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Has it's moments
on October 23, 2007
Tobe Hooper has had one of the strangest careers in the horror genre; his Iconic reputation stems from his 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but since that his career has been very uneven. While he has directed a couple of popular movies the general conception is Chainsaw is why he is so well remembered and will be.
When you look at the era Tobe Hooper came to came a lot of filmmakers were changing the horror world as we know it and I suppose some of these guys are gonna get left in the dust. I'm not quite sure if it was the screenplays or Hooper's directing, but he never quite lived up to what many thought he would go on and become. With that said I very much do think he deserves to be a part of the Masters of Horror even if only for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The Damned Thing is a very mixed bad, but after all was said and done I felt as if this movie could have been so much more than what it was. The Damned Thing had the makings of a great horror flick, but somewhere along the course of it there are parts that just don't work well.
First up the casting here is excellent; I am a huge fan of Sean Patrick Flanery. He has this coolness he brings to every role. Even a bad movie Sean always makes the best of it and even if I dislike the movie I always walk away happy with Sean Patrick Flanery's performance. The rest of the cast all play their respected roles quite well. Ted Raimi is great even if the part is brief. Marisa Coughlan does a solid job in her role and so far all is good here.
The screenplay by Richard Christian Matheson was quite well done. I found his script for the most part well-written. The characters are interesting and have depth. While there might be some moments that drag a little bit, but overall the script was quite good.
But there was still just something a little off here; Director Tobe Hooper is able to craft some solid scenes, but the tension just seems to be lacking here overall. The opening scene was quite well done and had some solid tension, but after that Hooper is mostly unable to keep it going through out the course. Like I said his scenes are well crafted and work well in general, but the suspense and tension just lacks at times.
When everything finally starts to go crazy in the final act, the tension and urgency of the situation just wasn't there. The lack of suspense and tension is one of the downfalls here. I don't think Tobe Hooper did a bad job, but it just didn't work well at times.
What does help elevate The Damned Thing are the gore F/X, which were excellent. Not the goriest of the series, but it has to be up there. Those scenes greatly help the movie and the hammer scene was quite brutal.
My biggest complaint is the final couple of minutes; Tobe Hooper came from the old school. If anyone knows that sometimes less is more Tobe Hooper is clearly one of them. To make up for his low budget on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre he had to be creative. Sometimes showing the audience is great, but again sometimes less is more. The final minutes we get to see The Damned Thing and I can't help, but feel it was a total mistake. Not knowing who or what this thing is really added to the movie, but when we finally see it well it sort of takes away from the movie.
In closing, The Damned Thing gets a lot of heat from the viewers, but personally I thought it was pretty good time despite the flaws. Not the best of the Masters of Horror, but a decent time killer.