Thursday, May 6, 2010

'Terror' is fairly terrible

Terror (1978)
Starring: John Nolan, Carolyn Courage, and Mary Maude
Director: Norman J. Warren
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

The friends and associates of a young movie producer (Nolan) start dying messily after he completes a movie based on his family's history. Is it really a 300-year-old witch's curse that's reasserting itself, or is there someone (or some thing) else behind the slayings?

I understand that the forces of evil are inscrutable and driven by motives that mere mortals can't understand. This, however, should not be the case when it comes to movies featuring evil forces. Movies need to have some semblance of a sensible plot, and they need to give some sort of connection between back story and what unfolds.

In the case of "Terror", we have evil forces doing evil things that make no sense whether viewed in the context of the ancient curse, or in the context of facts revealed by characters on the screen. The coolest scene (where a forest seemingly comes to live and lifts a car into the tree-tops) seems like it was just thrown in because it was just that--cool.

"Terror" has some good scares and some good acting. It would have been nice if some time had been spent on developing a good script.

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