American Gothic (1988)
The family that slays together stays together.
Year of Release: 1988
Also Known As: Hide and Shriek
Running Time: 86 minutes (1:26)
Director: John Hough
Sarah Torgov ... Cynthia
Mark Erickson ... Jeff
Caroline Barclay ... Terri
Mark Lindsay Chapman ... Rob
Fiona Hutchison ... Lynn
Stephen Shellen ... Paul
Rod Steiger ... Pa
Yvonne De Carlo ... Ma
Janet Wright ... Fanny
Michael J. Pollard ... Woody
William Hootkins ... Teddy
When six young friends fly off on a weekend getaway and suddenly find themselves with engine trouble, they have no choice but to land on a remote American island. Looking for shelter, they are grateful when they meet Ma and Pa and their children - an eccentric family still living in the 1920's backwoods.
But what begins as simple hospitality becomes a terrifying race for survival when one by one the friends start disappearing, dying horrible deaths. Fleeing the outside world many years ago, the family have created an island domain, where all strangers are sinners - and the killing has never stopped...
American Gothic, remindin' us that while all things may be possible through Jesus, you prolly shouldn't spend your entire life leanin' on the guy. Sometimes that little mischievous streak gets the better of 'im an he'll take a step backwards while you're nappin' on his shoulder just to watch you put a dent in your nose. The cast of this movie's enough to getcha slightly alarmed about the prospect of Heaven, cause when the only prerequisite for gettin' in is acceptin' the J-man into your heart, seems like maybe the place's gonna look like the prison yard durin' exercise time, ya know? 90% of those guys have crosses tattooed on 'em someplace, so really, long as they're repentant about shootin' that 7-Eleven clerk in the face 29 times, they're at least as saved as you or I.
An speakin' of guys who could stand to have their faces rearranged, I've had between five an fifteen of those MUFON guys wearin' "I Want to Believe" t-shirts roamin' around the front lawn for the better part of a week carryin' Geiger counters, specimen baggies, an bottles of KY Jelly with "in case of abduction, smear on sphincter" printed on 'em. I guess they were in town interviewin' Bernard McGowan about his UFO sightin' (even though everybody knows it was just the old tractor tire Skunky Hernandez strung Christmas lights on an fastened to the roof of his barn to scare the deer), when they spotted the big charred circle in the yard. It's really not what they think. See, what happened was, I'd finally decided to get rid of the hornet's nest out front on account of it bein' about the size of the one from Food of the Gods an havin' more buzzers inside it than the doorbell aisle of Hammer Time Hardware, an... well, some stuff happened. Normally what you wanna do in these situations is fire a flamin' arrow through it so it'll burn from the inside out, which may sound dangerous, but it's pretty simple. You also wanna make sure to tack a coupla water balloons on the tree trunk immediately behind the hive so that the arrow gets dowsed when it passes through an sticks into the tree, an make sure you've got a hose handy. I go one better'n that, an push Apollo's kiddie pool under it with a 20' 2x10, an that's prolly where the trouble started. Unfortunately, I never did get around to drainin' the turpentine outta there after I'd used it to get the oil offa Shankles a few weeks back, so when I asked Billy Hilliard to fill it up he just assumed I'd already done it an scooted it into place under the hive. Guess you know what happened after the fire burned through the branch that the hive was hangin' from an hit the pool. Had a heck of a time puttin' that one out between the flamin' bees launchin' kamikaze attacks on us an the fact that you can really only hope to contain somethin' like that until the turpentine burns off an puts a permanent hole in the ozone layer. That's why I got what resembles a burnt oatmeal cookie on the lawn, for those of you that've been drivin' by rubber neckin' for the last three days. So now I've got all these guys with Gillian Anderson RealDolls in their one bedroom apartments out here "investigating the origins" of the deep fried rice patty. I told 'em what'd happened seven or eight times, but they must have a quota to fill for The History Channel or somethin', so I eventually gave up when they slipped me a $50 bill an told me to "leave it to the experts." I'm pretty sure one of those "experts" sold me a spare tire at the Turlinger estate sale last year, but who am I to argue with science?
