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  • Tikkin23 February 2006
    I think of Cujo as "realistic horror" because it is something that could really happen. People really do get killed by rabid dogs...this film just exaggerates the truth a bit. I can't say I really enjoyed this film as it is not what I look for in horror films. It's a very good film - well acted, well directed, suspenseful and emotional, but it's not really "fun" to watch. It starts off with the dog getting infected, and from then on tension is built up slowly as you sense the dog is getting angrier and angrier. Eventually it snaps and starts killing people. The bulk of the film focuses on when Donna and her son are trapped in the broken down car because Cujo attacks whenever they try to leave. You can feel all the desperation, pain and isolation of Donna and her son as they lay trapped inside. It makes you think twice about dogs and certainly what you would do in such a situation. Would you run, attack the dog, or wait until help arrives?

    This is not a fun, campy or cheesy horror film, so don't watch if you're a fan of cheese. It's for those who want to feel suspense, fear and pain.
  • We all know Cujo is a giant St. Bernard that has to kill because he is rabid. The film works as a horror film because of that concept, but this film and the story writer behind it believe that paybacks are a bitch. Retribution is always around the corner and when it is your time, you don't know if it is going to from a guy in a hockey mask, a massive great white shark,a 58 red and white Plymouth Fury, some idiot with long finger knives or a lovable Saint Bernard. Whatever it is though, sin always accounted for. Cujo subscribes to that theory.

    Everyone that dies in this film, with the exception of maybe one, does so because they are not very likable people to begin with. They are all tainted and when Cujo gets a hold of them, we are almost glad that he wants their blood. But it is the climax of the film that is the most intriguing. Because here we have a woman who has gotten rid of her sin. But she now has to face the music not for what she is doing, but for what she has done. And if you read the book, you will see that it sticks to that theory and message much more than the film does. It is understood that Cujo has to have a happy Hollywood ending, and that is fine, but the book tells a much more clear yet paradoxically convoluted tale of a boy, his dog, and how sin is never really forgiven.

    What is also great about Cujo is how it shows the dog coming unravelled. We see the transformation from lovable suck of a family dog, to vicious killing machine that has an insatiable need for blood. We see his nose get more wet, we see how certain noises bother him more and we see how much saliva this dog has stored up in his nasty mouth.

    Cujo is a good movie. It is scary, especially the last half hour and it actually has a point. It also does a fairly good job of bringing King's vision to life. It is not easy to do that, after all King has a very vivid imagination. But Cujo comes close. Very close
  • gridoon10 December 2000
    Hardcore horror fans won't be disappointed (although for a while they may think they will be) with this extremely bloody and gruesome shocker. The attack scenes are about as intense as possible - the director almost pushes them TOO far. But the first half of the movie is plodding, filled with unnecessary scenes, and the kid's constant whining (although justified) is sure to get on your nerves. (**1/2)
  • (57%) With one of the thinnest plots in film history, this still manages to be quite a real good shocker. Most of the action takes place in a broken down car in the countryside during a super hot day as a big dirty, and very angry dog tries to attack and kill a poor young kid and his mother. The attacks themselves are really quite brutal and very well put together as the main characters really do go through hell and back with this rabid pooch. This is one of the better animal attack films that has for some unknown reason been more than a little bit forgotten about. Put this on if your kid wants to watch one of the terrible Beethoven sequels for the 100th time.
  • Stephen King-based thriller is a sweat-inducing shocker that ranks among the most intense King adaptations.

    Woman and child are trapped inside their stalled car by a huge, rabid dog.

    Cujo remains one of the more memorable Stephen King novels because it's a tale of such merciless suspense and in the hands of director Lewis Teague much of that same horror transcends well into this film. This film benefits greatly from a powerful story with some well fleshed-out characters, it's much more than just another 'animal attacks' movie. Teague's direction is also very tight and helps to build an unnerving tension through out this film. The atmosphere is very heated, the look of the movie very gritty, and the danger feels all the more real! The camera work is also excellent and makes this film feel truly claustrophobic! It builds to a finale that is heart-stopping. The music score is harrowing and the filming locations are good.

    Cast-wise the film is quite strong too. The great Dee Wallace delivers an emotionally powerful performance as a mother desperate to protect her child and survive herself. Young Danny Pintauro is great as Wallace's horrified child. The supporting cast is good too, as are the numerous St. Bernard's that play our vicious title character.

