Directed by James Foley
Written by Christopher Crowe
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen, Alyssa Milano and Amy Brenneman.
This film has quite a few recognizable names. From Marky Mark himself to Alyssa Milano to Reese Witherspoon. Honestly, my favorite out of the whole lot would be William Peterson. I’m a huge fan.
It’s truly a tragic story that happens in this country more often than we’d like to believe. What seems like young and passionate love quickly turns into a battle for survival filled with torment and terror.
Mark Wahlberg plays David McCall. A broody young man with a mysterious bad-boy edge. Reese Witherspoon plays a teenaged girl named Nicole Walker. Nicole is quite the goody-goody. She’s the kind of girl that never does anything bad, never gets in any REAL trouble and NEVER disappoints her father, Steven Walker played by William Peterson.
David is not the kind of guy Mr. Walker wants his daughter dating. He’s got this “Eddie Haskell” air about him. He’s TOO nice and polite and sweet. It’s like he’s on overkill trying to impress adults. (If I were her parent I would have been suspicious right away also.) Precious and perfect little Nicole is attracted to David right away. Their relationship starts to move quickly into something very serious…in more ways than one.
Like all abusers, David can’t keep up the “good guy” charade for very long. He slowly but surely starts showing Nicole his mean and violent side. He assaults a very good male friend of Nicole’s. He pushes Nicole to the ground and in the scuffle, gives her a black eye. This leads to a break up. But, Nicole changes her mind and they start dating again and Nicole eventually has sex with David, solidifying their relationship and love in their eyes.
Now, Nicole has a best friend named Margo, played by Alyssa Milano. Margo is definitely the bad girl out of the two of them. She’s the one willing to drink and do drugs, sleep around, whatever. (I’m guessing not much of a self-esteem.) Margo is a good friend and is supportive of Nicole’s relationship…at first.
But, back to the fam. Mr. Walker is very leery of David. So much so that he looks into David’s background and finds out the guy has had a troubled and hard life growing up in the foster care system. Steven, having learned this information, decides to confront David while he’s away from Nicole. David slyly uses this opportunity to cause injury to himself and then he tells Nicole her father actually hit him. Nicole believes this and it strengthens the hold David has on her.
Soon after all this happens, David invites Nicole to a party. At first she says no but, after having a fight with her dad, she decides getting out for a bit will be good for her. When she gets to the house where the party is she sees Margo smoking crack and having sex with David. This crushes Nicole and makes her furious at the same time. She leaves without anyone seeing her and soon ends both her friendship with Margo and her relationship with David. Margo insists that David took advantage of her while she was high but, this doesn’t sway Nicole’s decision.
David also doesn’t take the end of the relationship well. He becomes completely obsessed with Nicole and begins stalking her. In an effort to get things back to the way he wants them, he follows Margo on the road, crashes into her car and chokes her while telling her that he will kill her if she doesn’t fix all this stuff with the and Nicole. Also, to get Gary (Nicole’s male friend) out of the way for good, David follows him home from school one day and kills him.
Steven receives a crude note from David pinned to his vandalized Mustang that really upsets him. This causes Steven to go to David’s house and while he is there, he finds a number of things that make Steven feel like David is trying to “take his place” in the Walker family. Steven gets enraged and trashes David’s house, which he shares with his roommate, Logan and three other people.
Realizing when he gets home that Steven has been there, David enlists his four roommates to help him break into the Walker home in retaliation. A number of bad things happen during this home invasion including Steven and his wife being taken hostage, Margo getting knocked out trying to come to Nicole’s rescue, the family dog getting decapitated and one of David’s roommates trying to rape Nicole. Eventually, David makes his way upstairs to where Nicole is hiding. Nicole’s little brother has escaped and uses the cell phone in the car to call 911. David starts lecturing Nicole on how much he loves her (yeah, right…) and how they belong together, nobody can keep them apart, blah blah blah. The usual psycho stalker babbling. What David doesn’t know is that Steven has gotten free thanks to the little brother and comes to the rescue and aid of his daughter. They fight, during which Nicole even stabs him in the back with a peace pipe, and eventually Steven throws him out the bedroom window.