Gettin' back to the flick though, American Gothic's an extremely underrated chunka celluloid, an easily the greatest movie ever made to feature Lily Munster stabbin' a guy to death with knittin' needles. Lily's great in this, got all kinda brilliant lines like "don't you wanna join the clean plate club?" an "do you kids know the Charleston?" With dialog like that, you know this writin' team's got some serious wisdom to pass on to us, so to show my appreciation for their efforts to better educate the public, I've got a few choice cuts straight from the kebab for your cognitive consumption. First, some people have ugly babies, it's really just a fact of nature. But that's no reason to go screamin' an faintin' like a '50s housewife who just spotted the mail carrier hosin' down 'er begonias, when their mamas offer to let you hold 'em. Second, when you're a 43 year old woman who dresses like the Wendy's girl, gougin' out the eyes of your intended mate is a normal (an necessary) part of courtship. An third, if you can't say somethin' nice, at least say it quietly, lest the old kids on the block hear an string you up like Bill Maher at Sunday mornin' mass. Some of these may seem obvious, but apparently nobody in the movie was acquainted with 'em, cause if they had been, they'da never got turned into backwoods beefaroni.
But I got a question here; why is it that anytime we go up to Canada to shoot a movie or a TV show, we always gotta try to reassure the audience that we didn't really fly up to wimpsville to shoot the picture, an that it was 100% pure-dee made in Murica? Like any of this makes a damn bit of difference. I mean, you ever seen a forest in Alberta? No? Know what it looks like? Looks like Montana, that's what it looks like. Now, my theory on why they do this is that some people in your more inbred states think that the Canadian wilderness just ain't got what it takes to house the cast of Wrong Turn. Cause really, even when you get 50 miles from the nearest dirt road in the Yukon Territory, you're still gonna run into grizzled old men with beards like Radagast that spend their days watchin' old Man from U.N.C.L.E. reruns on a 13" 1976 black an white Hitachi, who're happy to invite you in for some flapjacks in exchange for the results of the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals. It's like these knuckle draggers believe that even the Canadian wilderness is too polite, an that a guy couldn't possibly be in danger alone out there cause the ground'll have the courtesy to contour itself to the shape of your body if you slip an fall, before sendin' out a squad of trained squirrels to bring you poutine rations an nurse you back to health. I don't get it. Why do we keep tryin' to hide this stuff? Seriously, American filmmakers try concealin' their relationship with Canada the way crotchety old pioneers would cover up the existence of a family member with dementia, like it's somethin' to be ashamed of. These days, we vote people with a family history of mental illness into the presidency, yet we still can't admit we sometimes experiment with Canada when we're feelin' a little kinky. There's this bizarre stigma surroundin' it, like leavin' the bar with a fat girl, an I think it's high time we discussed our problem with a therapist, or maybe the U.N. I suppose it's possible the filmmakers get to feelin' guilty or somethin', like they're cheatin' on their country with its hot, blonde sister, but it's gettin' pretty pathetic watchin' all the xenophobes freak out about the origins of their maple syrup. Or maybe "Canadian Gothic" just doesn't have that catchy ring they were lookin' for.
The movie begins with this James Woods look alike with Donald Trump hair (Jeff) pickin' up his chick (Cynthia) at the psych ward where she's been ever since she left their baby alone in the bathtub to go pull the casserole outta the oven an found out the hard way that babies don't swim so good. Jeff figures the best way to help Cynthia put 'er life back together is to take 'er on a vacation with their denim wearin', feathered haired, obnoxious college friends with liberal arts degrees who like to hoot 'n holler like Howard Dean, so they pile into this floatplane an try findin' a nice exotic spot to land off the coast of Olympia, Washington. Unfortunately, they end up havin' to make an emergency landin' when they realize their plane's not actually coal fired an that all the black smoke belchin' outta the rear end might be a problem. So Jeff sends the gang off to make camp while he sticks his tongue on all the wires to see if he's got power goin' everywhere he needs it, til he eventually remembers he's a dental hygienist an don't know diddly squat about airplane engines an heads for camp. The next mornin', Cynthia an Terri head down to the shoreline to dig for clams, only Terri ends up slippin' on a rock an cracks 'er head open like a fortune cookie an Jeff hasta run all the way from the plane to pull 'er outta the surf cause Cynthia's havin' Vietmom flashbacks of 'er baby suckin' the rust stain at the bottom of the tub. Then they head back to camp an Jeff hasta tell everyone he doesn't know a turbine from a bovine an that they'd better hoof it over to the Blair Witch's house to see if they can use the phone. They leave Paul behind to guard the plane just in case there're pirate mechanics waitin' out at sea with replacement parts, an make their way to an old country manor that looks like the kinda place you'd film a reality TV show starrin' a buncha teenagers where the premise revolves around seein' how fast they'll melt down without cell phone reception. Apparently, none of 'em've seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, cause when nobody answers the door they just walk right in, turn the phonograph on, raid the costume wardrobe, an start dancin' like Fred Astaire on peyote til the owners (Rod Steiger an Lily Munster) come home an the situation inexplicably manages to get even more awkward than their white dancing. So Jeff apologizes like a Canadian who just got hit by a bus inside a crosswalk with the right of way, an asks if he could use their phone to see if his Triple A policy covers floatplanes that've washed up on uncharted islands off the coast of Washington, only Rod says he don't need no phone on account of his powerful yellin' voice.
