't lived until you've seen a man kill himself with a claw hammer).
Hopefully this season starting out on a better note with one of its weakest links is a good sign that the episodes will, in general, be of higher quality.