Saturday, December 15, 2007

Castle Freak

I didn’t like this movie at all when I first saw it back in high school, but a combination of factors, including some surprising praise of it on various message boards by horror junkies, my own atrocious memory forgetting what had happened in it, and a frenzied scramble to get every last Stuart Gordon film available on DVD led me to give this one a second view. I really wish I hadn’t.

The story is basically the same as in Demons 3: The Ogre, as an American family goes to live in an old Italian castle, only to find that there’s a monster living deep within it. And of course, just like in Demons 3, the monster doesn’t actually break loose and attack anyone until way too late into the film. What we get instead is a parade of endless scenes of the family squabbling, occasionally interspersed with scenes of the monster rattling his chains down in the dungeon. It’s 90 minutes long, and doesn’t seem to have enough actual plot to cover an hour.

To be fair, the castle freak himself does look pretty badass, and the climax isn’t bad once it actually breaks free and comes at the family, but by then it’s just too little, too late. I’ve seen almost all of Stuart Gordon’s films, and this is by far his worst effort. To those people who fooled me into thinking this was worth a rewatch, congratulations, you got me. I hope you all get cancer.

Rating: ½ *

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