Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Reviews
The first segment involves a mummy. It has the most big named actors of any of the segments and is probably the scariest of the three stories. It's okay, but nothing special.
The second segment is a bit boring, despite being written by Stephen King and George Romero. It involves an evil cat and it really isn't that interesting until the fantastic gore scene at the end. The weakest story in my opinion.
The last segment is the cheesiest by far. It has some cool monster effects and gore, but relies too heavily on a twist ending you can already see coming. It isn't that great, but the cheese factor is high and there's something about rubber suit monsters that is awesome to see in movies.
Overall, Tales from the Darkside as a whole is like the sum of all its part. Each story is okay, but nothing you need to go out of your way to see. There's nothing terrible about the movie, but nothing special about it either. Though, if you want to see an anthology horror movie then this is one of the better ones to recommend.
It was entertaining enough, though that's not saying much from me. I'm easily entertained. But it was thoroughly unimpressive, with cheesy monsters and too-conclusive endings. The ending to the "framing" story of the boy boring. All in all, it showed potential but squandered and followed through too expectedly to be at all successful.
Lot 249: A segment that proposes a truly horrifying situation; Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater and Julianne Moore all simultaneously forgetting how to act. They all seem to be competing to have the most apathetic reaction to being killed by a mummy.
Cat From Hell: Preceded by "Cat's Eye" and concluded with "Sleepwalkers", this is the middle instalment of Stephen King's "Cats Are Not Scary" trilogy. A hitman is hired by an old man to kill an evil cat. It's as hard to take seriously as the filmmakers did.
Lover's Vow: The most well-made segment that is all but ruined by the hilarious creature effects.
Overall: The filmmakers truly did not know the power of the darkside.
First tale see's a man use a 3000 year old mummy to kill a few select people (an adaptation of a Arthur Conan Doyle short). Not a bad story and handled reasonably well with good makeup on the mummy and some bloody deaths dealt out. Big cast names in this story with Buscemi and Christian Slater and a nice ending make this tale the second best of the three.
Second tale is an adaptation of a Stephen King story and the weakest of the three, an old man is sure he is cursed by a cat which is trying to kill him after it supposedly killed his sister. The reason behind this being the old mans pharmaceutical company killed many thousands of cats in testing a new drug. Pretty lame story really which isn't particularly spooky in the slightest. The cat is obviously some sort of demon which is cool and this is shown in the way it kills the hitman who has been hired to get rid of the cat, I just think it could of been more scary or eerie basically.
Third and final tale stars James Remar and is about a guy who witnesses the death of a man by a gargoyle type creature. The creature lets the witness live if he promises not to tell anyone of what he saw. Easily the best story even though its not explained too well and leaves you asking various questions by the end. Some great makeup and effects in the finale as we see a transformation similar to finale in 'The Fly' with Jeff Goldblum, really nicely done without the use of CGI, no surprise with Dick Smith being involved.
Overall not as good as 'Twilight Zone: the Movie' and a bit more adult with its content, more blood 'n' gore on show and some creepy monsters lend itself to some light scares. Still two of the stories are solid and quite sinister which I'm sure fans will enjoy if you like these type of horror anthologies. The overall quality just doesn't quite match the Twilight Zone standard that raised the bar originally.
The film in question follows three individual stories; Lot 249, Cat from Hell, and Lover's Vow. These three segments are all orientated around a wraparound story which focuses on a little boy being held captive by a middle aged woman who intends on roasting and serving him at a dinner party. In order to prolong the wait for him being put in the oven, young Timmy reads short horror stories to Betty, the woman who has imprisoned him. This is where the individual stories are incorporated into the film.
The first segment, Lot 249, focuses on an ancient mummy being resurrected from the dead and participating in a killing spree. Initially, this story is rather slow but once the resurrection takes place, some considerably grisly killings occur that you can't help but cringe at. This is followed by an interesting series of events which ultimately leads to a rather bleak ending, in a typical horror anthology fashion. Lot 249 has a strong cast in the form of Christian Slater, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi in which the slow opening can be forgiven through their performances. The atmosphere present throughout this piece is significantly unnerving which makes the conclusion come across as being even more chilling.
The second segment, Cat from Hell, focuses on the assassination of an evil cat with a mysteriously murderous past. This story was written by Stephen King and adapted for screen by George A Romero, the two minds behind the original concept for Creepshow. This story was initially going to be featured in Creepshow 2 but due to issues with financing and the budget of the film, it was scrapped. Although this piece has a slow, nonlinear structure, an interesting eerie atmosphere is featured throughout and has a similar feel to film noir, only a killer cat is featured as opposed to a femme fatale with a pistol. In comparison to the cast of Lot 249, Cat from Hell mainly focuses on the characters portrayed by David Johansen and William Hickey. Halston, played by Johansen, has an irritating factor to his character which makes him somewhat unlikeable and therefore, partially ruins this segment. Like with Halston, William Hickey's character, Drogan, also has an irritating factor to his character which also makes him somewhat unlikeable. Combining these two characters together into one episode results in the whole piece not being as strong as potential would allow. However, the reoccurring bleak endings throughout the film make this particular story worth watching.
The third and final segment, Lover's Vow, is by far the most powerful story featured in the film. The storyline focuses on a man falling in love with a woman who isn't what she seems. The beginning and the end of the segment presents itself as being of the horror genre but throughout the middle of this piece, it's a romantic drama. The codes and conventions of the romance genre make this piece somewhat addictive to watch as you feel compelled to follow the relationship of the characters of Preston and Carola. However, this makes the conclusion of the segment all the more heart-breaking. Whilst Tales from the Darkside: The Movie doesn't always take itself seriously, Lover's Vow is definitely the darkest piece as explores the deepest of human emotion. Not only this, but the ending is genuinely creepy and is enough to send shivers down your spine.
Overall, I feel that Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a highly underrated horror film that's due more credit than it receives. Although it isn't as mainstream as the original Creepshow films, it could be argued that Tales from the Darkside is a stronger film in terms of narrative and acting in comparison to the second Creepshow film.
Make sure to check this one out (: