Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1992. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Victor & Grais Productions, Ion Pictures. Screenplay by Stephen King. Cinematography by Rodney Charters. Produced by Michael Grais, Mark Victor, Nabeel Zahid. Music by Nicholas Pike. Production Design by John DeCuir Jr.. Costume Design by Michael W. Hoffman. Film Editing by O. Nicholas Brown.
An incestuous mother and son turn out to be shape-shifting monsters masquerading as human beings (what else is new), creatures that survive by stealing the life essence of young folks. Having moved to a small Indiana town from their previous location, the nefarious duo (Brian Krause and a surprisingly bad Alice Krige) set their sights on sapping the vitality out of adorable high schooler Mädchen Amick. She is at first charmed by the new student at her school until a date at a cemetery reveals him to be a vicious monster and she spends the remainder of the film trying to survive his grasp. While there is absolutely no reason to hold this film to a higher standard than any creature feature, it is disappointing that Stephen King’s screenplay, originally written as a short story that he never published, has characters who go nowhere near the complexity he is so often capable of, while his plotting is erratic and the rules for the film’s supernatural elements are spotty and unreliable. The fact that cats are the mysterious, unexplained foil for the villains in this film provides for some laughable action sequences involving poorly operated stuffed animals attacking full-sized humans. There are, though, a few jumpy moments that are fun, including Krause taking revenge on Glenn Shadix as the pervy high school teacher.