    Cujo is a top-notch suspense film that never loses its edge. A must-see, and not just for King fans.

    **** out of ****
  • A St. Bernard dog is playfully chasing a rabbit, but when the dog decides to pop its head into a burrow it's bitten by a rabies-infected bat and slowly over time it becomes a maliciously uncontrolled mutt. Which, it turns on its owner and also terrorises that of a unfaithful women and her son that came to get their vehicle repaired, but only to be trapped in their broken down car with rabid dog outside trying to get to them.

    Beethoven… yep, I just couldn't stop thinking of the lovable Beethoven when watching this flick. That was one of my childhood favourites, but I guess it isn't going to be quite the same when I come across it again. I won't look a Beethoven the same way again. Anyhow, this is one of the King's better-made adaptations. Although, it's a long way from brilliant, it delivers a stable amount of interest and tension to proceedings. This was my second viewing of it and it has hardly lost any of that full-blooded impact it generated, especially the heart racing standoff between the dog and the trapped victims. I wouldn't be surprise that you don't think your watching a horror film to begin with, as the opening basis centres around a family melodrama, raising martial issues and work commitments. It kind of comes across as cheesy in its supposed sentiment in those moments.

    Then it kicks into gear with the slow beginning making way for a crackerjack final 40 minutes of simple confined tension built around isolation. It also doesn't hold back on the vicious dog attacks with ample ferocity and raw suspense being belted out. Watching people being mauled apart by this giant scuffed up dog wasn't that pleasant at all. The gore effects were more than adequate and it looked the part of a rabid dog perfectly. But you couldn't help but feel sorry for the dog, as it's more of a victim then the people who he's terrorising. Honestly I cared more for the misunderstood pooch than the initial victims. The characters weren't entirely likable, with the exception of one or two, but I didn't connect with them in this mess. The story is simple and plays it straight, but that doesn't mean it avoids the familiar clichés. Although, it doesn't entirely hurt the film, well it kind of enhances it actually. A surprising factor I found was that the film's camera-work was well choreographed with plenty of swirling shots and when it needed to up the ante it became rather erratic to fit in with the mood. Also add in some glorious slow-mo. The score on the other hand I thought was forcefully unbalanced and didn't fit into the mood at times. The performances are all sturdy and very hard to knock. Dee Wallace-Stone was at the top of her game as the wayward wife and Danny Pintauro as her worried son was equally so. Daniel Hugh Kelly gives a likable performance as the father and of course the endearing dog is worth a mention too. The strong performances make this traumatic experience even more believable.

    A tautly constructed and work-man like film that won't push the boundaries, but its intensely petrifying in its simple origins.
  • 1983 was a bit of a bumper year for cinematic versions of Stephen King novels. In that year alone we had Christine and The Dead Zone as well as Cujo. It would probably not be unfair to say that Cujo is the least good of the three but in all honesty there isn't a great deal in it, with all being pretty effective and nicely varied horror films. Out of those three, and unlike most King horror films in general, Cujo is not a supernatural horror movie and is based on a plausible idea. A woman and her young son become trapped in their broken down car in a remote junkyard when a St. Bernard dog, made rabid by a bite from an infected bat, lays siege to their vehicle in a murderous mood.

    This one could be described as a high concept movie given the very basic nature of its set-up. In order to pad things out to feature length and to add some depth, we have quite a bit of character development in the first half of the movie, which focuses mainly on a dysfunctional family and the dramas that surround them. Once the action moves to the junkyard though, most of this is largely forgotten and the film essentially becomes an 'animal-attack' horror-thriller. Dee Wallace does some good work as the mother who has to deal with the trauma while having to comfort her young son, who it has to be said is involved in some pretty intense looking scenes which may have been quite full on for the young actor involved. But the scary scenes were often achieved by very clever editing, after all a St. Bernard is hardly the most threatening of beasts to base a horror movie on. The fast and clever edits do make this creature seem genuinely menacing. Less successful though was the soundtrack which compromised of a considerable amount of really terrible music which would have been better suited to a daytime TV melodrama than a suspenseful and thrilling feature film. But on the whole, this is a pretty decent and lean effort that gets the job done quite effectively.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After reading King's fantastic novel "Cujo" - off which the movie is clearly based - I was beyond excited to watch the movie. I wondered excitedly how they would accurately depict the intricate and emotional lives of the 8 or so main characters. After watching the movie I can say with confidence that they failed to do the job.

