119 min., 1979
Written by Sandor Stern
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
It’s a classic…well no, not really
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So the movie begins with a flashback to someone (yes I know who it is, but if memory serves me they never actually say any of their names, so I won’t use them) killing his family while they sleep. After that we jump to present day where George (James Brolin) and Kathy (Margot Kidder) Lutz are looking at the Long Island house and are thinking about buying it. After a very brief talk about the killings that took place prior and how houses don’t hold memories, they decide to buy. They start moving in with their three kids (one of which can’t keep his balance to save his life) and strange things start to happen, from large amounts of flies and black goop in their toilets to missing money and obsessive building of fires (okay?).
The only good actor in this movie is Margot Kidder, and even she isn’t all that great. Most of the dialogue by everyone is spoken as if it’s being read from cue cards and there is very little emotion behind all of it. The only time there is any real emotion being portrayed; it’s usually in a very odd scene. One of the strangest is when they have a priest having an orgasm while praying (talk about a religious experience). It’s just completely out of place and dragged out way too long. As stated earlier, Margot is the only one that seems to really be trying to act. She does pretty well, but everyone else just pulls her down to their level and destroys her good performance. Now that’s a shitty cast, to do that to one of their fellow actors, shame on you.
The effects were pretty good, but that’s only because they were basic and simple effects that I could probably pull off. You have bleeding walls and stairs, well done, but nothing too complicated. A tree branch crashing into a window, black stuff bubbling in a toilet and a cross falling to the inverted position are the real extent of the effects and they are all done well enough, but nothing to rave about. The use of real flies is nice compared to the common need to CG them, but even that just doesn’t have much of an impact.
Now the story is based on “real” events, believe them or not, and they tried to go for the family dynamic and how the house is tearing them apart. Well…they failed. None of the family seems to give a crap about anyone else in the house (except the little girl and her damn dog) and that should have been the most important thing that the scriptwriter and the director should have paid attention to. If the characters don’t even care about each other, then how the hell are we supposed to give a shit about them?
For a classic, this movie just sucks. Again I understand the time and that I need to take that into consideration, but Dracula was made in the ’30s and it has aged better than this piece of crap. There is almost no reason to watch this and if you do, you should just fast forward to the good parts. Which are the religious orgasm (just ’cause it’s that funny), Margot’s boob shot, the few shots that are shot through the fire and…fuck it, just ignore the movie all together, it’s just not worth it.Have You Read...?