|Star:||Laura Regan, Marc Blucas, Dagmara Dominczyk, Ethan Embry|
|Cert / Year:||15 - R / 2002|
After witnessing the horrific and traumatic suicide of her best friend from childhood, psychology graduate Julia Lund (Laura Regan), starts having nightmares again (which she hasn't had since she was a child) and gradually comes to the startling realization that everything which scared her as a child could be real. What makes matters worse is the fact that 'They' might be coming back to get her...
Leaden, slow moving and wastes some good potential by providing an uninspired and derivative film. Not particularly exciting or scary as the 'thrills' come few and far between. There is little hook and nothing to really grab you and hold you for the length of the film. Sure, there are a couple of good 'jump' moments, but they are unfulfilled and ultimately come to nothing I am afraid, as the film is inconsistent and owes too much to other genre movies, including Darkness Falls and Mimic. Unfortunately, any good ideas that are in the mix are lost in the ensuing mess. Some of the facets are very good and work rather well elsewhere but this is sloppy filmmaking and the ending is an anti-climax which leaves you feeling cheated and wondering exactly why you endured the film. It is hard to believe that They is directed by the same person who brought us The Hitcher which judging by this production must have been a sheer fluke. The 'alternate ending' on the disc is far better than the one offered and ties in with some of what goes earlier in the film (telephone messages etc.) whereas the rest of the film ignores much of what it sets out earlier and rambles off to dumbass-ville. Most horro fans will have to admit, that they have see scarier episodes of Sesame Street and this film begs the question 'why did Wes Craven put his name to this turkey?'. Craven's judgement seems to be impaired thesedays, as he is attaching his name to some awful horror productions, what with Dracula 2000 / 2001 and now this, you just wonder if he is passed it in terms of horror cinema. The night terror angle is a little ill informed and goes nowhere but what probably thrown into the mix as a tip of the hat Craven and his work. The 'what lurks in the dark' theme has been done to death many times before and the dark closet / cupboard creeping open so a bogeyman can get you doesn't work anymore and is mind numbingly predictable and quite frankly boring.
The direction is dull and formulaic, allowing itself to follow numerous cliches and offering little to sate the hunger of scare hungry or fright fans. There are a couple of moderately interesting moments which may spark a jump from the more sensitive viewer, provided they haven't switched off or fallen asleep by that point. There is such a lot of wasted potential here and with Wes Craven producing it you do expect a lot more than this dull offering, can offer.
A bland and trite affair hich is merely a mixture of other horror film elements portrayed by a cast of relative unknowns who have an uncanny resemblence to wood. Marc Blucas, former Buffy beau couldn't act whn he was in the Buffy series, and guess what.... he still can't act for toffee. Laura Regan is too pathetic for words, terrible thin and too scrawny and delicate looking by far to portray a strong heroine character as she is utterly unconvincing. The remaining cast are a bundle of easily forgettable acting students who mainly have little or no talent whatsoever although I will reserve judgement on Dagmara Dominczyk as she may have a modicum of talent even if it is well buried here.
Some of the effects look too CGI for my liking, although a couple of them worked quite well, but most of them have been done before so bring nothing new to the fray. You can't escape the feeling that you have seen all this before and to be honest you have, in other films and that is rather dissappointing for a 'new horror' film. The direction isn't particuarly stylish or interesting, relying upon other directors' work as it mimics some scenes from other films. A poor attempt at horror and the slow pacing makes this a bit hard going at times especially as there is no flow or atmosphere to the production and plenty of wasted potential. Too much time wasted on trying to cram in adapted shots from other films to have anything original. For my money, Darkness Falls is a better film with a similar story.
First comes the warning. Then comes the mark. Then comes the terror.
|2.35:1 Anamorphic||Bit grainy and the darks bleed a little in places, but not horrendous|
|Dolby 5.1||Not bad but nothing exciting, the soundscaping lacked real punch|
|Alternate ending - Superior to the one presented in the film|
|Not a very good presentation and the colours bleed in dark areas which isn't good when so much of the film relies on the dark. On the whole a poor presentation to match an equally poor film|