Watch: Can David Hyde Pierce pull off a crazy torturer in “The Perfect Host”?

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Just imagine Niles Crane: fussy, well-mannered, into fine wine and classical music. Now imagine him beating the shit out of someone with what looks like a sandwich press and licking knives. Doesn't quite track, does it? But the trailer for The Perfect Host, in which David Hyde Pierce takes a fugitive from justice hostage on the night of an (imagined?) dinner party, makes a halfway decent case for a deep well of batshit insanity under the cultured facade. After all, Hannibal Lecter knew how to pair wine with dinner, right?

I still can't tell if this is supposed to be horror or comedy, but considering the odd coupling of jump cuts and upbeat party music, maybe it's both. Still, I think some of Pierce's more musical-theater-y habits are getting in the way of his menace, but maybe it's chillingly effective for those of you who think such song-and-dance shows are already nightmarish.