Monday, March 14, 2011

Sometimes a film's best avoided...

Sometimes They Come Back... Again (1996)
Starring: Michael Gross, Hilary Swank, Alexis Arquette, and Jennifer Elise Cox
Director: Adam Grossman
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

When Jon Porter (Gross) returns to his childhood home after the death of his mother, his good-girl teenaged daughter Michelle (Swank) is stalked by the restless spirits of a gang of intensely evil teenaged Satanists, led by Tony Reno (Arquette) he killed as they were killing his sister several decades ago. If Jon is to save his daughter, he needs to kill them... again.

"Sometimes They Come Back... Again" starts out okay but quickly degrades into bad effects and abject stupidity. Even allowing for the standard cast of Stephen King stock characters (the film is based, very loosely, on a short story he wrote, "Sometimes They Come Back") -- the haunted adult who has to face childhood horrors, the 1950s-style tough-guys who are still around as ghosts, the innocent child of the main character who is now being menaced by the dark past, the village idiot, the desperate cleric, and so on--the characters and events here are generally so over the top that it becomes impossible for the viewer to suspend disbelief. And the awful "electricity effects" doesn't help one bit.

It also doesn't help that the only decent actors in the piece are Gross and Swank. On one hand, it's good, because the father/daughter relationship is key to the film's story. On the other hand, it's bad, because whenever they're acting against other players, they show how bad everyone else is.

Truly hardcore Stephen King fans might enjoy this film. The rest of us can just watch it for the beauty that is Hilary Swank...

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