14 December 2013 | utgard14
Enjoyable Horror Anthology
Horror anthology movie spun-off from the Tales from the Darkside TV series. It features three stories plus a bookend piece. The first story is "Lot 249" about a nerd (Steve Buscemi) who is cheated out of a scholarship by an evil girl and her boyfriend (Julianne Moore, Robert Sedgwick ). He seeks revenge by using an ancient scroll to send a mummy after them. Christian Slater plays Moore's brother and is an inconsistently written character. Buscemi is enjoyable though and it's nice to see an old-school mummy.
The second story is "Cat from Hell" about an elderly millionaire (Wiliam Hickey) who hires a hit-man (Buster Poindexter) to kill a cat. This is the weakest story of the bunch. Hickey and Poindexter are fine but it's kind of obnoxiously dark and I didn't really care what happened to anybody, including the cat. The third story is "Lover's Vow," about an artist (James Remar) whose life is spared by a gargoyle as long as he never reveals he saw the monster. He falls in love with a woman (Rae Dawn Chong) and after many years together the temptation to share his secret becomes too great. This story pretty much rips off the "Woman of the Snow" story from the superior horror anthology film Kwaidan (1964) but is still well done and probably the best story in the movie.
The bookend linking story is a take-off on Hansel & Gretel, with a witch (Debbie Harry) preparing to cook a little boy (Matthew Lawrence). To stall for time, the boy tells her stories from his favorite book, which leads into the three other tales. This is an amusing and enjoyable part of the film, though nothing exceptional. Overall, it's a surprisingly enjoyable film, helped in large part by a good cast. The stories aren't particularly strong, but somehow it manages to keep you entertained. The acting, directing, and special effects are pretty good and make up for the writing as much as they can.