    First off - many of the characters that are quite prominent in the novel and add to the intensity and suspense are given nothing but slight cameos in the movie, or are not shown at all. The Camber family, composed of Joe, wife Charity, and son Brett, might collectively have 25 lines which is ridiculous. Roger Breakstone, Sheriff Bannerman, Gary Pervier, George Meara and Steve Kemp as characters with clear motives and reactions in the novel, are all about as deep as paper in the film. Aunt Evvie Chambers, Holly and her family, and a few other minor characters have been omitted from the film completely.

    If this wasn't bad enough, the main story was altered drastically, and there was no falling action whatsoever!

    * SPOILER ALERT *

    Tad Trenton lives in the movie! This huge change in plot completely takes away from the tragedy that Stephen King so wonderfully wrote. Also, Cujo is shot in the end. This quick, seemingly painless death allows the film to end quickly but totally ruins it. In the novel, the long, painful, graphic death of Cujo is, in a sense, justice being served. In the film there is no such thing.

    Ultimately, this film is weak, not scary, and does not stay true to the novel. I had to read the novel in broad daylight because of how frightening it was, I watched the movie alone, in the dark, at night. The film is the terrible, shameful younger brother - nay - cousin of the original novel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cujo is a large St. Bernard dog, very friendly, but while chasing a rabbit he gets his nose caught in the dirt of a small cavern. His frantic barking disturbs a colony of bats and one bat bites his nose and gives him rabies.

    Meanwhile, things aren't going so hot for the Trenton family in Maine. Donna Trenton is cheating on her husband with a jealous boyfriend, her son Tad is constantly having nightmares about some invisible creature in his closet and her husband Vic has just lost the big Sharp Cereals account because a bad batch of cereal was sold it it made kids puke up red dye (which looked like blood to their parents). Donna tries to break it off with the secret boyfriend but he becomes overbearing and won't leave her alone. Vic finds out just before leaving for a business trip.

    Donna drives Tad to the nearest car repair place that afternoon and the car breaks down but no one is home. She gets out of the car and Cujo, now coated in blood and yellow pus, comes at her and Tad. Since the car won't start, the mother and son are stuck there in the heat with no food or water in the rural area until somebody finds them or Cujo dies.

    Cujo wasn't bad, not at all, as far as acting, soundtrack and makeup go. The problem was the section between the part where Cujo is bitten by the bat and the part where Donna's car breaks down, it's very boring and not much fun to sit through. Also the Tad kid is rather annoying, he is pretty dorky and has the voice of a two-year-old girl. He lives in the film but died in the book, I think they should have stuck with the book if you ask me. Not bad, but like most of Stephen King's adaptations it needs some work.
  • This didn't get the distribution or attention "Misery" got, but it's equally tense and equally well acted by Dee Wallace-Stone (as Donna Trenton).

    The simple premise is that a woman becomes trapped in a car while a rabid dog, Cujo, waits to tear her apart.

    As "Misery" was about confinement, so is "Cujo", and director Lewis Teague "("Educating Rita") keeps the suspense high and convinces us that Donna's situation is real. The dog is not entirely unsympathetic, either, as we are given the reasons for his mental and physical state.

    The film has a refreshing, picturesque simplicity and, by virtue of its shorter form, cuts away the lengthy novel's fat and improves on the premise, getting us to the jeopardy quicker and keeping us there.

    The original poster, which depicted a distant farmhouse on a hill, may not have sold tickets, but it was a stunning piece of creative understatement.
  • gavin694227 July 2014
    A friendly St. Bernard named "Cujo" contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

    "Cujo" is more than just a monstrous dog, this is also a tale of infidelity and a family breakdown. This is what separates it from other animal attack films.

