ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 3.01 stars
by 1337 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Be Afraid -- Be Very Afraid!
by Betty Jo Tucker

Booming thunder and flashes of lightning frightened me at night when I was a youngster, especially when I tried to sleep during a pounding rainstorm. Because They, a harrowing horror flick directed by Robert Harmon, opens with a scene showing a little boy in a similar situation, I felt a twinge of terror coming back from the past – and that was before anything scary happened on screen. When things actually started going bump in the night, I spent the rest of the movie in a state of extreme fear.

Fear of the dark, fear of being stuck in an elevator, fear of a car stalling on a lonely road, fear of attack while alone in a darkened swimming pool area, fear of falling apart during defense of a Masters thesis. Yes, They pushed all my buttons – almost as if filmmakers invaded my brain to plagiarize all my worst phobias.

Fortunately, I can’t find a round cut (that won’t heal) anywhere on my body -- which means "They" probably didn’t brand me with marks like those on the characters in They. Poor Julia (Laura Regan from Someone Like You), a psychology grad student, witnesses a traumatic event after her childhood friend Billy (Jon Abrams of Texas Rangers) shows her his mark. Both Julia and Billy suffered "night terrors" when they were children. Later, two other friends, played by Dagmara Dominczyk (The Count of Monte Cristo) and Ethan Embry (Sweet Home Alabama) discover they are afflicted with similar marks. It seems they are "night terrors" survivors, too, and their circular wounds bode tragic results.  Could Julia be next? Not if her policeman boyfriend (Marc Blucas from Sunshine State) is right. He thinks it’s all in her head.

Using this simple story by Brendon Hood, who wrote TV’s "The Darklings," director Harmon (The Hitcher) presents a horror film that requires us to use our imagination about the creatures causing such terror. Granted, we see shadowy figures and hear weird noises, but what we conjure up may be more horrifying than anything created by the special effects department. Harmon also successfully includes elements reminiscent of such thrilling scarefests as Cat People (the Jacques Tourneur version) and Mimic, one of my favorite films of this genre.

Cast members, though not the most important factor in a horror movie, perform admirably. Nevertheless, I’d like to recommend a few square meals for Regan, the film’s slimmer-than-Audrey-Hepburn heroine. On second thought, maybe Regan’s anorexic appearance added to the appealing vulnerability of her character. Because of Dominczyk’s smoldering screen persona (even without her appearance in any sensuous sequences here!), I started wondering how much better Femme Fatale might have been with this impressive actress as Antonio Banderas’ co-star in that recent thriller.

They begins and ends with scenes so terrifying I’m still stunned. And I’ve decided to leave a light on every night from now on.

(Released by Dimension Films and rated "PG-13" for terror/violence, sexual content and language; available for home entertainment on VHS/DVD beginning June 10, 2003.)

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC