Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15 - Movie 2

After successfully bringing H.P. Lovecraft to the screen with Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986), Stuart Gordon returned to Lovecraft ten years later with Castle Freak (1995). Starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, it's more suggested by the story The Outsider than an actual adaptation.
A family travels to Italy to inspect the 12th century castle they've just inherited. The family is dealing with some internal difficulties at the same time. The husband and wife are estranged do to a drunk driving accident that the husband was responsible for which caused the death of their son and the blindness of their daughter. Trouble of another kind awaits them in the castle in the form of the titular character, the hidden son of the woman who previously owned the castle. Abused, deranged, and disfigured, this creature commits a number of atrocities within the walls of the castle, and because of his secret nature, the blame falls on the emotionally crumbling father.

It sounds more psychologically rich than it actually is. In reality it's like a carnival funhouse, or one of those haunted attractions that spring up at this time of year, the kind filled with bloody body parts, and some guy dressed up like a clown or hillbilly who chases you through it. It takes itself too seriously to be fun, and the violence is of the type that's really unpleasant, which also keeps it from being fun. The situation itself is really too silly to be taken so seriously either. There are a whole bunch of questions that are never addressed, because there's no way they could be in a way that is satisfying. It's not really worth seeking out.

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