    The New York Times called the film "predictable" and said, "Cujo is not as menacing or frightening as other film adaptations of King's popular stories and especially can not compare to the 1976 Carrie..." Now, that may be true. But let us not sell it short, either. Just about everyone, whether they have seen the film or not, knows what the word "Cujo" means... far more than, say, "Christine". So this is one of King's more deeply imprinted films, even if not the most creative.
  • This movie was pretty good. I saw it on TV last Halloween, and it really set the mood. It's basically about a dog that gets rabies, and a mother and her son are trapped in the middle of nowhere (in their car that broke down, of all things) because the dog is terrorizing them. It's really pretty sad actually, because they show the dog chasing the rabbit into the cave where he gets the rabies, and the dog just seems so sweet and cute. It's pretty scary too, when the boy passes out from the heat in the car and needs water or SOMETHING. It obviously set that kind of situation for movies like Panic Room and Signs. It is really a pretty suspenseful movie with that psychological terror--it would scare the hell out of you if it happened to you.
  • oOoBarracuda9 August 2016
    5/10
    Cujo
    I have a love-hate relationship with Stephen King adaptations. I love The Shining, Misery, and most of IT, but can't get behind The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile. I want to love the adaptations based on his books, but as masterful as the beginnings are, the endings mostly seem to fall flat; a phenomenon not unlike Stephen King's books. The 1983 film Cujo by Lewis Teague was no different than my viewings of other King adaptations, in the way that it starts off strong, then falls off in the middle and the end. Starring Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro Cujo tells the story about a rabid dog who turns on those around him and brings evil to the small town he lives in.

    In the sleepy town of Castle Rock, Maine, Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) lives a modest unfulfilling life with her son, Tad Trenton (Danny Pintauro) and busy husband Vic Trenton (Daniel Hugh Kelly). Spending her days taking care of her son and dealing with her husband's absence Donna seems to feel as though her very existence has been hijacked by the other members of her family. Feeling as though she solely exists for others, Donna begins an affair with her husband's friend Steve Kemp (Christopher Stone). When Vic finds out about the affair, he abruptly leaves the house; busy dealing with a business emergency anyway, Donna is suddenly alone with her son. Because he had to hurry away to deal with the business emergency, Vic left his family's car needing repairs. On the way to have the repairs done, the car breaks down leaving Donna and her son Tad face to face with a rapid dog intent to kill.

    I never know what to expect with Stephen King films. Some are great and some are terrible. Cujo is somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. There are some good things that happen in this film. The score is brilliant, and the dog is well-done for the screen. All the bad outweighs the few good things, however. Pacing is just horrible; I typically find great enjoyment out of a film that takes place in confinement, as this film does in the car. Cujo is not a film that works well in confinement. Bad child actors can ruin a good movie, and that is certainly the case with Cujo. The more horror movies I watch, the more disappointed I am. I love the genre, but it just seems that what passes as a horror movie is always disappointing. I won't quit the quest, but Cujo certainly did not satisfy my craving for horror movies.
  • Cujo is just a great horror film, plain and simple, it just is. Now I haven't seen all of Stephen King's work, although I have seen his classics like misery and the Shining. I actually thought that cujo was better than the shining, but not quite as good as something like misery. The story is just very well told through film, I cannot recommend the book because I have not read it, but I can recommend this movie for horror or thriller lovers. Also the acting is done really well especially by Dee Wallace! Dee really pulled off a great performance here. And she delivers one of the best lines I've ever heard in a film: f**k you dog! Cujo definitely knows what will scare and it uses that. Also I think the run time and the pacing of the movie is spot on. I believe it's about an hour and 32 minutes, which is just right for this movie because really it doesn't need to be long if this movie specifically was overly long, then you would bore and lose the audience. And I think they did a good job at making the dog look borderline demonic and just downright evil. So all in all I think this was a great book to film Stephen King adaptation that I recommend to horror and thriller movie fans. 8/10 for Cujo!
  • This was solid and unexpectedly fulfilling--perhaps because I'm a cat enthusiast and am neutral towards dogs to begin with. My 13-year-old son and I enjoyed it very much. I haven't read the book yet, so it's unnecessary for enjoyment of the movie IMHO. Worth both a purchase and rewatching for genre aficionados. So far, I'm neither much of a fan of Teague (I had only previously watched 'The Jewel of the Nile', and it was decent) nor of Stephen King (he's written some great works for horror, but he's written a lot of dreck and is criminally overrated), but I was really pleasantly surprised by it--and even though it was made in the 80's, it's neither cheesy nor dated; it still holds up very well IMHO.
  • This was the first of three Stephen King adaptations to hit the screen in 1983, with the others being "The Dead Zone" and "Christine". It's a respectful - if not completely faithful - version of the story that captures a lot of its visceral power.

    It actually takes its time to get started (unlike a lot of modern movies where the aim is clearly to have things happen as fast as possible) and gives us all too human and thus easily relatable characters to follow before and during their horrible ordeal in a Maine dooryard.

