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Carl the Critic: Reviews "Re-Animator"
"Re-Animator" Movie Trailer (sorry for the poor quality)
Carl the Critic: Reviews "Re-Animator"
Experience/Expectations: H. P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite horror writers of all time. After writing such classic stories as "The Call of Cthulhu" he became more and more popular, and it was this that lead to the book series "Herbert West-Reanimator" which is a parody of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". At first I was iffy about watching the film adaptation of "Re-Animator" because it looked corny, and cheesy, like that cheddar cheese flavored popcorn. But then the angel who sits on my right shoulder (who often convinces me to not buy candy every time I enter a 7:11) scolded me for this. "Shame on you Carl! You shouldn't reject a film you've never seen or else you are like those noobes who criticize "Sucker Punch" without ever seeing it for themselves." And so I thought, I should at least give it a shot. So together lets talk about the story.
Story: The story is about a college student, named Dan, who rents his room to mysterious man named Herbert West, who studied neurology in Switzerland and therefore knows everything about bringing the dead back to life. Dan reluctantly agrees to help Herbert when he discovers that Herbert was able to bring a cat back to life twice using some glowing, puke-yellow liquid which he must inject into the back of the head, and got into trouble with the Dean of the college after trying to explain this, as well as why was the Dean's daughter at his house late that night to witness this herself. Things get out of hand and eventually there is a headless zombie who tries to steal Herbert's research and pass it off as his own as if any is going to believe a decapitated head, and a headless torso.
Critique: Despite the story synopsis above, the film is actually quite good. As mentioned in the expectations, it is a story that is suppose to be a parody of "Frankenstein", and that's exactly what this film feels like, a gory parody of a classic story set in the modern times (by modern I mean 1985). It's not a perfect film, if you are horror movie freak like me you might enjoy it but it is hard to ignore the minor flaws.
To start, let's talk about the music, which film blatantly copied from another horror film that came out 25 years earlier, and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The entire opening score of "Psycho" is played at the beginning and end credits of the film, even with a minor change in key signature, and a few notes switched around. To me this is like stealing a car, re-painting it a different color and selling it to a different owner.
Acting isn't great, but then again in a horror film it is rare to find acting that is great, especially if all the actors are new to cinema. Even "Insidious" had bad acting in it, but it was still a good horror film.
The plot twist is predictable, and the very ending of the film is a cliffhanger. This was what made H. P. Lovecraft hate theses books he wrote, because he hated cliffhanger endings. There's no resolution, and it is open to interpretation (I guess he would have hated "Inception" then).
And speaking of the book series, if you are one of those people who likes to compare the movie to the book (or in this case books), the only similarities you will find are that there is a Herbert West, and he can bring the dead back to life. There are other minor things here and there that are vaguely similar but over all the film is completely different from the book.
The film does do things right, such as special effects, make-up, camera angels, likable characters, descent story, and some good dialogue. If you can deal with the issues I have listed above, along with gore, nudity, and swearing, then "Re-Animator" is the film for you.
Overall: I decided to give this film two ratings depending on how you view yourself: If you are a horror movie freak, such as myself, I gave the film 8.7 out of 10. However for those you aren't horror movie freaks, but enjoy movies as cinematic experiences, I gave the film a 7.5 out of 10.
Great Deals on Amazon.Com
This one is just the regular DVD, nothing special, but at a good price.