Sunday, October 25, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25 - Movie

I've always thought that Lewis Teague was an under appreciated director. "Cat's Eye" (1985) is probably not the film to base my argument around. Written for Drew Barrymore by Stephen King because he liked her performance in "Firestarter," "Cat's Eye" is an anthology movie containing three stories linked, pretty well actually, by a cat trying to make his way to a little girl in trouble. The first story, "Quitter's Inc." stars James Woods as a man determined to quit smoking, who enlists the aid of an organization with extreme methods which will almost certainly help him succeed. In "The Ledge" Robert Hays tries running off with mobster, Kenneth McMillan's wife. McMillan makes Hays a wager that he'll let him go, with money, and his wife, if he'll walk one complete lap around his high rise, on a five inch wide ledge seemingly a zillion stories above street level. In the final story, "The General" the cat makes it to Drew Barrymore's home, where it attempts to protect her from a small troll which lives in her wall and comes out at night to steal her breath. James Naughton plays her sympathetic dad, and Candy Clark plays her cat hating mother, determined to keep the cat out of their house, if not their lives.

The movie has a really good cast, is well written, has good special effects and over sized sets for the final story which also features a pretty cool looking troll. It's well made, and there's nothing really wrong with it, except one thing. It's not scary, not intense, not suspenseful, nothing. If you're afraid of heights, "The Ledge might make you a little woozy if you were to see this on the big screen, on a tv, not so much. The music by Alan Silvestri, which is not a bad score, just seems to work at cross purposes with the intent of the movie--if the intent was to make people feel uncomfortable, if not scared. "The General" is pretty much fluff, but the short stories which "Quitter's Inc." and "The Ledge" are based on are a pair of the finest early Stephen King stories, and should have been nail biters here at the very least. Instead there's a real feeling of wink, wink, nudge, nudge this is all made in good fun that pervades the movie, that feels very made for tv. It's just not done seriously enough to make it an effective movie.


Shawn Robare said...

That's one of the things about King. He never really seems to scare me all that much. Sometimes there's some tension and some suspense, but to me it's more about dread. He's so good at fleshing out his characters and having them be relate-able that you just don't want anything bad to happen to them.

I also think this flick has a nice bookend with his installment of the Tales From the Darkside anthology flick because that one features an evil cat (sort of.)

Stephen said...

I saw this one in the theater and remember liking it. The Smokers, Inc. one was classic, even if one could see the end coming.

Dane said...

That little troll has always given me the wiggins.