    Dee Wallace is wonderful in this as Donna Trenton, a young mother who's had vague unpleasant thoughts about growing old and bored as a homemaker in the small Maine town of Castle Rock. She has an affair (with her real-life husband Christopher Stone playing the lover) that she comes to regret, while her husband Vic's (Daniel Hugh-Kelly) business is threatened by a health scare involving one of the products that it's advertised. Eventually Donna and little son Tad (Danny Pintauro) find themselves stranded by a malfunctioning car on the property of local mechanic Joe Camber (Ed Lauter). And there Cujo strikes. Cujo was a good hearted St. Bernard dog who contracted rabies after being bitten on the nose by a rabid bat, and now the dog is a killer. With nowhere to go, Donna has a hard time making it through the subsequent siege by the dog.

    Once "Cujo" kicks into gear, it's a hell of a film, with plenty of nerve jangling thrills and intense action scenes. The animal action (supervised by Karl Lewis Miller) is first rate and the several St. Bernards playing the part of Cujo are all impressive. The cinematography (by Jan de Bont) and camera-work are exemplary; note the handling of an early scene in Tad's bedroom and a later one inside the car. The makeup is very well done also. You really feel the heat and discomfort experienced by Donna and Tad, and feel like you're trapped inside that car with them.

    In addition to Wallaces' award-caliber performance, the rest of the cast is excellent right down the line. Young Pintauro proves to be a very good screamer.

    "Cujo" is one of those movies that definitely takes you on a ride, complete with many hills and valleys along the way. And, in the end, it does have something to say about how sometimes the fears we create for ourselves can't hold a candle to a true life-or-death situation.

    Eight out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Stephen King writes some of the best stories we have today. The books of his have an effect that can only be done through writing, and not by filming. That is the reason that his movies aren't as good as the books. The novel Cujo is one of the most gut wrenching and disturbing novels I've ever read. The movie isn't terrifying, but there is one exceptionally scary moment, and there is a lot of suspense.

    The story is realistic and is absent of any of the supernatural elements that you would expect in a King movie. The story is about a Saint Bernard who becomes Rabid in a rural Maine town. That is the basis of the story, but it also focuses on two families, one is from the rural town, and the others are from the city and were looking for a great life in the country side. Both of these families have marriage problems, and both of the husbands have job problems. A course of events takes place in the first 45 minutes that has nothing to do with horror, but more so about the characters and the slow progression of rabies that Cujo has. Eventually, a moment strikes and horror is what takes place throughout the last 45 minutes of the movie.

    (spoiler) The problem with this movie is that it ruins the book. The book has somewhat of a message that was told through a heart breaking ending that many couldn't stand, but the movie ruins the ending. Otherwise, it's a pretty decent horror movie, but it's nothing like The Shining.
  • There have been alot of movies adapted from Stephen King novels or stories. Some have been good ("Carrie", "Cat's Eye", "Misery"), some have been just so-so ("The Shining", "Firestarter"), and some have been bad ("Children of the Corn", "Maximum Overdrive"). 1983's "Cujo" ranks up there as one of the good ones. It's about a sweet St. Bernard dog that turns nasty after a bat bites the big canine. After the dog turns completely evil, he terrorizes everybody in sight. This includes a woman and her young son who drive up to the house (where Cujo lives) to have her car fixed (Cujo's master is an auto mechanic). Not one person is in sight, and when Cujo shows up, the once friendly dog traps the two in their car and then viciously tries to break in. To make matters worse, the car stalls and refuses to start. "Cujo" does have a few laughable situations and there's a little stupidity thrown in at times, but overall this is a very effective horror film that did frighten me many times. Dee Wallace Stone" ("E.T.") and Danny Pintauro (TV's "Who's the Boss?") are very good as the mother and son who's little trip to get the car fixed turns into a nightmare. "Cujo" is a little well-made horror flick worth seeing.

    *** (out of four)
  • The novels of Stephen King provided the basis for a number of horror films that ranged from rather good (FIRESTARTER; THE DEAD ZONE; CHRISTINE) to absolute masterworks (CARRIE; THE SHINING). One adaptation that flew under the radar screens of even the most devoted fans of the horror genre (as well as a few critics) was CUJO, based on King's 1981 novel of the same name, and released in the late summer of 1983. Part of it could be that the story itself was considered a bit thinner than what most were used to from King as a novelist. Nevertheless, in a decade that didn't see too many horror films become masterpieces (and this even applied to later King adaptations like PET SEMETARY and CHILDREN OF THE CORN), even slightly lower-caliber King from the 1980s like CUJO still outdoes even in the 21st century much of what is out there now.