At last they are all safe. David is dead.
I enjoyed this movie. Although quite predictable, I still thought it was good. It’s interesting to me how, in the 90s, Mark Wahlberg seemed to play the delinquent quite often. Talk about image and type casting. Luckily, things change.
What was also a little funny to me was that I didn’t think Reese Witherspoon was all that great in this. I actually think she was better in “Cruel Intentions” from 1999. Maybe she just had more experience by then. Again with the type casting though. Reese always seems to play the good girl next door kind of character.
It was nice to see William Peterson get angry and violent in this film. So often we think of Grissom on CSI when we think of him and Grissom is almost always very calm, cool and collected. This was a refreshing change on what we normally see from him.
The suspense is there well enough but, like I said, it’s a predictable movie. Still, it’s a great stalker story. The kind of movie that might make you think twice about dating or breaking up with someone. It is one of those movies where you just know something bad is going to happen, you just aren’t sure what or when.
This movie is definitely worth the watch, if you get the chance. It’s a good thriller movie.
Directed by Damien Leone
This movie was awesome! I loved so much about it. First and foremost, I have to give credit to the filmmaking staff. This movie was brilliant. I thought the acting was good and the gore was great. The film even had a couple spots that are surprising and jump worthy.
Art the Clown. This is our killer. What a performance!!! This guy, David Howard Thornton is superb in his portrayal of this demented killer clown. The mime effect he’s got going on and the disgusting yellow toothed smile coupled with the dead stare from his eyes truly just radiates an evil that glows ultimate creepiness.
The interesting thing about this film is that we don’t have the usual protagonist main character. Our victims, though some appearing to be main characters, are truly just that…victims. There is no real desire to kill any one person or a stalking type chase through town. These people just ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time and now, Art the Clown is ready to have some fun.
The kills are excellent with enough blood and gore to satisfy any horror fan. Riddled with suspense and sarcasm, this movie was truly so easy to watch. I happen to think that all clowns look like something out of a horror film but, this clown has to be in my top three of all-time favorite murdering clowns.
If you have the chance, I highly recommend picking this up. I got it at the Redbox and I am definitely going to be buying my own copy, I liked it that much. I only wish there had been more gore. But, I think I always feel that way. I do think it was a good modern homage to the classic slasher flicks we’ve all come to know and love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Directed by Eric Valette
This is a classic plot that has been done in various ways a number of times. I can’t say that I was entirely thrilled with this movie although it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve watched this month.
Interestingly, there isn’t much to say about the plot of the movie. A group of students each get a phone call from the near future, cluing them in on their final moments of life. One gal finally catches on and tries to alert the police, who don’t believe her, except for one detective. Each person who gets a call has their number in the victim’s phone. It is a race against time to figure out the mystery before they get the phone call themselves.
Though this movie wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great. The acting was pretty good but, definitely not A-list. It’s not that it was boring per se, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I really thought that being made ten years ago, this movie would have been a little better.
Now, the paranormal effects were pretty cool and were probably the best part of the movie. I did feel that the story was a little choppy, like it didn’t fully come together. It’s not that you couldn’t tell what was going on but, things like character names and such were not completely obvious, making it a little hard to follow.
I have to be honest. This probably isn’t a movie I’ll watch again. IMDb gave it a rating of 4/10 while Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 0% freshness with an average rating of 2.5/10 (ouch) and only 29% of viewers liking it. In reading the comments, seems most felt the way I do. This movie was a poor attempt at recreating what has been done over and over again already.
Directed by Nimród Antal
Luke Wilson as David Fox
Kate Beckinsale as Amy Fox
Frank Whaley as Mason
Ethan Embry as the Mechanic
Scott G. Anderson as the Killer
As if marriage wasn’t already hard enough, add in a deceased child and a high stress travel situation and BOOM! Everything explodes into terror and chaos.
