Sunday, June 27, 2010

Terror (1978) - 2.5/5

Terror... what an awfully blah title. The word "Terror" is usually used in some phrase such as "Terror Express", "Terror of Mechagodzilla", etc to give the audience a hint what the film is about. Not only is it blah but the title has already been used in the horror genre by Roger Corman in 1963 with his film "The Terror" starring Jack Nicholson. A film just simply titled "Terror" sounds like a boring time to me but thankfully the film is a little better than it's unimaginative title.

"Terror" begins like a period piece with a woman being hunted down like a witch. The film then takes a turn and it is revealed to the audience that the opening is a movie, produced by a man whose family was involved in the slaughter. The film is being shown at the very house where it the horrific event occurred and when a joker hypnotizes a girl, it seems that she gets possessed by our dead witch and she goes after the producer with the "cursed sword" that was used to slay the witch. The rest of the film is basically filled with bodies piling up.

The problem with the plot is that it is inconsistent and the killings seem to have no logical purpose. The film starts off like a slasher (which we assume the women is possessed by the witch and stabbing everyone she can) but then the film in the third act starts taking a supernatural slant and people start getting killed off when the girl isn't even around. Also it seems people are just killed a random. At first I thought people involved with filming the movie were the target but then it seems that people that piss off our possessed girl are getting killed. If it's killing off people upsetting her, why does the supernatural force go for her at the end? I also didn't care for the fact that the producer character, who seems like he will be integral to the plot early on, eventually disappears later. The film hit's its ultimate low when it shows a car unconvincingly floating in the trees and then the climax goes all Suspiria on our asses. I'm talking about supernatural shenanigans, weird color lighting, and our witch has an introduction and laugh just like Jessica's dead friend in Suspiria! I'm sorry, but if I want to watch Suspiria, I'll pop that movie in instead!

Overall this is a well made British horror film with good actors and nice style inspired by Italian surreal horror, but the plot inconsistencies and poor character development made me come out of the film unfulfilled. This seems to be typical of director Norman J. Warren as his earlier film Satan's Slave also left me craving more out of the plot. He's got a good style for a British horror director but his plots just seem to meander. Sadly he would never improve and he would even go further down the crap shoot with his Alien rip-off Inseminoid.

Written By Eric Reifschneider

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