Plotline: The main character's wife is undergoing some strange and experimental psychotherapy treatment in the hopes of fixing her otherwise harrowed mental state. When his daughter returns home from a visit with her, her back covered in bruises, he becomes irate and confronts the man running the psychotherapeutic get-away. Suddenly, family members start dying, some of whose deaths are witnessed by his daughter. And they seem to be getting killed by strange deformed children. He spends the movie trying to unravel this bizarre mystery.
Scariness factor: Creepy--Cronenberg does a nice job with colors and freaky-looking deformed children.
Gross-Out Factor: Lots of Hollywood-red blood, and some bludgeoning. Nothing TOO outrageous though.
Complaints: I can't really think of too many. There were some cave-ins of logic, but nothing too horrible, actually.
High Points: I find that you can rarely go wrong with a Cronenberg horror flick--at worst, they're at least interesting food for thought. And this one was no exception--clearly it was intended as a commentary on the emergence of all the new-agey psychotherapy floating around in the '70s *SPOILER ALERT: especially given that the murderous children end up being embodiments of the mother's rage (she gives birth to her own anger--how much more clear of a commentary could he give us?). /END SPOILER He also does a very good job with the mood of this movie--the children are creepy, even in close-ups (often, movie-makers err when it comes to this--creepy makeup looks good from far-away but not in close-ups; but the children are creepy through and through). He has a very Kubrick sense of color in this movie, which is also jarring and creepy. The acting, while a bit hammy, is pretty damn good (particularly the little girl), and the pacing plunges forward without much lull throughout.
Overall: All in all, I enjoyed this movie quite a bit--it was much better than I'd expected. Definitely worth checking out this Halloween season for a few good scares.
Labels: A movies