But Rod says he's got a friend comin' by tomorrow for a whittlin' competition that knows a thing'r two about bailin' out helpless city folks, so everybody decides to hang out an get Rod all P.O.'d tryin' to bogart his dinner rolls before he can thank the J-man. Then they start tellin' 'im about all the stuff that's been goin' on back in civilization since the Allies gave the Kaiser what for, til Rod's left ventricle purt'near explodes when he sees Lynn light up a cigarette at the dinner table an he hasta banish 'er for performin' witchcraft. Awhile later, Cynthia an Lynn go snoopin' around the house til they find this turn of the century playroom where a middle aged woman (Fanny) who looks like Little Orphan Annie pokes 'er head out an politely asks that they keep their whore voices down while 'er baby's takin' a nap. Then Lily comes downstairs an tucks Fanny into bed an tells 'er that if she's a good girl she'll get a new dolly an menopause for 'er birthday. Course, bein' that it's almost 9 in the PM, Lily starts snuffin' out all the candles for bedtime, cept Rod starts eyeballin' everybody like he thinks one of them's The Thing in disguise an demands to see their marriage licenses an ends up havin' to split the group apart by gender like a health teacher on sex education day. The next mornin', Rob (Terri's boyfriend with the Mike Awesome mullet) heads outside to mark some territory, only he runs into Fanny an 'er brother (Woody) playin' on the swing set an thinks better of it when he realizes it might get 'im put on some government watch lists. Then Fanny offers to push 'im in the swing an he gets this look on his face like he's tryin' to remember if gettin' a push without givin' a push first violates proper playground etiquette, before decidin' to throw caution to the wind an tellin' 'em to unleash the underdogs. Only the swing's kinda close to a cliff leadin' down to the ocean, an about the time Rob's swingin' high enough to see Lily hitchin' up 'er support hose through the second story window, Woody climbs up the leg anchor an hatchets the rope, sendin' Rob flyin' through the air like a pair of preteen panties at a One Direction show til he splatters on the rocks like a heap of seagull squat. Fortunately, Cynthia finds 'im before the robber crabs do, an while Lily tries to console Terri over the loss of any future Awesome Bombs, Cynthia an Lynn go for a walk, at which point Lynn starts talkin' about how the family's so screwed up that even TLC'd be afraid to put 'em on the air. Then Lynn takes off to find somethin' else to complain about, an pretty quick Cynthia realizes Fanny's been listenin' to 'em an gotten a case of the soggy eye sockets an agrees to play horseshoes with 'er. Course, around these parts, they use a hatchet as a post, so she's only playin' between heart palpitations, but she's still makin' the effort.