A couple on the edge of divorce has car trouble on the way home from a party at family’s. They decide to stay the night at the motel next to the auto mechanic’s garage.
The manager puts them in a room where they soon discover video tapes of previous guests of the motel. These tapes are creepy and are actually the snuff films of the guests’ demise. What makes it even more disheartening and terrifying is that the murders happened in the room these two are staying in. David investigates the room and finds that it is set up with hidden cameras, allowing “whoever” to watch their every move.
They try to escape and are confronted outside by masked men from multiple directions. Fearing for their lives, they run back into the motel room, Amy dropping her cell phone in the process. (Not that there’s service at this place anyways.) One of the masked men ends up stepping on it in the pursuit anyway.
Eventually, they find the way that the bad guys are getting into the room, which is a tunnel accessed through the bathroom floor. They also figure out that there are many people involved in this little kidnap/killing venture. Weighing their options of possible escape or certain death, they use the tunnel to try to escape. They exit the tunnel to find themselves in the bad guy’s viewing room where they see all the monitors that show their room. Beyond this room is the front desk where they checked in and above the doorway between the two is a pair of revolvers.
But, someone comes into the office area and they have to go back into the tunnel to avoid getting caught.
Running out of options, David decides to hide Amy in the ceiling (they pull a ceiling tile aside to get up there) and he decides to try to get to the revolvers in the office himself. However, he is stabbed before he can even leave the room by one of the bad guys and he collapses on the floor. Amy sees the whole thing.
She waits until morning and comes down from her hiding spot. As she goes to look at her husband she is attacked by one of the killers and has to flee. She finds the killer’s car and while she is driving away, the killer jumps to attack her through the sun roof and she ends up crashing the car into the motel, killing the guy in the sun roof AND another bad guy who gets sandwiched between the car and a wall.
Amy exits the car and runs to the office to get the revolver. She is met by the motel manager (a bad guy, obviously) and they struggle. After he thinks he has control over Amy, the manager (Mason) tries to get her final moments on camera with his little handheld handycam but, Amy fights back and eventually gets the gun, shooting Mason three times killing him.
She takes the revolver and goes to check on her husband, who luckily, is still alive and they find that they have a newfound love for each other. (Intense, stressful situations can do that to people.)
So, apparently this was a good enough story idea for Criminal Minds to rip it off in 2008, season 4 episode 4 “Paradise” where a creepy motel manager traps couples in a motel room and comes in and out of the room via a vent in the bathroom and terrorizes them, then kills them.
There is a definite creep factor throughout this whole film. Frank Whaley and Ethan Embry are both excellent at being just a little off center and making you uncomfortable, just as they are intended to. Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale aren’t major favorites of mine but they did a good job.
This movie would definitely make you think twice about stopping at one of those little no-name roadside motels. Those quaint little out of the way places that you always think “oh how cute, let’s stay there”. Yeah. Next time, find something that’s in town, populated and popular, something well known.
All in all, not a bad film. Definitely something I could recommend to suspense/thriller lovers. And it’s something I could actually watch again.
Director: Randy Aldridge, Brian McLaughlin
Writer: Randy Aldridge
Melissa Deverian as Ashlee Fontaine
Alex Aldridge as Alex Fontaine
Peyten Aldridge as Peyten Fontaine
Randy Aldridge as Charles Mason
Apparently, damn near the whole Aldridge family was involved in making this film. I know I didn’t list the mother anywhere here. I know she was involved in the production side of things but, honestly, I didn’t want to turn the movie back on to find out. If it is that big of a deal to know, it can be found on google.
