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


At last, the night has a hero. See more »


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Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

16 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clive Barker's Nightbreed  »

Box Office


$8,862,354 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lylesburg's voice was re-dubbed by an anonymous German actor for the correct accent, much to Doug Bradley's annoyance See more »


When Decker and Lori meet in Midian, Decker takes off his mask. Before chasing Lori he puts the mask back on, with the mask's long neck flaps now hanging over his collar and necktie. But in the next shot, the neck flaps are neatly tucked underneath his tight shirt collar again. See more »


Pettine: We've got the perfect weapon, right over our heads!
Detective Joyce: Yeah. Just until it goes DOWN.
See more »


Featured in Monster Prosthetics Masterclass (2014) See more »


Vienna Bonbons
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Danny Elfman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Absolutely Fascinating
26 August 1999 | by (Jersey Shore USA) – See all my reviews

Fascinating is an excellent word to describe NIGHTBREED: it doesn't necessarily mean it is good or bad, just interesting. Indeed, Im still not sure whether or not this film is good or bad.

On the credits side, the sets, costumes, make-up, special effects, even the matte paintings are gorgeous, grotesque, perfect for what is required. I was amazed that such fantastic production values could be found in a movie that on the surface seems so schlocky. There is such a wealth of imagination here that one can hardly take time out to think about the flaws. I was so amazed by the knock-out apocalyptic finale that I could barely think about how silly the context is (a bunch of redneck Canadians blow-torching a cemetary.)

he film's biggest flaw is it's sheer magnitude- there are SO many characters, plots, subtexts, overlays, and so on, that no really coherent or involving center emerges. It can be interpreted as: a story about how love conquers the supernatural (a la Dead Again), a Silence-of-the-lambs-like psychodrama about a serial killer; a dreamy horror flick reminiscent of Nightmare on Elm Street and especially Little Monsters; a Gilliam-inspired fantasy (the teeming underworld city is strongly reminiscent of Brazil and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness in Time Bandits, while other parts are reminiscent of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen); a symbolic tale of racial tolerance; and on and on. So much happens, so many characters are involved, so many subtexts present themselves, its hard to know what is going on at all.

Still, one really does have to see the film to believe it. The underworld city is stunning, its atmosphere created perfectly by both the production design and a series of bizarre tableaux of its residents. It is a mark of Barker's screenwriting talent (so often evident in his other films if you can look beneath the shlock) that all the characters, even monsters seen only briefly, ring true in some strange way. The many stories are actually touching. Also, the ending is cleverly conceived; it doesnt go out of its way to leave the door open for a sequel, rather the open door is integral to the plot. I would love to see a follow-up just to know how Barker carries through the mythical aspects he introduces in this film's last part.

Perhaps the film could have been more focused, with fewer subsidiary characters; perhaps the completely inappropriate (but obviously intentional) humor could have been dropped; perhaps the entire serial-killer sub-plot could have been excised completely. In any case, this film is a knock-out.

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