    Dee Wallace, who portrayed the emotionally distant mother in director Steven Spielberg's 1982 sci-fi masterpiece E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, plays more or less a similar role in CUJO, a frustrated suburban wife in a northern California town whose life has become a subject of turmoil; she has had an affair behind her husband (Daniel Hugh-Kelly) with another man (Christopher Stone); and her five year-old son (Danny Pintauro) is troubled by these issues which he is much too young to even begin to comprehend. Elsewhere in town, another young boy (Billy Jayne) has other issues coping with youth, and his only real "friend" in the world is his St. Bernard dog Cujo. Unfortunately, what nobody yet knows is that Cujo is the victim of a horrible encounter. In the film's opening, Cujo chases a rabbit into a hollowed-out, rotten log, only to get bitten on the nose by a bat infected with rabies. When Wallace and Pintauro stop off at the local garage where Cujo is kept, their car breaks down; and very soon, they are viciously attacked by the unfortunate St. Bernard. They are trapped in the broken-down car for much of the hot summer day, the target of Cujo's wrath.

    Lewis Teague, who directed the 1979 Dillinger-inspired THE LADY IN RED, and the 1980 cult horror film ALLIGATOR, does an effective job of conveying small-town life in this, the first of King's adaptations to be set in his fictional community of Castle Rock. The major issue that he faces in directing this film is how he depicts Cujo's attacks, which in the novel were not surprisingly quite a bit more explicit, and how sympathetic one can be towards a St. Bernard who slowly but surely evolves into a vicious killer with teeth. This becomes a prime focus when it is perfectly obvious how well Wallace and Pintauro connect as mother and young son. A basic clue can be gleaned from the fact that Cujo's horrifying transformation from loving St. Bernard to irrational mauler isn't fast or easy. Another issue, though more minor, is how Teague can keep up the suspense once Wallace and Pintauro find themselves trapped in their car at the hands of Cujo. Since the attacks can't be depicted with such relentlessness, but must be spaced at intervals, as was the case in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 horror classic THE BIRDS, the film inevitably slows down at times; and horror film fans impatient for the blood and gore to start pouring are likely to find all of this boring. But astute fans of the genre know that it's far better to do it this way.

    While King is often known for situations involving horror of some kind, primarily supernatural (though not really here), he also has a firm eye for characterizations; and Teague and screenwriters Dunaway and Currier take their cue from that aspect of King, while not leaving out the horror (though the attacks themselves, while plenty horrifying, aren't revoltingly graphic). The film's on-location settings in areas around Petaluma and Santa Rosa gives the Castle Rock an idyllic but also sometimes claustrophobic feel, which is enhanced and intensified once Cujo becomes a killer.

    In the end, CUJO, while not quite a masterpiece on the level of either CARRIE or THE SHINING, must still be counted as one of the better horror films, thanks to the emphasis on characterization and suspense, and not just on blood and gore, while providing plenty of scares. Not many horror films in the 1980s did that, and even fewer would do so in the decades to come, and on into the 21st century.
  • I didn't really know what to expect from this film, although I did know that the book was written by Stephen King, so that gave me some sort of basis. To my surprise, I expected the film to much more supernatural, but there really wasn't anything supernatural about it.

    The camera-work in the film was pretty good. There were a few scenes that I wasn't terribly fond of, like when the kid runs from the light switch to his bed. I thought that was un-needed, and just too dramatic for such a non-dramatic scene. Or when Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and Tad Trenton (Danny Pintauro) are stuck in the car and the camera goes in circles back and forth between them. Just stupid!!! But everything else was done quite well. The dog, Cujo, looked excellent throughout the film, although, I think they went a little overboard at times with the goo on his face.

    The actors all did a fine job, but there really isn't much to talk about. The Kid (Danny Pintauro) did start to annoy me a bit much at times, but that's ok, he's a kid.

    Overall, the story was pretty interesting, and a bit better than I expected, but I still wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see this. Unless of course, you are a big fan of Stephen King (or the actors/director). On the upside though, the film is very short, so even if you don't like it, you won't be wasting a whole lot of time. Well, if you do end up seeing the film, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading,

    -Chris
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film shares a lot in common with Stephen King's other adaptation 'Christine'. In 'Christine' we have a psychotic car that went round killing people whereas in 'Cujo' we have a rabid dog going round killing people. Sadly, like 'Christine' this film is effective in parts, but it has an awful lot of problems....