However, that information will NOT make this film any better. I have stated many times before that I dig B-rate horror films. (Maybe it’s an ‘80s thing…B horror was so big back then.) I’ve also said that there’s different levels to horror enjoyment. I like to laugh during horror movies. I like to be grossed out and entertained. I like those moments of shock and awe that make you think, “No way! They did NOT just go there!”
Here we have the classic story of a madman who has escaped his prison/hospital. This time, it’s a serial killer. He has broken free and has sworn vengeance to the man who dropped out on his case. That man is now a congressman. And the first three names on the cast list up there, those are his kids. So, a serial killer is stalking the congressman’s kids for revenge.
The opening scene is a doctor in session with a patient, going over the horrible casefile of the patient’s dastardly acts. This is where the patient, Charles Mason (yes Mason, not Manson) escapes. This was a pretty good scene and gave me hope. But, it was quickly dashed.
The acting is not what I would call B-rate. At all. I’m going to say C-rate, even wickedly amateur. There were times it was truly hard to keep watching. Other times, it was almost B-rate. The plot was full of tidbits from other horror movies and happenings. For instance:
There was a “Carrie” element because there was what was meant to be an intense bullying situation. A character named Barbie is the bully of one of the congressman’s kids.
Barbie also lives in the congressman’s old house. This could be compared to Halloween or even to the Manson killings because on the first night (the Tate murders), they went to the former house of Terry Melcher, a guy that Manson had become angry with and wanted to teach him a lesson. The killers did not know at the time that Melcher no longer lived there.
At one point, our killer lays out a dress (or nightie) for Barbie to put on. She doesn’t. Soon, she is the target of his rage. This is similar to a scene from the movie “Copycat” where a serial killer does the same thing to his intended victim.
As you watch, IF you watch, you’ll notice this kind of parallel happening frequently.
The sound is poorly done, as the background noise is right on top of the dialogue like there is no distinction between what’s going on in the background and what’s going on in the foreground taking up the majority of the shot.
They try to make some gory FINAL shots but we get very little of the gore in action as the kills happen. The budget was obviously lower than low, like weekend family fun filming kind of low, because the coroner holds up an actual Ziploc labeled baggie with “body parts” in it. Seriously? Don’t you think an off-brand would have been better?? Then it would have just been a plain, clear plastic bag.
You can’t see the killer at all until the end and even then, the reveal isn’t much. The lighting is very poor at times making the film hard to see on screen.
The most focused on part of the whole movie and what seemed to be the culmination that we had built to was the rape of one of the daughters, the oldest. This is truly one of the most awkward rape scenes in a movie that I have ever seen. The only thing it would be good for would be some sort of sick comedy influence in the movie.
All of the real gore that is available in the movie happens at the end. And the ending wasn’t bad but, it wasn’t great either. The gore isn’t total cheese but, it’s not what we hope for in B movies.
This was definitely a movie where I was checking the counter about every ten minutes or so. There are times the actors can’t even keep straight faces while acting. The camera zooms in on a “dead body” but they zoom so close that you see the eyelashes moving. There are times when the filming is all rough and bumpy and out of focus.
It was just a difficult movie to watch. Although, I did laugh a couple of times, though I don’t know if the makers intended for laughter.
I can’t even bring myself to recommend this to…well, anyone. Not unless you’re having a horrible horror movie night or something like that. This could headline in a showing like that.
If you get the chance to see this…pass.
I just watched this today. While I don’t think it will be a revered classic horror film like Psycho or The Shining, it was still a good enough B-rate horror film that I wanted to watch it all the way through. (Any time I’m checking the counter to see how long it has left or I feel like it will never end and I’m just waiting for it to be over, that’s never a good sign.)
The dark humor mixed with sarcasm truly is right up my alley. It chocked full of funny one liners and for all you breast lovers, tons of gratuitous boob shots. There were a couple spots where I almost thought this was a horror “adult” movie.
There’s also a good amount of gore and the blood flows almost non-stop. I really liked some of the special effects makeup and masks, the creation of evil, I guess you could say. Also, don’t count on any “real” looking blood splatter or things along those lines.