Later that night, Fanny sneaks into Cynthia's room an invites 'er over to make cooin' noises at 'er baby, only Cynthia ends up a little on edge when Fanny shows 'er the baby an it looks like an old broken toe that had a tool box dropped on it, an pretty quick Teddy (Fanny's other brother) shows up an makes Cynthia look at it til she faints like a plantation wife who just got an eyefull of the fire hose one of 'er slaves was packin'. The next mornin', Lynn heads outside to make bitchy faces at the blue jays that're nestin' in an old fir tree, cept she's interrupted by the kids who keep naggin' 'er to play double dutch with 'em, til she starts describin' 'em the way a carnival barker at a Ten-in-One might an they string 'er up like a warty broad in Salem, Massachusetts. Elsewhere, Jeff's startin' to get a little skeptical that Rod's even got a friend, let alone one that'll be makin' an appearance anytime soon, so he tells Terri to find Lynn an head back to camp to see how Paul's been enjoyin' sleepin' on the ground with nothin' but Beanie Weenies to eat for the last two days. Then he grabs Cynthia an she starts tellin' 'im about Fanny an the Fiji Mermaid corpse while he smiles an nods so she won't go all cuckoo clock on 'im again. Unfortunately, Fanny's watchin' through a peephole with Teddy, an decides that Jeff's got a point an that she's tired of havin' babies that look like the albino drool monster from The Funhouse with 'er brothers. So Fanny comes outta hidin', sweatin' like a water buffalo an sportin' a wide-on big enough to pick up a bowlin' ball, an starts puttin' the moves on Jeff til he tries explainin' he just wants to be friends, causin' 'er to ram a narwhal sculpture into his eye socket. It's just as well, cause with a father like Rod she'da definitely claimed rape, likely resultin' in Jeff's wiggler bein' removed with a hacksaw. Cynthia's mildly concerned about this, an runs out to the porch to ask Lily if this kinda thing's normal in rural courtship, til Lily gets this look on 'er face like somebody just tracked mud all over the linoleum an finishes off Jeff with 'er knittin' needles an Cynthia starts beatin' cheeks like a dominatrix at an S&M party. By this point, Terri's made it back to camp, but Paul's up an vanished like a fudge brownie at Chris Christie's house, an as if that ain't bad enough, apparently the Coast Guard showed up an had their plane towed for parkin' in a handicapped space while they were bunkin' with Ma an Pa Kettle. So Terri traipses all over the woods like The Legend of Boggy Creek til she finds Cynthia, only Cynthia's brain's workin' about as good as a hard drive that had a magnet drug over it an pretty quick Woody an Teddy show up an start firin' rubber suction arrows at 'em an threatenin' to turn 'em into Purina dog chow.
Terri's P.O.'d, an after a short jaunt back to camp they find Fanny an take 'er back to Chateau freak show at flare-gunpoint an threaten to turn 'er into a rotisserie chicken if Rod an Lily don't get 'em tickets on the first Carnival cruise ship outta there. So Rod an Lily lead 'em to an old fishin' boat that smells like somebody left a worm box in it back in 1977, cept it's kinda crowded with Paul's hatchet-faced corpse layin' sprawled out in it. Upon seein' this, Terri gets so mad that she hasta fire 'er only flare at Woody an Teddy. Then Terri an Cynthia take off an the kids give Paul a viking funeral at sea. The next mornin', the girls wake up inside Old Man Willow to the unmistakable sounds of '80s classic rock, an follow the noise over to the little house on the aerie. Unfortunately, the radio they're hearin' is theirs, an now they're lookin' at complete psychological devastation upon realizin' they've been outsmarted by a pack of middle aged yard monsters who couldn't find their own asses with both hands an a map. Terri takes off through the woods again tryin' to lead the boys away from Cynthia like a mother killdeer with a nest fulla little ones, but Cynthia's pretty well shell shocked by now an just kinda heads back to the ole homestead listenin' to Fanny babble about drawin' up blueprints for a hopscotch court. Meanwhile, Terri's learnin' why you don't try grapplin' with a guy named after a bear, an pretty quick Teddy just kinda sits on 'er an swivels 'er head around like a Sit 'n Spin so he won't have to face 'er accusin' gaze while he's crackin' open a cold one. This is a remarkably short-sighted thing to do cause Woody's a known snitch, an by the time Teddy comes saunterin' home, the whole family (includin' Cynthia) is standin' on the porch givin' 'im the same stink eye the apes gave Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes when they find out he killed Roddy McDowell's son, an pretty quick Rod unleashes a battery of kindling fu on Teddy's hinder while everyone tries to convince Jesus they don't know 'im. Then they head inside an dress Cynthia up like a Ballerina Barbie an she grins like The Man Who Laughs an oddly, nobody seems to mind that she's prolly eatin' their souls. This finally leads to Fanny's big birthday bash, where the family thanks the J-man for beamin' down the store bought birthday candles an blessin' everyone with the kinda hearty mountain genes needed to thrive on rabbit dumplins, an to maintain the mindset that electricity's nothin' more'n a passing fad. Still, the biggest surprise is yet to come, an once everybody finishes their head-cheesecake, they all pile down into the cellar where Cynthia's big induction ceremony's set commence. I ain't gonna give it away, but what follows could possibly be the most touchin' sequence of group unity since the banquet scene in Freaks.
Alrighty, well, American Gothic is the kinda movie you always hope you'll get when you dive into something that doesn't garner much attention, even though in reality you generally end up with something akin to Neon Maniacs, where the movie's just okay and there's a reason you don't hear much about it. I think that what makes American Gothic so good is that when you try to equate it to other similar titles, you come up a little short in finding accurate comparisons. For instance, you could say that the crazy scripture quotin' hillbillies make it similar to Brothers in Arms, or Deadly Blessing, except the motivations of said nuts are vastly different than we get here, cause these're essentially people who want to be left alone and will do whatever is necessary to ensure their privacy. You could also make the short-sighted comparison to the slasher-in-the-woods flick, except here we're dealing with killers who've got the psyche of children and can't really even grasp the seriousness of their actions, where the killer in the woods is always P.O.'d, and often a mission oriented type of serial killer. Another reason why the Friday the 13th comparison doesn't fly is that you can always tell who's gonna die and why in a Friday movie, where here, even though you're reasonably sure that the central character is safe, you're not entirely sure who else is gonna get it, or when. And taking that a step further, the strong female character, while remaining alive longer than anyone but our main character, probably gets it worse than anybody, leaving the weak-willed Cynthia as the "final girl." Additionally, the movie has two excellent twists, one that I mentioned, and one I choose not to spoil, making the comparison to a standard killer-in-the-woods flick a poor one, as they generally only contain one twist, if they have one at all. We've also got a significant level of perversion here, with subject matter that sets it apart from many of the better known horror flicks of the era that were intended to be enjoyed on a less serious level. I mean, it would've been creepy enough without the necrophilia and incest, but those aspects certainly kick the unsettling nature of the film up a notch, and at least for me, make it stand out from many others that tried to be edgy but came off poorly because it was apparent that it was done strictly for shock value. Here, in this environment, the more repulsive aspects of the movie come across as being not just completely plausible, but even likely, under the circumstances these "kids" are "growing up" in. That's something I feel you've gotta have if you're gonna try to incorporate those kinds of taboos into your film, because if it seems like they just come out of left field, it's clear you've done it just for the shock value, and it doesn't work on the same level as a flick that sets the stage for it and makes you believe they could really happen, under certain circumstances.
Okay then, for those that haven't had to go vomit, let's poke this thing's eyes out an see if it truly has a vision. The general crux of the story is not particularly original, although there's certainly more going on here than your average "trapped in the haunted house with the road/bridge out during a thunderstorm" plot, even though you'd have to admit that, from a "big picture" point of view, it's not that original. However, the details contain some fairly original stuff, and with the two twists that come in the last 15 minutes or so, we've got some decent originality and a generally enjoyable story. The acting is probably what really makes the movie shine, because with a premise like this one, you're fighting an uphill battle with regard to making middle aged actors believably come off as having a child's mentality, and at least two of the three execute it flawlessly. Michael J. Pollard is great in just about everything I've ever seen him in, and this flick is no exception, as he completely nails the role of Woody. Janet Wright is also very good (if a little over the top) as Fanny. Of course, as is often the case, the body count characters are the least interesting, and take a backseat to the "children," as well as Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo as Pa and Ma. Rod and Yvonne are almost as good as the kids. Between Rod's no nonsense "man of the Lord" style fire and brimstone outlook on life, and Yvonne's motherly mannerisms and "kids will be kids" attitude towards her middle-aged character actor children hackin' up the tourists into meatloaf, you've got a winning combination. They even bothered to provide enough backstory to make you care about two of the six urbanites trapped on the island, so it seems to me like the writers earned their bacon on this one.
