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HANGMAN'S CURSE is a mildly entertaining film, combining horror elements
with social commentary. Set in a high school, it rounds out its cast with
the usual Goth misfits and the jocks, two natural enemies. A "curse" that
sends jocks who are also known bullies into comas brings a family of
paranormal investigators to a local school.
Despite the elaborate poster, the film is not scary. I hesitate to call it a horror film. At most, it's a mystery, with the two young teens as the actual leads. The parents really do little except run around peering into microscopes. For those who have seen these type of movies before, all the answers should be obvious by the 50-minute mark, leaving 50 extra minutes for the characters to catch up.
It's not a bad film. I would even recommend it. But it's definitely not going to scare anybody.
P.S. HANGMAN'S CURSE will be memorable to me for one thing: ITS TEENS ARE ACTUALLY PLAYED BY TEENS!!! Yes, they still do exist.
6 out of 10
(go to www.nixflix.com for a more detailed review of this movie)
I was pleasantly surprised by "Hangman's Curse". As a Christian, I have seen many Christian-themed films that underwhelmed me with the story, acting, sets and cinematography. By the end of "HC" I said to my friend in the theater: "That was a good movie, Christian or not!" And if you're not Christian---don't worry. The movie is not heavy-handed with a religious message in any way (until one scene near the end). While the acting won't remind anyone of Olivier and Streep, it's pretty good. David Keith ('An Officer And A Gentleman', 'Daredevil') and Mel Harris ('thirtysomething') are very good. Frank Peretti---who wrote the book "Hangman's Curse", provides some good comic relief in his role as an eccentric scientist. I was also impressed that the makers of "HC" weren't afraid to include a subplot of an interracial romantic relationship. By far the story is the star of the "Hangman's Curse". It has plenty of plot twists, yet they were believable. My friend solved who/what was behind the Curse before I did (much to my chagrin!) You can tell that "HC" was not a cheaply-made movie. A few of the night scenes are a little too dark, but in other scenes the camera angles and close-ups helped maintain the suspense. Both teenagers and adults will enjoy this movie. I highly recommend that parents go see it with their teenage kids and discuss the issues of the movie afterward. It wasn't until I was leaving the theater that I realized that "Hangman's Curse" had no gory slasher scenes, no nudity and no profanity, yet was entertaining. When was the last time you could say that about a mystery/thriller film?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this on TV, on Showtime Next during a free preview and loved it.
I was quite surprised when I discovered that many others did not. It is
a rare teen thriller. It was well-written and well-acted, and had a
real message behind it but never got preachy. And many scenes, such as
the one where Ian was going to hang himself after seeing Crystal get
sick, and his proclamation of "She's all I've got" will tug at even the
most cynical heartstrings. The films sense of morality is always there
but it never overpowers the sense of suspense.
It contains some scary material, and mild violence, but the subject of bullying is more prevalent, and the way it is presented more disturbing than any actual content and will make kids think twice about teasing.
recommended for: teenagers who want a well-done thriller intended for teens, or parents who have horror-movie loving children, and want to know that they won't be demoralized by it.
The movie starts up rather haphazardly and one is left wondering what
is happening especially with a drug bust. The movie attempts a twist
and turn but gives quite a number of clues away.
Great story of how students relate to each other - the bullies and the sports group. A few die violently due to strange causes; but all with a hangman graphic drawn in their locker. Police and security is unable to solve the case.
Enter a family of private investigators who live in a RV (recreational vehicle - a high end caravan) and take over the case. The sinister plot is unveiled complete with pentagrams and devil worship/voodoo stuff. A clear explanation to all this as the plot is unveiled.
If you watch the trailer, it gives away almost everything there. So don't watch the trailer on the DVD before the movie.
Watchable on that Sunday afternoon if you are not doing anything else. It's rated M 15+ here in Australia, probably because of a few scary, creepy scenes.
David Keith and William R. Moses were the only two "known faces" in this film. Not being a Cruise-mobile or some other star vehicle, the story did not need to be altered to suit diva-ish whims. Instead the audience is given a ride through the corridors and personalities typical of high schools. This trip contains no slashing, mutilating, NO VOMITING! What was left? Suspense, good vs evil, numerous potential villains all traveling to a satisfying twist in the end. The one downer to me: the music was good at first, then OK and in the final scenes it was jarringly misguided. Nice job.
I watched this for the first time last night with a house full of 15
teenagers (half of them had already read the book). Between the spooky
sounds, some good acting from most, and that creepy, unsettling feeling that
kept building thoughout the movie... I rather enjoyed it.
With the 5.1 surround cranked way up and the lights turned down low, my skin did get goose bumps from time to time. (especially helping in this department is having a teen familiar with the book get up and run from the room saying, "I can't watch this part! I can't watch...")
I also rather enjoyed the "mystery" of the movie, which kept me guessing. And it's always great to find a movie that doesn't have to resort to trash talk in it's dialog.
I'm ready for the Veritas gang to take on another incident. Bring it on!
I watched this movie with lukewarm interest because I thought it was going
to be another horror flick but I was wrong. It had enough suspense and
thrill that kept me guessing who or what was behind the school incident. The
twist wasn't the person I thought, was the mastermind. In the end, I liked
the movie and would re-watch it when given the chance. I was quite
intrigued about the Springfield family and how they were going to tackle
this latest assignment. The acting was good, imo.
I didn't know the film was based from a book series until now. But, after seeing this movie, I'm going to check my local bookshop for this book. If there will be another film installment about the Veritas Project, I'll watch it.
This movie does a nice job of rendering the book. Granted similar
themes have been touched upon as to the aspects of childhood spies and
such, but there are some deeper themes coming across that need to be
The Primary theme of this first volume of the Veritas Project addresses the growing problem in our schools of bullying and its consequences. Peretti isn't just blowing off steam because of a childhood experiences, he's drawing from the studies done in the recent school shootings throughout the United States.
The villain in this movie is obviously much more sinister and intelligent than some teenager with an ax to grind and a 30-06', but the point is still clearly made.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons this movie is rated so low; people like to guess at meanings. The fact is that this movie is aimed at younger audiences. The plots and meanings are supposed to be apparent; bullying someone can lead to that person doing horrible things.
This plays much like one of those after school specials that used to be so popular. Having established this fact, it is a very well done and suspenseful. If you're 20 and don't enjoy it; GOOD! If you're 15 or 16 and think that this is a good flick, then you're in the right vein.
A note to anybody who has read the book: This is not a page for page movie version of the book. It is only loosely based on the book. That being said, I actually enjoyed this movie. It kept to the book (which was awesome) just enough to give a sense of familiarity, yet was original enough in it's own right that it still gave a few surprises. I actually liked the movie ending a lot better than the book ending, because it actually wrapped things up quite nicely. Even though the acting wasn't spot on, the actors still gave a decent representation of the book characters, especially Mr. Peretti. His performance as a crazy scientist was over the top and brilliant. For anybody watching this expecting a horror movie, you might be a little disappointed. There are a few "jump scenes", bit overall it's a pretty family friendly movie. So overall I recommend this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this movie on TV and now I own the DVD. Its a good family
film and yes it is a Christian movie. The story plot (a ghost is
haunting a school and hurting bullies) is acceptable for an afternoon
where there is nothing to watch. This is a kind of movie that has more
Jack-in-the-box feel (you know whats coming but I did jump a few
times). And I skipped over quite a few clues to who the ghost really
is, for some are actually really subtle. The acting is okay (don't
worry you won't be ripping your hair out). I recommend renting,
borrowing, or wait to October for it to be on TV again before buying
Like I said, I own this movie. I like it.
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