    For me the first half of the film is where Cujo is at its weakest and that's mainly down to the fact that it's so tedious; the kid says he's got monsters in his room...OK, would have been alright if there was any point to it? We're then told that the husband (Daniel Hugh Kelly) is head of an advertising company for Sharp's who promote cereals amongst other things, but then the company are seemingly brought to their knees by an allegation that their cereals have caused internal haemorrhaging to several individuals, but then this is found to be false. If it's been proved to be untrue, why go to pieces and disappear for 10 days to sort it out? Just sue the media. As a result of his self-absorbent behaviour his wife (Dee Wallace) ends up having an affair in possibly one of the most tedious aspects of the first half of the film. It's also interesting that no-one seems concerned by the bite mark on Cujo's nose which resulted in his rabies - didn't anyone think to get him checked out by a vet?

    I must admit the only thing that really held my interest in the first half of the film was wondering when Cujo would attack and here the writers dangle lots of carrots and then eventually decide to let Cujo loose which thankfully is when the film starts to pick up. Once Cujo goes nuts and when the wife (Dee Wallace) and the son Tad (Danny Pintauro) are isolated and Cujo is stalking them I have to admit that these moments are quite effective and do give the film some intensity, despite the intensity there are some problems in the second half....

    We're not given a clear indication of how long wife and son are stranded for so this aspect is open to speculation, but I know that it's light and dark on at least one occasion which begs the question does Cujo never sleep? Even if he's rabid surely he'd be hungry and would go and look for food elsewhere? It also requires a lot of suspension of disbelief to believe that a 9 stone woman can fight off a 20 stone dog, yet on three separate occasions, three fully grown men were unable to do this? Then wifey bashes Cujo six times across his head with a baseball bat which seemingly doesn't affect him - I know St Bernard's are big dogs, but at best it would have knocked him out and at worst it would have killed him. Cujo's re-appearance from the dead at the end was just lazy and predictable and rounded off just how bad this film was.

    If you're the sort of person who just wants a bit of excitement and edge of your seat antics and can suspend a lot of disbelief then you'll find the second half of the film enjoyable. However, the first of the film for me was intolerably dull and although the second half was better, for me, it was still too sloppy and clichéd to make up for the poor first half.
  • It's Beethoven goes berserk in this modest-budget adaptation of Stephen King's novel with the same title. Cujo is the name of a big and friendly St. Bernard that becomes deadly and aggressive after being bitten by a rabid bat. Lassie from hell first kills his owner and than takes hostage of a mother and her son in a broken-down car. I haven't read the novel but the person I've watched this movie with did and she claims it's a very faithful adaptation of King's writing and one of the most successful ones, too! Stephen King has the talent to uphold the tense image of two people trapped in a car for two-thirds of a book but it's not matter of course to translate this to a screen without losing its impact. Director Lewis Teague succeeded in making the most out of the scary struggles between dog and car. Cujo starts rather slow and throughout the entire first 45 min. you feel like you're being stuffed with information that isn't essential to the plot. The heart-breaking story of a seemly happy family falling apart due to adultery isn't top priority if you're watching a horror movie, right? If you manage to overlook the fake sentiment and family drama, you'll be rewarded with an action-filled climax and some delightfully gruesome make-up effects. The crew did their best to make the St. Bernard look threatening with filthy mud on his fur, blood-soaked teeth and merciless eyes. Yet, you can't help facing that the dog evokes feelings of pity instead of terror. That's probably another reason why it's easier to be compelled by a book.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cujo is a classic from the master of the horror genre, Stephen King.

    After a long, tense build up we discover that the lead actress is a hateful, cheating wife and terrible mother and that Cujo is a friendly, loveable dog that apparently just roams around being petted by everyone but cared for by no one, and whilst frolicking as dogs do, is bitten by a bat. No one bothers to check on the dog's welfare, even after the young boy tells his parents that he saw the dog bleeding.

    There are no likeable characters in this film other than the dog itself, which incidentally, was also the best actor.

