A friendly troll with a magic green thumb grows one flower too many for the queen, whose laws require all trolls to act meanly, be ugly and scare humans whenever possible. As a punishment, ... See full summary »
Charles Nelson Reilly
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An evil troll, Torok, the transformed state of the ex-husband of an old friendly witch named Eunice St. Clair, has chosen her apartment building to be the heart of the restoration of the world he once knew. To do this he uses an Emerald ring, and takes possession of a little girl named Wendy, whose brother Harry immediately suspects something wrong. Torok, often in the form of the little girl, goes into each occupant's apartment, hideously transforming people (beginning with Peter Dickinson, named after the author/protagonist of _The Flight of Dragons_, which explores similar themes) into plant pods. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
I don't like scary movies, so when I saw they Shelley Hack was going to be in this one, I figured it was going to be a good choice. I was right. She looked good, and that was about all.
On the Witches' Sabbath, Harry and Anne Potter and their children Wendy and Harry Jr. move into an apartment building where a number of quirky people live. Wendy goes into the laundry room and meets Torok, an evil-looking creature. Harry Jr. goes into the same laundry room but doesn't see Torok because, using a green ring, he has the ability to change his appearance.
The experience of running into Torok is apparently very traumatic for Wendy. While not exactly Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist' (I've only seen clips from that one, and that's all I want to see), she does worry her parents quite a bit. Meanwhile, residents of the building start disappearing mysteriously.
Jenny Beck was wonderful as Wendy, and she appeared to be having a good time acting in a way kids can only fantasize about behaving. Phil Fondacaro also gave a very good performance as Malcolm, an English professor who was shorter than young Wendy and became her friend. The movie's most memorable scene is one between the two of them that seemed out of place in a movie like this but made sense later. Fondacaro also appeared in the credits as the troll, who was more adorable than scary, a quality you could see in his eyes (which must have been Fondacaro's). Anne Lockhart also did well as the mysterious Eunice, who lived upstairs and became Harry Jr.'s friend. As for Sonny Bono's performance as a not-so-suave ladies man, I think he made the right choice going into politics, because his talents in government are well-documented (though I liked him a lot when he performed with Cher and in many other TV appearances).
This movie may be a little too scary for young children, but the various monsters still had a cartoonish quality about them. Overall, the movie was more comedy than horror, though toward the end horror would describe it better.
It's not a bad movie, really.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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