Nightbreed (1990)

CLIVE BARKER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): B

//USA, 1990, Screenplay by Clive Barker, based on his novel CabalCinematography by Produced by , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by , .

Clive Barker followed the breakout success of Hellraiser with this big budget fantasy horror movie based on his story “Cabal”, and it was a debacle from the get-go, massively re-edited by the studio before its release and a disappointment at the box office. plays a young man so haunted by his bad dreams that girlfriend asks him to see a psychiatrist, which he does. He tells his shrink, played by noted horror auteur , that his dreams are of a place called Midian, a mythical land populated by grotesque creatures that he believes is real, and that he wants to go there and find out what it is that is drawing him in. What the good doctor tells him, however, is that his dreams are part of a psychosis that he is suffering under and that he is actually the serial killer who has been terrorizing their community for some time. Hospitalized and sedated, Sheffer meets a man who tells him that he knows of Midian and where to find it, so he breaks out the clinic and makes his way to what at first appears to be a cemetery but turns out to have much more going on beneath. Sounds like a fun premise for something dark and twisted, but Barker’s narrative spins out of control, feeling like it’s making itself up as it goes along (and goes on a long, long time). There’s tons of characters, all of whom are in bad Star Trek makeup, but there is no actual character drama to lock you into to the excessive violence so it just feels like a shallow, indulgent bloodbath.

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