Nightmares - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nightmares Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 24, 2013
Nightmares is a well constructed anthology horror film that is very well acted and directed by Joseph Sargent. The stories are pretty entertaining and are fairly creepy in their tone and atmosphere. This is a far different anthology than Creepshow and it works well enough to keep the horror viewer entertained throughout due to its very good stories and immaculate directing. Some stories are a bit too short, and I think that the second one in particular could have been longer as I felt; there was a lot to offer. However despite this, this is a good film that ranks up there among the best horror anthologies. Like I said, this could have been a better movie, and it had the potential of being a memorable feature, but it offers only good entertainment that had plenty of potential to overcome its weaknesses. The stories are good, but there are things that could have been improved upon. However for what it is, this is a worthwhile anthology that is better than say Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, and follows the string of anthology films that has graced the genre of the 1980's. Of course Creepshow is a far better film, but Nightmares still gives you a great time for its hour and a half runtime despite its slightly underdeveloped ideas. You can just imagine how good this one could have been if the script would have been rewritten a few times. This is a film worth seeing for what it is, and it does manage to be quite good even if it is not memorable in the long run.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
I saw most of this on TV one day a long time ago, I got to see the great part with Emilio Estevez and the video arcade! It was so cool, but I want to see the rest of the movie!
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2007
Pretty much a hot chick quits smoking, Emilio Estevez gets abducted by a video game, Lance Hendrixson kills satans truck with holy water and a family gets terrorized by the demon rodent. A lot like outer limits. Pretty fun.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
A quartet of tales with a Nightmare theme!

Terror in Topanga - standard "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" fare about a motorist on an empty country road, and an escaped mental patient.

The Bishop of Battle - screams 1980's decade with a young Emilio Estevez hooked on a video arcade game which gets progressively harder. This was my favorite tale; worth the price of the movie alone.

The Benediction - forgettable tale about a priest being chased by an evil black truck.

Night of the Rat - a silly tale about a family being terrorized by a giant rat; cool ending.

I wish this anthology had a framing story.
½ November 14, 2008
Emilio Estevez in "The Bishop Of Battle" as a suburban acrade addict, blasting "Black Flag" and "Fear" on his head phones until he is sucked fabled into the 13th level of the game. That's most of why you should watch "Nightmares", which is somewhere between "Creepshow" and "Tales From The Darkside".

The other story here worth seeing is "Night Of The Rat" about the most hilariously gigantic and evil rat, ever to grace cinema, the legendary "Devil Rat" as it cleverly named, which terrorizes a small family.

The other two stories, "Terror In Topanga", which is only mildly funny if youve ever lived in the valley, because Topnaga Canyon is one the least threatening places on earth. Then there's "Benediction" which is about a priest bieng chased by a truck, also possibly driven by the devil or something. There is one scene where truck comes out of the earth, that looks eerily real, but aside from that it's pretty worthless.

I like anthology films, like this, even the bad ones, between "Bishop Of Battle" and "Night Of The Rat", there's just enough laughs (zero scares), to make this one worth seeing.

Also oddly no framing story, you just get 1-2-3-4 the end. Makes the whole thing feel incomplete.
February 9, 2007
Nightmares is a great 1983 film with 4 great tales of horror. This is another underrated film of the 1980s. Great actors like Emilio Estevez, Lance Henriksen, Richard Masur, and Verinica Cartwright star in this classic.
March 29, 2015
When I was a kid the story about the giant rat really did give me nightmares.
½ December 13, 2014
It's sports a talented cast but unfortunately everyone's off. The stories are average and the nightmares are acceptable. The best story was "Bishop of Battle", which was video game themed and had Emilio Estevez. Overall its an average piece of horror and can be worth the watch, but there are better alternatives.
½ June 12, 2014
A decent but slightly uneven (and a tad derivative) anthology of scary tales. What makes it worthwhile are the middle stories. Chapter two is the Bishop of Battle with Emilio Estevez,.a cautionary tale of excess centering around a video game arcade. Chapter three stars Lance Henriksen as a disillusioned priest literally playing chicken with the devil. The first and last vignettes are probably the weakest. In fact, the final story feels very out of place with the rest. Surprisingly hard to get your hands on a copy, if you can do so, it's entertaining, completely 80's, popcorn horror.
October 25, 2012
I had difficulty finishing this film. The POV shot were annoying, and all the kills were predictable.
November 20, 2010
These early 80's horror films are some of the best in the genre. Despite lousy effects and poor acting I love this stuff to death. The video game portion is definately my favorite part of this movie. Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, the Twilight get the picture. Very Cool.
December 17, 2007
Pretty lame quad of "terror" stories.

