30 August 2007 | lost-in-limbo
Won't John be surprised.
After three years in a coma, Amanda Hollins awakens and tells her son, John. To destroy her life experiments and any information found in her secluded old house. He heads there with his girlfriend, some work colleagues and one of his mother's admirers. They eventually discover more then what they bargain for, as some of his mother's genetic engineered creations run amok.
I thought I've seen this one before, but I was wrong. This modest combination of 50's sci-fi / horror goes onto deliver a undervalued oddity, with a tip-top ensemble cast and sure-handling from dual directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter. Suspense is lacking because the minimal story is just too typical and shredded with loopholes, but it's the surprisingly efficient make-up effects, which are over-the-top and horrifically creative that makes for a pleasurable treat. The excessive use of this icky business in some wicked (and at times silly) set pieces is the film's only real imaginative bone. A quick tempo, builds up after a slow opening and the shocks are well placed for maximum effect. Be it a laugh or a gasp. The material mostly plays it with a straight face, with slight slabs of humour and Rod Steiger's small meaty turn. The composed performances (with Steiger being the exception) are reasonably good from the cast. David Allen Brooks is likable in his steadfast delivery and the ravishing Amanda Pays shines in her shifty portrayal. Talia Balsam gives hearty support and Peter Frechette diverts. The classy Kim Hunter also gets some minor scenes as Amanda Hollins. Obrow and Carpenter's directorial style is systematically sturdy without an ounce of any visual flourishes. The look of the film generates a gloomy air, mainly due to Steven Carpenter's murky photography and dim lighting. David Newman's moody, understated music score is fairly unnoticeable.