Donna Trenton is a frustrated suburban housewife whose life is a turmoil after her husband learns about her having an affair. Brett Camber is a young boy whose only companion is a Saint-Bernard named "Cujo", who in turn is bitten by a rabid bat. Whilst Vic, Donna's husband is away on business, and thinking over his marital troubles, Donna and her 5-year-old son Tad take her Pinto to Brett Cambers' dad's car shop... the car fails, and "Cujo" is very, very sick... Written by
Miguel Cane <Stepford@yahoo.com>
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.
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