Smoker meets killer and quits smoking, yeah right, for about 30 minutes.

A video arcade (remember those?) player (Emilio Estevez) beats the 13th level of a game, and well, you can guess what happens.

A priest loses his faith and meets the Chevy pickup truck from hell -- it actually drives underground.

A man (Richard Masur) fights ratzilla -- horrible unspecial effects that make scifi movies of the 50's look high tech.

Favorite scene: Emilio rocking to a huge BRICK tape playing walkman hooked to his hip -- I'm amazed he could keep his balance with an extra 40 lbs. hanging on his side.
½ April 9, 2007
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Christina Raines, Lance Henriksen, Richard Masur, Veronica Cartwright, Clare Nono, Bridgette Andersen, and James Tolkan
Director: Joseph Sargent

"Nightmares" is a anthology horror movie dating from the early 1980s about which I had very fond memories.The second tale--"The Bishop of Battle"--is one that's stayed with me for the nearly 25 years since I first saw it.

Usually, one should stay away from films watched as a youngster about which one has vague but very fond memories. Thankfully, watching "Nightmares" again wasn't an "innocense of youth"-destroying experience. It's never going to make anyone's Top 100 Movies list, but it's not a bad collection of horror shorts. The segments are all moodily filmed, decently acted, and furnished with nifty plot-twists and shock endings.

In fact, the four tales still put me in mind of some or Ray Bradbury's best fiction, just like they did Back In the Day.

First up, we have "Terror in Topanga", a cautionary tale about the dangers of smoking. It centers on a woman (Raines) who is so desperate for cigarettes she heads outs to buy a pack despite the warnings of a murderous maniac on the loose. It's a fairly straight-forward retelling of a campfire spook-standard, but superior acting, excellent cinematography, and expert use of sound and musical score makes it a very effective one. The last minute twists are also well executed. Seven of Ten Tomatoes for this one.

Second, we have the very best of the bunch. In "The Bishop of Battle", videogame junkie JJ (Estevez) becomes obsessed with beating a virtually unbeatable arcade game... with consequences far more extreme than he could have imagined. It may not be the scariest of the stories, but it's definately the most unusual. Also, for the 40-somethings in the audience, it will invoke all sorts of teenage nostalgia. The story is also bouyed by fine performances by the cast members, great cinematography, and some interesting special effects. Eight of Ten Tomatoes for "The Bishop of Battle."

The third story, "The Benediction", is the second best tale in the anthology, and it's by far the scariest. It focuses on a priest who has lost his faith (Henriksen) and who ends up in a race for his very soul with a demonic monster truck. It sounds goofy, but strong visuals--such as when the truck bursts forth from the desert floor--and more expert use of sound, music, and a top-notch performance from Henriksen keep the horror factor high. Seven of Ten Tomatoes for "The Benediction".

The fourth and final tale, "Night of the Rat", sees a suburban family (Masur, Cartwright, and Andersen) menaced by a giant demon rat with psychic powers. I can't figure out whether this tale was intended as funny, or whether it's just so dumb that it had me laughing. (The scene with Masur blasting away at the rat to "Louie Louie" makes me think it was intended as humorous... but it barely manages to rise to the level of silly.) The lead actors in the segment all do very good jobs, and the superior soundtrack continues to elevate the proceedings, but it's still not enough to make this pig look like a princess. It's a miserable finale to another otherwise excellent film. Four of Ten Stars.

"Nightmares" is an underappreciated anthology horror picture that lovers of such films would be well-served in seeking out. Its television origins have left it in an undeserved obscurity.
July 1, 2006
Starring: Christina Raines, Emilio Estevez, Lance Henriksen, Richard Masur, Veronica Cartwright, and Albert Hague.
Directed by Joseph Sargent.
Written by Jeffrey Bloom and Christopher Crowe.
Rated [b]R[/b] (for strong horror violence, some language and sexual content).
Running time approximately 1 hour 39 minutes.

Joseph Sargent's [i]Nightmares[/i] is a disappointing horror anthology. The first of the four segments is good, but lacks punch. The second involves an overacting Emilio Estevez and some really bad special effects. The third: Lance Henriksen being chased by a demon-possessed pickup truck. The fourth, though it ends very badly (well, maybe not badly, but quite oddly), is the most frightening and satisfying of them all. The film as a whole, though, belongs on television only. For very late nights. Very late. Late.

[i]Terror in Topanga[/i] - [b]**[/b]
[i]The Bishop of Battles[/i] - [b]*[/b]
[i]The Benediction[/i] - [b]*[/b]
[i]Night of the Rat[/i] - [b]**1/2[/b]

[b]*1/2 (out of ****) C-[/b]
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