Five To Avoid
1. Creep: Christopher Smith, 2004 (UK)
This movie starts off well (woman trapped in subway after hours with a murderous creature) but then falls apart when the director tries to make us sympathize with the monster. There is also some unnecessary misogynist torture that totally derails things. The final scene is quite good, but it’s a shame that the third section of the movie goes so far off track.
2. The Hills Have Eyes: Wes Craven, 1977 (United States)
This movie is considered a horror classic, but in truth, it stinks. This is not the way to do low-budget. The viewer actually must have some investment in the characters and pitting hillbilly stereotypes against unsympathetic racists doesn’t cut it. This is another overrated mess from an equally overrated director.
3. The House With Laughing Windows: Pupi Avati, 1976 (Italy)
For a film with such a graphically disturbing (and promising) opening, it sure does disappoint. One might forgive poor dubbing or even bad translation, but the characters wander in and out of scenes with no apparent motivations and the story line (a sculptor is hired to restore a fresco of St. Sebastian that may have been painted from a real life murderous orgy) isn’t revealed until at least a half an hour into this snoozefest.
2. It Waits: Steven R. Monroe, 2005 (United States)
It seems like all the IMDB reviewers who praised this movie for not revealing the monster until the end must have missed the first three minutes of it when they were getting popcorn and soda. Showing it so early on in the film ruins the suspense, but what truly destroys this movie are excessive flash edits and a shallow, self-absorbed main character that doesn’t inspire one ounce of sympathy.
1. Nightmare City: Umberto Lenzi, 1980 (Spain/Italy)
Based on this movie’s reputation and cool poster art, it should have been a winner. However, ten minutes were enough time to be convinced that it wasn’t. Low-budget can be scary, but not when zombie make-up wipes off on a victim’s skin or when jazzy, car chase music is supposed to evoke terror. These failings could have been the result of some post-production mishaps and as a result, this is the only movie on the “Five To Avoid” list that deserves a second chance.
Click to read more about. . .