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Charles Dexter Ward's wife enlists the help of a private detective to find out what her husband is up to in a remote cabin owned by his family for centuries. The husband is a chemical engineer, and the smells from his experiments (and the delivery of what appear to be human remains at all hours) are beginning to arouse the attention of neighbors and local law enforcement officials. When the detective and wife find a diary of the husband's ancestor from 1771, and reports of gruesome murders in the area begin to surface, they begin to suspect that some very unnatural experiments are being conducted in the old house. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Private investigator John March (John Terry) recounts the closed case of Charles Dexter Ward (Chris Sarandon) starting from 3 weeks ago in Providence. Ward's wife Claire (Jane Sibbett) hires March to investigate her chemical engineer husband and some strange smells. There is a mysterious Dr. Ash. Ward is researching the occult and raising the dead practiced by his ancestor Joseph Curwen.
Dan O'Bannon lacks a visual eye for directing. His legendary status has little to do with that. It's not his strong suit. This looks more like a weak TV movie shot by the second unit. The H.P. Lovecraft story has some potential but the script doesn't add much. The dialog is stale. John Terry is not a particularly good lead. There is nothing scary or too grotesque. The pacing is slow. There is little tension. It's not horrible but it's not good either.
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