Review Date: November 26, 2002
Director: Robert Harmon
Writer: Brendan Hood
Producers: Tom Engelman
A cute girl with a lame boyfriend used to have "night terrors" as a child and has recently been seeing "them" again, ever since one of her good friends filed a bullet through his brain. "They" only seem to come out when all is dark though, which kind of works out for "them", since the city is currently having major power outages. Will the cute girl be the next item up for bid? Wes Craven presents...a paycheck into his bank account. Cha-ching...Wesley...cha-ching!
A passable horror movie which regrettably doesn't bring anything new to the table, with pinches of PITCH BLACK, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FINAL DESTINATION all wrapped inside a 90-minute burrito of boo scares, dark moods and unseen monsters. That's not to say that I didn't like certain elements in this film like its very grim and shadowy cinematography, its dark, dark settings, all of which helped hike its suspense level during a number of "alone in the dark" scenes and its ending, which was pretty badass. But how could anyone truly appreciate a film that simply rehashes plotlines from other better horror flicks without really giving its audience anything new to chew on? The characters in this flick are barely developed, the interactions between them are lackluster at best and the mystery of "them" isn't ever truly revealed. Granted, to a certain extent, the fact that very little is known about "them" does leave more up to one's own imagination, but at the same time, I was hoping for some juice on the buggers, like what they were, where they came from, why they did the things they did. A little more background info would have been nice. I also liked/disliked how "they" were almost never shown in the film. Again, this worked one some levels, but by the end of the film, I wanted to see me some monster asses! (figuratively speaking, of course) Thankfully, the film does pull off a wonderfully pessimistic ending, which I was literally praying for by the last scene. Nice!
Of course, that's not to say that this is a good movie by any means. It sets up a half-decent (if terribly unoriginal-"night terrors") premise, delivers a decent, but not terribly engaging lead, some half-assed obvious secondary characters around her (most of whom you know are gonna bite it), a lazy boyfriend who seemingly has nothing else to say but "Everything's gonna be okay" (although he does pull off a great David Boreanaz impression), a number of "boo" scares (most of which didn't work for me) and a whole lot of walking/talking scenes in between, most of which were boring and forgettable. The film does have a great "look" going for it though, especially if you like the color black. Lights are constantly being turned off and there was at least one sequence near the end that actually got my blood a pumpin' (the entire sequence in the subway-although I did find it ridiculous that someone could get "locked" inside a subway that easily). Other than that, the movie doesn't really have much going for it, but I can see it working out just fine on video, especially when you're all alone at home, boyfriend is away and you want to scare yourself in the dark. Girls might dig it as well. I will also prop the film for playing things "old school" and for not giving way to the latest "hot band" in their soundtrack, or tossing tit-shots around like peanuts. The movie sticks to its premise of "terror"; succeeds on some levels and fails on others. PS: Wes Craven had absolutely nothing to do with this production other than cashing a check for the use of his name above the film's title. cough**isn'tthatcalledsellingout?cough**
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian