WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Brent V. Friedman (Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward")
John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus, Laurie Briscoe, Ken Camroux-Taylor, Patrick P. Pon, Bernard Cuffling, Eric Newton,
After discovering an ancient diary, Charles Dexter Ward (Chris Sarandon) begins a terrifying series of experiments that may just unlock the secrets to immortality. Ward's wife Claire (Jane Sibbett) fears for her husband's life, as well as his sanity, so she hires a private investigator (John Terry) to figure out his horrifying plans before it's too late and the dead become...
Like the Vincent Price/Roger Corman classic
The Haunted Palace
is based on a story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by none other than H.P. Lovecraft. But, unlike the Corman's film,
not only sticks closer to the source material, it's much more horrific, gory, and downright disturbing.
What's interesting about this movie is that it starts out like a hard-boiled detective story and then, as secrets are revealed and clues are discovered, we find ourselves in quite a creepy, startling, and gut-churning horror story that's the stuff of nightmares.
John Terry and Jane Sibbett are great as the detective and Ward's wife, respectively. But the real gem in this terrifying tale is Chris Sarandon. He's sympathetic, scary, and sometimes monstrous as Ward. He was so chillingly compelling that I didn't even recognize him. He really makes this movie worth seeking out.
And even with a low budget director Dan O'Bannon (
Return of the Living Dead
) creates a story that's odd, gothic, and grossly gooey, that's sure to please fans of the genre and that of Lovecraft. The movie has this dank, damp look and feel to it that made me have to pause it and grab a blanket. Shivers up and down my spine!
Now, I don't want to get into the details of this story out of fear of spoiling some of the revolting revelations that are revealed, but I must say that I was shocked, grossed-out, and surprised by how much I got involved in this one. It's certainly not for all fans of horror flicks, but if you enjoy Lovercraft screen adaptations like
From Beyond (1986)
, then you won't want to miss
Stars (out of 4):
Was originally intended for a theatrical release, but ended up going straight to video.
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