Nightbreed (1990)

R  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery  |  16 February 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 13,594 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 171 critic

A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.



(novel), (screenplay)
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Bobby ...
Lori Winston
Captain Eigerman
Catherine Chevalier ...
Malcolm Smith ...
Bob Sessions ...
Debora Weston ...
Sheryl Ann
Kim Robertson ...


A community of mutant outcasts of varying types and abilities attempts to escape the attention of a psychotic serial killer and redneck vigilantes with the help of a brooding young man who discovers them. Based on the novel "Cabal" by Clive Barker. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Come meet the dead of night. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clive Barker's Nightbreed  »

Box Office


$8,862,354 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (The Cabal Cut) | (The Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the Director's Cut released in 2014, Doug Bradley re-recorded his dialogue as Lylesberg, restoring his voice after being dubbed in the theatrical release. Actors Victoria Barker, Jack Bennett and Alexis De La Rocha recorded additional dialogue and looped other characters in the Director's Cut. See more »


When the Pathologist is removing the rifle bullets from Aaron Boone's corpse in the morgue, they are clearly brand new and have not been fired into anything. The bullets would be "mushroomed" if they had hit a person. See more »


Ashberry: I saw their god master... He burned me! I want to burn him back!
[as Decker screams... returning to life]
Ashberry: Halleujiah, Halleujiah, Halleujiah, Halleujiah...
See more »


Referenced in Fear in the Dark (1991) See more »


Written by Danny Elfman
Performed by Oingo Boingo
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Highly original and appealing to the senses, this horror fantasy still has it's problems.
10 July 2009 | by (Long Beach, California) – See all my reviews

If you're looking for an original horror flick, this might be the one for you. It's strange and at times lingers on stupidity, but it's just such a good looking, nice sounding and original movie, it never fails, except maybe during the over long climax. "Nightbreed" is a must see for horror fans, or for fans of monster movie make-up.

Boone (Craig Sheffer) has been having dreams of a town called Midian full of mutant creatures. In therapy, his psychiatrist Dr. Decker (horror director David Cronenberg) has come to the conclusion that Boone is a murderer, and gives him hallucinogenic pills, and tells him to turn himself in. After almost getting killed, Boone ends up at the hospital, where he runs into a mental patient who also knows about Midian, and tells Boone where to go. Midian, located in a graveyard, is inhabited by vile mutant creatures that don't let Boone in. After escaping with only a nasty bite, Boone is shot dead by the police, who were lead to his location by Dr. Decker. But Boone isn't dead. The bite causes him to live, and he goes off to Midian. Meanwhile, Boone's girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) tries to find Boone and get to the bottom of this. When Dr. Decker also finds out about this place, chaos ensues.

The plot seems long and complicated, but it really isn't hard to understand. The plot, among other things, makes this movie really interesting. The make-up effects are astounding. The creatures look unique and amazing, and make this a very appealing film. To add to more senses appeal, we have a musical score by Danny Elfman, that is both lush and bouncy, and fits the film like a glove. The shots in the movie are also set up beautifully. The cinematography is lovely, and the movie sets up an atmosphere that is never broken. Even the acting is good, with the biggest surprise being director David Cronenberg giving a great, menacing performance as the man, who for one reason or another, wants to see Boone dead. It's odd for a horror film to be this well done.

The problems with the movie...well there are a few, but the positives outweigh the negatives. The script features the occasional lame jokes to try and add some humor, but almost every one falls flat. The mutant creatures look great and for the most part are well acted, but sometimes it feels like they are just posing their awesome makeup for the camera. The worst part of the film would have to be the climax. It takes so long, and is just constant chaos. It's the portion of the film that moves from individual characters and nice tight knit shots, to fiery explosions from each direction and violence happening to characters we don't know or care about.

Overall, this movie is amazing to look at. It's a well done horror film, but even with that said, it has the occasional failure in character's lines, and a messy climax. Nonetheless, this is one to check out.

My rating: *** out of ****. 101 mins. R for strong violence and language.

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