This trio of films was just a toss of the dice from my various streaming service watchlists. Let’s see if any of them were exciting enough to keep me occupied.
THE FEARWAY (2023)
We’ve seen this all before. It combines locked in a location horror with road rage terror and manages to fall flat in both respects.
A straight couple is heading to see the female’s sick father. They’re also having conflicted feelings about when to get married.
Then the craziness kicks in. They hit something in the road, but there’s nothing there when they get out except a patch of ice…in the desert. Minutes later, a dude in a black car starts relentlessly pursuing them.
They pull into a diner/gas station/hotel and the guy goes away. Everyone in the diner is nice…except they’re all apparently guarding some sort of gateway to death that’s behind a hotel room door. Sigh.
There’s mention of a beast behind the door, but we never get to see it. There’s an awesome reaper type guy driving the black car.
Hard to ignore the fact that this “dark man” representing the reaper is the only Black character in the whole movie. Sad thing is he’s an awesome villain that deserves more screen time in a better movie. There’s only one satisfying confrontation with him.
The rest of the movie is a just a loop of the couple trying to leave but always circling back to the diner/gas station/hotel. And the “twist” at the end is no twist. It’s been done dozens of times in movies that were all the rage a couple of decades ago.
A straight couple falls victim to a home invasion in London. To get away from it all, they head to a countryside home in Ireland. They’re instructed to leave an offering of liver at the door of a small house back in the gardens…or else.
Turns out there are little goblins living in the woods beyond the little house.
This is a slow burn film that keeps you waiting for the first appearance of the goblins, which doesn’t happen until an hour in.
But once they finally arrive, it’s an entertaining and sometimes humorous battle. But it’s not exactly what you’d expect, because the real problem for the couple is a weird family they hire to fix up the house.
That’s what makes this film a refreshing take on the little critters genre—it doesn’t follow the usual template.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST (1996)
Based on Oscar Wilde’s short story, this film was made right around the time Neve Campbell was about to make it big in the horror realm with The Craft and Scream. It’s definitely a gentle warm-up, because it’s essentially a family movie. Personally, I think it would bore kids, because it’s a romanticized ghost story.
Neve and her family come to live in Canterville Hall after her dad gets a job in England. She doesn’t want to be there, her little brothers are pranksters and get on her nerves, and…there’s a ghost.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Neve’s character here dresses exactly like Sidney in the first Scream movie…
Patrick Stewart plays the specter, and we very quickly see that he isn’t scary. He’s kind of just there, haunting the place and waiting to tie up loose ends so he can cross over.
It’s up to Neve to help him. But she wants something in return. She’s in love with a young Duke that lives next door.
Her parents think she’s lying about the ghost she sees, and so they want to send her home. She wants Stewart to help prove to them that he exists.
It’s hokey, it isn’t fun like other family ghost movies, and when Neve eventually has to travel to a “dark realm” to help release Stewart’s spirit, we don’t even go along with her! WTF?