Here's who matters and why: Terence Kelly (In Their Skin, Watchmen, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, When a Stranger Calls Back, Beyond the Stars, The Changeling 1980), Caroline Barclay (Species, Within the Rock, Candyman 2), Mark Lindsay Chapman (Annihilator, Legend of the Mummy, Assassin 1986), Stephen Shellen (Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, The Stepfather, and for playing Dr. Anton Arcane in the Swamp Thing TV series), Rod Steiger (Modern Vampires, Mars Attacks!, The Kindred, The Amityville Horror 1979, The Illustrated Man), Yvonne De Carlo (Mirror Mirror, Cellar Dweller, Vultures, Play Dead, The Silent Scream, Guyana: Cult of the Damned, Nocturna, Satan's Cheerleaders, and best known of all, she was Lily Munster on The Munsters), Janet Wright (The Tall Man, Rollerball 2002, Phenomenon II), Michael J. Pollard (Scrooged, House of 1000 Corpses, Skeeter, Split Second, The Arrival 1991, Dark Angel, Sleepaway Camp III, Night Visitor), William Hootkins (Batman 1989, The Breed, The Island of Dr. Moreau 1996, Death Machine, The Neverending Story III, Dust Devil, Hardware, Superman IV, Haunted Honeymoon, Flash Gorden 1980, and of course, as the immortal, Porkins in Start Wars: A New Hope). It's my sad duty to inform you about a few cast members who need to be shamed for strayin' from the one true path, so for those of you wondering what these people do when they're takin' a break from makin' quality pictures, here's a list for you to print out and give to your mamas. Sarah Torgov would be best known for playing Candace in Meatballs (which is far more excusable than most of these), Stephen Shellen prolly can't stop talkin' about his portrayal of Neal Burns in A River Runs Through it, and Yvonne De Carlo got her life together nicely after falling in with a bad crowd early in her career and taking roles like Louise Warren in McLintock!, and Sephora in The Ten Commandments. Additionally, Janet Wright went on to play Emma Leroy in the TV series Corner Gas, while Michael J. Pollard cut his teeth as C.W. Moss in Bonnie and Clyde. But prolly the best known of all would be Rod Steiger, who squandered far too much of his talent on parts like Charley Malloy in On the Water Front, Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night, and Komorovsky in Doctor Zhivago. But let us not dwell on their missteps, for they have redeemed themselves thoroughly in bringing us American Gothic.
The special effects are fairly well executed, if a bit lacking in originality and volume. That's pretty standard when you're dealing with a movie that works on a more cerebral level, as they tend to minimize the total number of deaths, and the gruesomeness thereof. That said, the best ones all come after my summary cuts off, so if your sole motivation for seeing a movie is gore, you can at least expect a reasonable amount more than what I've gone over during the plot summary. It's not that there're any bad effects per se, but we're mainly talkin' blood, hold the guts. All the blood is too vibrant for my liking, too. The only other effect that warrants mentioning is the mummified baby, which is okay, despite looking a bit like a papier-mache arts and crafts project created by somebody tryin' to get Planned Parenthood shut down. The shooting locations are excellent, and if they look kinda similar to the ones from The Food of the Gods, that's because they are. Even the exteriors of the houses look similar to the Food of the Gods house, although I'm pretty sure they weren't, as the interiors look completely different. The island itself (Bowen Island, off the coast of B.C., Canada) is only about three miles wide by seven miles long, so the similarities between the wooded areas in the two movies are plain to see, even with 12 years separating their production dates. Not terribly brushy, but thick enough that you don't get that hokey national park feel to it, so it works pretty well for the movie, and gives us the always beneficial feeling of claustrophobia. The soundtrack is probably the weak point, which isn't to say that it's bad or fails to ever generate any atmosphere; rather, it simply doesn't hold up to the superior quality of the film's other aspects. The track I had the most problem with was the one that plays over the opening credits, which, technically speaking, is a track that should be granted a certain amount of leeway on the grounds that the movie hasn't taken a dark turn yet, and that the situation at that time is a group of kids going out for a weekend of fun. Thing is, we know better than that, so you're not going to lure us into a false sense of security when we've seen the movie's cover art. The track reminded me of something you'd expect from a late 70s made for TV movie, and just sets the wrong tone, in my opinion. But to be fair, that's the only time it plays, and the rest of the tracks are reasonably atmospheric and help to create moments of tension from time to time. I just feel that it could have been a bit more tense, and that it wasn't on par with the rest of the movie. I wonder if maybe the composer doesn't actually share my assessment, because despite a rather lengthy resume, he never did another horror soundtrack in his career. Overall, very under-rated movie, and one that people should bring up more often when making recommendations for titles others might not be familiar with, check it out.