Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Chiller (1985)

What most critics fail to take into consideration when reviewing Wes Craven's Chiller is that it was a MADE FOR TV MOVIE IN THE 1980's. Therefore, we're not going to see the gleeful gore and dark humor of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) nor the sadistic horror of The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Instead, we have a film that was made for general audiences and it must be judged with this in mind.

Let's start with the screenplay. J.D. Feigelson [Dark Night of the Scarecrow], poses an interesting question: If someone is brought back to life after being cryogenically frozen, are they the same person or are they different? He tackles the subject matter fairly well and asks a few existential questions along the way. Sure, there are really no big surprises in this film but it does hold your attention and is interesting enough to keep you watching it.

Wes Craven's direction is solid and he manages to create several really good scenes, especially when the man in question is brought back to life at the hospital. I thought the effects were good and it provided one of the most interesting moments in the film.

Chiller was also helped by several veteran actors including Paul Sorvino [Goodfellas] as Reverend Penny, Beatrice Straight [Poltergeist] as Marian Creighton and Michael Beck [The Warriors] as Miles Creighton, the man who was brought back to life. Straight puts her heart and soul into this role and is definitely the emotional center of this film. Sorvino an Beck do a fine job as well.

So, give this one a try if you like thrillers. It may not be Craven's most inventive work but it's a solid effort from a director I've always admired. Just keep in mind that Thriller was a MADE FOR TV MOVIE IN THE 1980's and you'll be fine. You can find this one on YouTube. There's one copy with really crappy sound but keep searching and you'll find a decent one!

RATING: Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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