movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched this with Parthena & John The Canadien around Halloween 2009.

HAIKU REVIEW: Satan’s trapped essence
reminds me of lime jello
swirling to its doom.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Spiritual toxic waste spill claims needless lives, breaks mirrors.

PEOPLE: Written & directed by John Carpenter (Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China, In The Mouth Of Madness, Starman, Christine, The Thing, Halloween, They Live). And don’t miss Alice Cooper’s (silent) role as “Street Schizo”.

QUIRKS: Spiritual/supernatural/religious horror.

VISUALS: Not spectacular, but there are a few moments that are extremely, extremely creepy if you saw this a bunch as a kid. There were moments I’d forgotten — like the mindless typing of “I live!” into the computer over and over — that instantly touched on creeped-out parts of my brain that had not been accessed for many years. The scars definitely remained.

SOUNDTRACK: Nothing notable other than the Alice Cooper song that shares the same title as the movie … But the audio of the “broadcasts” that Brian receives in his dreams [from the future, 1999] is sampled in the beginning of Marilyn Manson‘s Gary Numen/Tubeway Army cover song “Down In The Park”.

MORALS: Handle toxic waste with care!

BAD STUFF: The first 20 minutes just seemed like a bunch of random people saying a bunch of random spiritual/metaphysical bullshit that was supposed to cause you to be worried and scared.

This movie was NOWHERE NEAR as scary as I found it to be back in 1987:

I used to have to TRY to not think about the “future broadcast” parts of the movie. Now, they just seem like a silly device to try to get us to be more scared of the evil force, without having to show it actually be scary. Still a very creepy memory, though. I guess Marilyn Manson agreed, if he sampled it…

I had to move mirrors out of my room because of this movie. Now, it seems like there are only a few seconds of “scary mirror stuff”, and they just weren’t nearly as scary as they were back in 1987. I will be watching the horror movie “Mirrors” soon, to try to bring fear of mirrors back into my life.

This is part of why I tend to only want to watch “modern” movies that have come out in the last 20-30 years. I just think things lose their edge. What was scary or cutting-edge 20 yrs ago often isn’t today. There’s a reason I have no interest in old horror movies.

CONCLUSION: I always considered this one of the scariest horrors I’d ever watched as a kid. Unfortunately it did not stand the test of time.

This is a bit related to why I prefer newer movies over older movies, and would often rather watch a bad new movie than a good old movie.

This possibly only gets rated as high as I’m rating it due to nostalgia reasons. This scared the SHIT out of me, made me remove mirrors from my room, caused me to try not to think of parts of it when I went to sleep.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.3/5 stars, IMDB 6.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Go back in time and watch this movie when you’re 12.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Similar to other spiritual horrors, like The Exorcist, The Omen, Bless The Child, or even Dust Devil to some extent.


This is the type of metaphysical/spiritual/philosophical bullshit you have to swallow for the first 20 minutes of the movie:
Professor Edward Birack: “Let’s talk about our beliefs, and what we can learn about them. We believe nature is solid, and time a constant. Matter has substance and time a direction. There is truth in flesh and the solid ground. The wind may be invisible, but it’s real. Smoke, fire, water, light – they’re different! Not as to stone or steel, but they’re tangible. And we assume time is narrow because it is as a clock – one second is one second for everyone! Cause precedes effect – fruit rots, water flows downstream. We’re born, we age, we die. The reverse NEVER happens… None of this is true! Say goodbye to classical reality, because our logic collapses on the subatomic level… into ghosts and shadows.”
…basically, there’s a lot of justification that is basically trying to assign a psuedorational justification to why you should be scared, since the movie isn’t as scary as it wants to be.

This is one of the creepy things:
“Voice: This is not a dream… not a dream. We are using your brain’s electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation.”
–quote also sampled by Marilyn Manson

That extremely creepy scene would have worked better if they had related it to the events of the movie more, instead of randomly showing it at seemingly random intervals throughout the film.

COINCIDENCES: (Prince Of Darkness, Drag Me To Hell) 2 movies in 2 nights that are hell-themed horrors where people had things distributed unwillingly into their mouths.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Parthena really liked it. John The Canadien thought it was hilarious (?!?!?).

Mood: annoyed at Windows XP for sucking so much worse than Windows 2000 Advance Server
Music: ALL – Ratchet