However, this movie is promoted as a horror comedy and there was definitely a clear tone of that here. Again, if you can’t take horror and comedy put together, well then, I just don’t know what is wrong with you. If you truly think about it, there’s a little comedy in a number of horror films that aren’t marketed as comedies at all. (Example: Jack Torrance freaking out on his wife in The Shining. The scene where he catches her reading “all work and no play…” and goes completely maniacal on her while she’s holding the baseball bat. The way he imitates her and threatens her is funny, I’m sorry, it just is. And the fact that he winds up kissing a rotted, waterlogged dead woman…well, let’s just say I see humor in that as well. See what happens when you think it’s smart to kiss a random naked chick in a supposedly empty hotel room while you’re married???)
The whole thing about horror is that you can’t take it so seriously. It’s not a drama. It’s not supposed to make you cry and contemplate life and it’s meaning or your worth as a human being. It’s designed to shock, to disgust, to entertain, and horrify. It’s supposed to draw you in and then make you leap back in your seat, letting out an “Oh!” or a “No way dude, no f&*#ing way!”
There are definitely a couple of those moments in this film.
I really think only true horror fans or gore fans are going to be okay with this movie. Those of us who don’t mind B and C-rate films to get our horror fix will definitely be able to watch this. I happen to like a lot of B-rate horror films that I know so many people think are just trash. (Motel Hell is one of them.) I don’t care that it’s not A-List. All I want is to be entertained with death, blood, gore, suspense, shock and awe…that kind of stuff.
Any regular movie goer, a regular movie watcher that ISN’T into horror, this is not for you.
Also, there are A LOT of boobs. A lot. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t really bother me because it’s almost a prerequisite for horror. (We all know that sex leads to death in horror movies, the virgin almost always survives, etc.) So, I actually tend to expect it in most films. But I will say, if it makes you uncomfortable or squeamish, there are going to be some parts that are just not your kind of thing.
And some really nasty stuff happens in this movie so, don’t be thinking this is going to be one of those movies that just “implies” things. They outright give it to you. Raw.
All in all, while it wouldn’t be on my list to watch again anytime soon, I still was entertained with this film. There’s definitely some scenes that are going to stick in my mind, which filmmakers always want. But there were also some parts that reminded me as I watched that it was a B-rate horror film. But, like I said, B-rate doesn’t mean Bad.
Written and directed by Wes Craven, this is truly a VERY strange film. In it, we have a boy named Fool (I’m very serious, I’m not good enough to make this up) whose family is being evicted for being three days late with the rent. The landlords turn out to be owners of many different properties around town, so they have money. Fool gets talked into breaking into the landlord’s house with two adult, yet very stupid, men in order to steal a gold coin collection they are known to have. Easy in and out job, right?
No. This is Wes Craven we’re talking about.
While in the house, Fool discovers that these landlords are not the typical neighborhood couple. Frankly, they are an incestuous brother/sister couple that keep kidnapped and mutilated people in the cellar. Some of the victims are salesmen, some boys the couple had kidnapped, etc. All men though. They are searching for the perfect boychild. They DO have the gold coins though. There’s also a girl, Alice, who does NOT live in the cellar but has her own room. She is horribly abused and never gets to leave the house. But, the alternative seems to be getting your tongue cut out or limbs cut off and being tossed into the cellar so, choice made I suppose.
The two men that break into the house with Fool don’t make it.
Fool does, however, build a bond with not only Alice but a boy named Roach (aptly named because he can get out of the cellar and move around the house through the walls). After a whirlwind of trouble and trauma, Fool is able to escape but, Alice is too afraid and ends up getting left behind.
But, Fool makes a promise to go back for her. He formulates a plan and slyly works his way back into the house unbeknownst to the couple. He distracted them by calling the police on them for child-abuse. This type of call takes a while to investigate so, he had a little time. He breaks Alice free and they are almost caught several times. They seek what refuge they can in the cellar and walls of the house.
