Monday, August 23, 2010
In Nightbreed we find a young man named Aaron Boone plagued by nightmares about monsters from a land called Midian. His nightmares become so bad he seeks the aid of a psychologist. But suddenly he gets a call from said psychologist, Dr. Decker, who gives Boone the heads up that the cops believe he killed 6 people. Boone is shocked, only to find out the murderer killed these folk in a manner that practically mirrors dream descriptions Boone previously relayed to Dr. Decker. Did these murders go down just like his dreams because his memory is calling memories dreams? Or is it that Dr. Decker heard Boone’s descriptions and fulfilled the murders like a paint-by-numbers activity? Well, I’m spoiling nothing by telling you, it’s the latter. Dr. Decker is a psycho.
He has Boone killed, but Boone doesn’t stay on that slab for long because, wait for it, it turns out his nightmares about Midian were true. The monsters from Midian are real and they call themselves the Nightbreed. The Breed wants to adopt Boone as one of their own, given their strange mental connection, and they have been beckoning him to them for some time. So, Boone bands up with the Breed to take down the evil Dr. Decker.
There is very little of this movie that didn’t have me rolling my eyes. Anytime a filmmaker takes a horror movie and turns it into something meant to make us feel warm and fuzzy about the ‘monster,’ the movie fails. The only exception I can think of is The Sixth Sense, where the ‘good guy’ is normally the stuff of nightmares. True, director Clive Barker has always said this movie was hijacked by the studios, who cut many minutes and totally repaced the movie after he was done with it, but I don’t think that’s going to give him a free pass. See, the very idea of the movie sucks. Monsters should be monsters, and while we always want to sympathize a little with the Mike Meyers and Hannibal Lectors of the world, we also don’t want to be expected to cry over them when they meet their untimely demise at the end of the picture. Portraying hideous monsters as a people group who has been oppressed and misunderstood for centuries is just idiotic. There is a reason this movie never made back it’s budget.
That said, what’s keeping me from giving this movie a big fat U is the performance of David Cronenberg as Dr. Decker. He was a fantastic villain. If the movie was better overall, we’d be talking about him in the same breath as Dr. Lector and Antone Cigur. He’s a truly freaky villain and his mask is one of the best ever, love it. That and the production design take this out of the land of U and into SA, but don’t be fooled, generally speaking, this movie reeks.