    Sadly, the annoying mother and her equally irritating son do not meet and unseemly demise at the hands, or rather jaws, of the poor doggy who was critically ill and didn't know any better but rather live to soil our screens another day.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know, what some critics were thinking when saying Cujo is not as menacing or frightening as other film adaptations of author Stephen King's popular stories. It's pretty damn scary! It's a better film than films like 1983's Christine & 1986's Maximum Overdrive, combined. Director Lewis Teague did unleashed a semi good horror movie into the screen and it's a bit overlooked. It had some bite with its bark. I remember seeing this film when I was a kid, and being very afraid of the huge St. Bernard. It was like if the dog, Beethoven got rabid. It's a scary thought of a family pet turning against the owners. Unlike the other horrors novels, that go deep into the supernatural and fantasy genre. This film, portrays something that could honestly happen. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the movie tells the story of a mother, Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) whom wants to get her car fixed, only to find herself with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro) trapped in a car, when the neighborhood friendly family dog, Cujo becomes crazed and started killing people after being bitten by a rabid bat. I think, some people give this movie a bad rating, due to that reason, that it's feeding into the hype that certain dog breeds are dangerous. Yes, it's a bit prejudice and ignorance to think of all St. Bernard are evil, but to claim that the movie is too far fetch to be taken serious is an understatement. There has numeral cases of dogs turning against their owners. Yes, abuse, hunger and poor breeding play most of the factors to those accidents happening, but ruthless behaviors coming from normal well-kept dogs, do happen as well. Dogs do bite and dogs could kill you if they wanted to. They are indeed animals, no matter how tame they can seem. You do have to suspense disbelief, somewhat because the movie makes Cujo look something out like a monster. It's like 1993's Sandlot, in the humorous ways, they make Cujo look more than a normal dog through means like puppetry, forced perspective and a guy in dog costume. Still, some shots were pretty good, like the JAWS like animal point of view shots and how they show that loud sounds hurt Cujo. The movie does show how rabies does in fact lead to behavior changes in animals, but a rabid dog would either be hyperactive or lethargic, not super-crazed. This is a lethal disease that would cause the dog to be weaker and weaker, by the time, the Trenton family comes into play. A rabid dog is more likely to attack humans when prone, but it's normally it is too weak to be, even that vicious. It wouldn't have the strength to kill multiple people. Most rabid dogs would not be a killer like Cujo. Still, there's always going to be a slim chance that your dog will turn on you. But the odds of this are so astronomical that to be honest, I would not worry about it. It rarely happen. This movie shouldn't stop people, from buying St. Bernard. Most of them, are truly friendly. It was genuine problem in the making of the film because they simply could not get the St. Bernard to act aggressively. They had to replace him with a cunningly disguised Rottweiler for several crucial scenes, and tape his tail to his leg so he didn't wag it constantly. Large breed dogs like St. Bernard perfectly stable if purchased from a reputable breeder or pound. As long as you meet the requirements of taking care of the breed, this movie shouldn't stop you from buying dogs like that. One thing that I love about the film, is the sense of Man Vs Nature. Thank God, Stephen King didn't add the supernatural into it. The original novel was supposed to be a sequel of sorts following Stephen King 1983's The Dead Zone, in which a previous dead serial killer character, kind of bogeyman, supposedly haunted Tad and possessed Cujo to kill him. I just glad, it never came about, in the film version. I do like how Cujo stakes his prey, as if a Lion or a wolf, waiting for the right moment to attack. You really get the race against time, as conditions inside the car, become more and more unbearable, as heatstroke and dehydration, starts to kick in. The only thing, I kinda hate about the film is how annoying, the child is. The way, he's scream is ear-bleeding. It's super loud. It's doesn't help that the kid is nearly ten year old, yet, he acts like a useless toddler. How lame! He could do more, to help his mother. He was just a burden to watch. He's way too sensitive. I just wish, the movie had the same ending for the kid as the novel. One thing, I didn't like is the sub-plot that the novel had, about Donna cheating on her husband. It never added much to the story. The movie also brings it in, to help push the story, on why the police couldn't find, Donna and the kids, but the movie doesn't give us a conclusion on what happen to the Trenton's marriage. It ends with a cliffhanger note. The same, goes with the Camber family. They go away, for plot reasons, so Donna and the kids can be stuck with the dog, most of the film, but still, you would have thought, they would be used for the big climax, but no, they don't return. The movie would have, more depth, if Bret (Billy Jayne) was the one that had to take his own dog down. It would have been a great Old Yeller type of an ending. Sadly, it never came. Overall: It's a dog eat dog world out there and Cujo indeed deserve another look. Like me, you're be really surprise, how good, it was.
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