Through some quick thought and slippery manipulation, they end up defeating the couple and saving almost all the people in the cellar. Fool saves Alice and also ends up with enough money to pay the rent.
Of course, there is more to the story than that. But I don’t want to tell you EVERYTHING. Depending on where you look on the internet this is listed as a horror/comedy or horror/thriller. Honestly, I think it falls somewhere in between. It wasn’t really funny enough to make me actually laugh but, there was definitely a slight air of sarcasm throughout the whole thing.
I will say the creep factor was pretty good. I didn’t think the “people under the stairs” were all that creepy but, hey, I wasn’t there. I thought the couple were the two weirdest and creepiest characters. I mean, talk about all kinds of whacked out. And they’ve got this obsession with “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Plus, like truly devoted kidnappers and abusers, these people have padlocks on every door, every window, they have a metal door that looks like it’s for a bomb shelter as their back door. Totally crazy people. Oh, and the husband/brother (eewww), when he gets really pissed and wants to kill someone, dresses up in a full body S&M black vinyl suit that, when all the pieces are put on, covers him head to toe. (I swear, I DO NOT want to what else they use that suit for, yuck!)
The movie was still entertaining. I wasn’t watching the clock counter wondering when it was going to be over. That’s always a plus. I could even watch it again probably, if I was with someone who hadn’t seen it. But, when I saw that comedy was in the description, I kind of expected it to be funnier. But, that’s okay. I still enjoyed it. I think Wes Craven fans would like it. I think general horror fans would think it was okay and entertaining. As long as you aren’t expecting something like true horror. This isn’t really like that. It’s not full comedy or satirical but, it’s not what I would call full on horror either. Like I said, it’s somewhere in between.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Writing Credits (in alphabetical order):
Herschell Gordon Lewis
This film was entertaining to watch. I found it to be really humorous but gory at the same time. It had a hilarious opening and it was full of comedic value. I watched it alone and I was laughing my ass off. It’s actually a horror anthology so, we have four separate stories.
The opening catches you right away. It’s got a great catchy little tune and is a silly “give us horror and gore” kind of song. I really liked it.
It was like the horror genre slammed into films like Clerks or the Naked Gun movies. It has the same kind of comedy as the Naked Gun movies and is similar in filming and acting to Clerks (I may be showing my age here with those examples but, oh well, they fit).
The first one is absolutely over-the-top hysterical. The second, much more tragic and serious. The third tale was creepy and disgusting and the fourth was a full culmination of humor, gore and horror.
I found the stories to be fairly entertaining and like I said, definitely funny. The gore is not really shocking and is definitely not scary but, it IS funny and there is a good amount of blood and guts, for those of us who like that stuff.
There’s an older gentleman that acts as an introduction giver of sorts and he’s great. I really liked him. He made me laugh, not only with the way he talks but, with the mannerisms that he displayed as well. He’s actually one of the directors, Mr. Lewis. Great addition to the film.
I will point out for those who haven’t seen it that there is nudity in the fourth story and just a slight glimpse on camera in the third, although what you see in the third story…well, nevermind. Now, that kind of thing doesn’t bother me and for the most part, it’s kind of expected in most slasher films and those horror films that are particularly gory. So, it’s not a big deal to me. But, IF it bothers you, then you might want to skip the fourth story, although I feel that you would be missing out if you did so. So, try to keep an open mind.
I think these people had fun with making this film. I think the writers were funny and inventive. I think the actors really enjoyed their roles and got into the idea of what they were creating. And I think the filmmakers really appreciated that. I thought the whole thing was really a good time. I would show this kind of film at a friendly slasher and gore movie marathon or something like that. Something where you can enjoy the humor and still have the horror story and the blood and gore. It would be like a little mini film festival type of movie to me. So, I DO think that slasher fans would like this if you can dig the comedy that’s incorporated. If you can’t do horror humor then, well, I’m sorry.
