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Stuart Gordon takes you on a pulse pounding roller- coaster ride in Castle Freak. one of the most macabre thrillers you'll ever experience. John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs - Re-Animator), Susan (Barbara Crampton - Young & The Restless) and their daughter come face to face with terror when they travel to Italy to move into a castle they have inherited. They soon discover it is haunted by a relentless blood- thirsty creature. When mutilated bodies start turning up, John must uncover the Reilly family's dark secret to save his wife and child from the sadistic being.
Top customer reviews
Has elements of suspense and horror without much of special effects. Good old story telling. This movie has some J-Horror vibe to it. The story is somewhat reminiscent of Sadako from the Ringu series.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a movie that relies on story telling to induce horror, then this movie does a really good job at it. Yes, there is some hammy performances but can be easily ignored.
A problem for me is that it is not pleasant to watch. It is in fact a decidedly *unpleasant* viewing experience. This point can not be overstated. I'm not a squeamish person but the sheer brutality exhibited in this film rivals that seen in _The Passion of the Christ_ or _Blood-Sucking Freaks_. Meanwhile, I found myself entirely un-sympathetic toward the very tortured protagonist yet disturbingly sympathetic toward the "castle freak" who was by the end of the film far beyond any kind of redemption. Granted, I am often inclined to root for the "bad guy," but this is different. The characters are all thoroughly developed and very real, so that is not the problem. I kept feeling that "I'm SUPPOSED to identify with this guy, but [on some level] he deserves what he gets."
This is, however, not the main reason why I chose to deduct 2 stars. I only gave this film 3 stars because 1) the story and direction is not of the same caliber as Gordon and Comb's other colaborations and 2) the plot is entirely too predictable. I was also expecting something "Lovecraftian" in this film (that is, after all, Stuart Gordon's bread-and-butter) since had read that it was "loosely" based on _The Outsider_. Yet there is nothing of that or any other H.P. Lovecraft story here save the setting of a castle and Lovecraft is not credited at all (if Lovecraft had been even a remote inspiration, trust me, they would have credited him). Perhaps I had false expectations for the film that have colored my reaction to it.
I recommend this movie IF you are A) a die-hard Stuart Gordon fan or B) a vicariously inclined sado-masochistic horror/snuf aficianado. The movie is cheap here, but it will be even cheaper at Blockbuster. I wish I had rented it, actually, because I don't plan to ever watch it again.
Combs plays the father of a family of four. He has a drinking problem and has destroyed his family because of it. But an old unknown relative left him a castle and they all go to stay there and check it out. Unknown secrets of the family are discovered and it leads to the utmost horror. The 'freak' is horrifying, yet sad because of how he became such a freak.
This is my first Full Moon DVD which has the 'VideoZone' movie magazine on it as well. Unlike all the movie companies that have just started doing stuff like this when DVD came out, Full Moon has been doing it for years. I used to be a big fan years ago and saw everything they had like Subspecies, Puppet Master, Pit And The Pendulum, etc.
The only thing it lacked was a Full Moon starlet introducing their new merchandise and movies. Instead they have taken the DVD route and you just browse though it with your remote.