This was an interesting find. A complicated story of abuse, murder, psychiatric failures and frankly, a really smart dog also makes a showing. This unfortunately, is another one of those movies where so much happens and it’s all so intricately intertwined that I can’t tell you much about detail about what happens. However, I can give you a little background as to possibly spark your curiosity.
We have a guy named Russell Spivey, a successful yet tormented police profiler who, despite his banner track record as a profiler, cannot seem to get his own demons under control. He’s tortured by emotional pain. He’s obsessive compulsive AND a raging alcoholic. Truly. This guy is swimming in a bottle on a nightly basis.
Still, he is asked to join the investigation of a serial killer case. Like a lot of serial killers, this one also feels the need to prove he’s smarter than the police and taunts Spivey relentlessly. This not only makes the case personal to start with but, it also feeds the horrible alcohol addiction that permeates his evenings.
This killer also does everything he can to get under Spivey’s skin, even things you would think are unimaginable.
I will say that I figured the movie out very early on, then second guessed myself (because they were good at making the movie) and finally went back to my original suspect. What I didn’t figure out was the whole “how” of the reveal. Some might, others might not. But it was a good way to keep you on your toes through the movie.
There’s also a lot of Shakespeare references in this film which, isn’t really my thing but, some people dig it. I just feel like it hasn’t been the Elizabethan era for over 400 years…the language has evolved. It does add an air of creepiness and psychopathy, I do admit that.
Overall, I thought the film was pretty good. I could see recommending this to people who like suspense/thriller type movies.
This is a classic George A. Romero film. This was a film that really got to the core of the younger generation at the time. It was considered to be incredibly horrific and gory for the time.
The whole plot of the movie is so simple it’s genius, similar to Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat” in that in this film the majority of the film takes place in one location, a farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere.
Seven people are holed up in this house as the whole area and neighboring towns are being taken over by flesh-eating zombies. The film takes place over approximately a twenty four hour period.
It presents the classic antagonistic situation of a bunch of strangers forced to work together to survive an incredible crisis. Naturally, in high stress situations, some people will excel and some will fall apart. It’s really a fascinating way to study human behavior and response to stress. It’s been in so many other movies…Cube, Lifeboat, Saw II, just to name a few right off the top of my head. It’s also the entire premise for reality shows such as Survivor or Big Brother. The idea that you put a bunch of strangers in a high stress situation and then continue to unleash hellish things on them causing their stress level to rise and inevitably causing some to break DOES make for interesting viewing at times. It’s all about the human psyche and how much an individual can take and what they do with that.
In this film there are a number of ways that the crisis affects people. One gal becomes almost catatonic for the majority of the movie, like she just can’t believe what’s happening. There’s a man who immediately snaps into survival mode and takes charge, boarding the windows and continuing to problem solve as the film goes on. And yet another man, who is middle-aged and stubborn and thinks that anger and hiding are the best defense against zombies. Now, we have one man being completely logical and another completely irrational. We have a woman barely functioning. We also have two teens (who aren’t very bright) and the wife and daughter of the angry genius. And the daughter has been injured by zombies.
So, everyone is in this house and one by one, or two or three, they try to defend themselves, outsmart or run away from these zombies.
Now, for the time period of when this movie was made, Romero really put together something special. He wanted to push the envelope just like Hitchcock tried to so often do. Nobody was expecting to see the content of this movie and interestingly, when it was released, it was marketed towards young people…early teens and younger. The film shows depictions of the zombies actually feasting on what we are to believe is human flesh. That is by far the best scene of the whole movie. The second best would be the end. Both scenes are wonderfully chilling in every way that a horror fan loves.
I have to say, any horror film fan MUST see this movie. Not seeing this film would be like not having ever seen Psycho. It’s not only a classic but, it was somewhat revolutionary. It’s a required addition to anyone’s horror collection.