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|Index||15 reviews in total|
I totally agree with you about the production values. Some scenes were
breathtaking, and the camera shots were very well done. Very
interesting, visually. Nothing cheap or slipshod in the cinematography,
that's for sure.
The movie needed a better story, or a more clear story, or maybe some exposition scenes (the four horsemen, for example) should have been earlier in the movie.
When you spend the first two-thirds of the movie wondering what's going on, it's easy to lose interest before you get it figured out.
10 stars for the directing, editing, cinematography; 5 for the plot. It's worth a rental.
A Blockbuster rental, I chose it mainly because of the seasoned
character actors in it.
It was basically as I expected and the actors definitely made the movie better than the ancient story line would allow.
A 'very special' boy named Sam (Adam Taylor Gordon) is struggling with his parents divorce due to his father's alcoholism and other issues not apparent. This pushes Sam to self mutilate, but it seemed that there was more to Sam's self mutilation than just the divorce.
Sam's father David (Brian Wimmer) takes Sam traveling during his summer with the boy and they have a car accident caused by Sam's hallucinations, seemingly brought about by the will of Ben (Lance Henrikson) close to Ben's remote country home. Ben nurses them both back to health, but David is taken in by Ben's logical approach to life's problems and agrees to stay with Ben as a handy man until they can afford to leave. Sam and Ben never hit it off as Sam detects something odd in Ben's outlook on life and the continued hallucinations make life with Ben uncomfortable.
As the weak father turns to self indulgence with the urging of Ben, Sam gains strength from the other key mother figures to forgive and protect his father from whatever Ben has planned for them.
The plot is very simple. The struggle of good and evil people constantly battle within themselves and how blind faith can simplify life's decisions when people are guided through life's choices by logical (but evil) arguments they are ill equipped to refute.
If you don't have a very good background in Christianity/Judaism you will not understand the high degree of symbolism, and the movie will seem very heavily edited. I can see it being a cultural classic for the evangelical crowd.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i saw this film on the horror channel which at last is beginning to show some intelligent movies and less of the brainless slasher movies that it is so fond of. so to the plot A young boy with deep psychological problems,played brilliantly by Adam Taylor Gorden, and his dad go on holiday to a small ranch,owned by the very creepy Lance Henrickson in one of his better roles. It turns out that Lance Hendrickson is the devils disciple and the boy has to defeat him and prevent the reversal of the apocalypse. This movie is shot brilliantly in vivid colours,the death scenes aren't many but the ones there are ,are very well executed(no pun intended) Being of a religious persuasion ,i found this film also had some deep fundamental truth's like love the sinner hate the sin and some greater being having to have been in charge of the big bang. Add to this some deeply moving images ,the most moving being a horse crying and u have a very intelligent well thought out horror movie. The only real complaint is that it took a bit long to explain the plot and the final scene was a bit confusing.These are only minor details and don't take anything away from this movie. This film is definitely worth 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think ultimately, the viewer must decide whether or not what you are watching is a complete fantasy concocted by the delusions of a disturbed child or a religious battle between good and evil with the world's lives hanging in the balance. Henriksen has one of his better roles of the last several years as an enigmatic farmer who might just be Old Scratch himself perhaps seducing a child's father into taking the bite of an apple, reversing the apocalypse, giving away his soul since God has supposedly turned his back on him. Adam Taylor Gordon, in a mature, subdued performance, is Sam, a kid plagued with night terrors, portraiting his nightmares on paper. His father is David(Brian Wimmer, displaying a tormented soul), a somewhat reformed alcoholic hoping to bond with his son as they return from the hospital to his ex-wife waiting for Sam. Henriksen goes by Ben in the film, but director Don Michael Paul established upon his introduction something sinister and mysterious about this man. It seems that Sam has fallen prey to his troubled mind, but the movie remains ambiguous as to if Ben is Satan or not. Images of importance include a specter with a damaged face who beckons Sam, the hanging fruit just about ripe for the plucking, a wicked dead tree, dead victims(..who supposedly died at Ben's hands)who return to visit Sam, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, a serpent, and a flaming sword. Ben makes it clear that he will have David's soul and get revenge on God, with Sam threatening to stop him. Other supporting roles include Claudia Christian as Sam's psychiatrist who wished for him to remain at her hospital for further examination(..and perhaps suffers a horrifying fate when she comes to visit him)and Sean Young as a bible school teacher Sam befriends. The plot is chock full with religious overtones, and it's up to our determination as to if what Sam experiences is real or illusion. The finale where everything plays out like a spiritual warfare between both sides, is rather hokey, unless it's all in Sam's head..a final image, might contradict this theory, however. Every now and then, Henriksen acquires a role with some meat on it and he's quite creepy at times here. Some moments of startling violence, but the film is mostly a puzzler to evaluate.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A troubled father and son find themselves staying farm that was the
site of the Garden of Eden, and their evil host wants them to repeat
history's first mistake in this interesting misfire. I find myself in a
bit of a quandary with movies like this. I have given worse films
better reviews because of a varied level of expectation. If, for
instance, "Dark Town," had the same production values and the level of
acting talent on display in this film, I would have been thumbs-down on
it. However, as it was, I recommend it on what it was able to
accomplish on a shoestring. "The Garden" looks great and features real
actors and therefore has to stand toe-to-toe with the "real" movies I
see in the theater. Sadly, it falls short on that level. The main
problem is the script. It is a very interesting idea, but the internal
"theology" ultimately doesn't make sense and therefore it isn't
especially compelling. For instance, how is Sean Young able to "call"
the sword protecting the tree? Is the Apocalpyse a good thing meant to
help man that Satan is trying to stop? Why would another human eating
from the tree through the moral universe upside down? Those are just a
fraction of the questions I had that the film left unanswered. I should
perhaps congratulate the film for making me think, but, I think I would
have preferred to be entertained instead. A little sharper writing
would have made all of the difference.
This is the third of the recent Stephen J. Cannell horror films which I have seen. (The other two being "Room 6" and "It Waits.") All three featured good production values, acting and make-up effects. Sadly, I didn't find any of the three particularly compelling. Hopefully that will change as Cannell continues to make these films. I admire the fact that he is attempting to tell interesting stories and not just offering up more blades and babes films. I am relieved that someone is trying to tell horror tales that someone over twenty can watch. He just needs more compelling stories. I hope he finds them.
First and foremost, it's a VERY bad idea to schedule a mainly story-driven and atmospheric horror movie like "The Garden" at 3am during a Film Festival and after exhilarating movies like "The Hills Have Eyes"-remake or "Neighborhood Watch"! The subject matter "The Garden" brings forward is interesting, but too abstract and definitely not compelling (let alone exciting) enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. A divorced father and his psychologically troubled son are involved in a car accident and recover at the house of a mysterious old man (Lance Henriksen in his umpteenth inferior horror role). The old guy's garden turns out to be the genuine Paradise of Eden; the place where our whole existence began according to the Holy Bible. Through the re-occurring nightmares of young Sam, the apocalypse can be inflicted in this exact same garden (don't ask me how as I somehow must have missed that part) and maybe that even is what the old man desires to achieve! Don Michael Paul's second film as a director starts out surprisingly stylish with elegant camera-work and a patient drawing of characters and settings. The first murder-sequence also comes at the exact right timing and it's quite bloody, especially considering the tone of the film so far. For reasons I fail to comprehend, "The Garden" then turns into a confusing and painfully dull mess that eventually reverts to annoying clichés and predictable plot twists. The only elements left to enjoy near the end are the creepy music and young Adam Taylor Gordon's impressive acting performance which easily surpasses the quality of his lines.
The boy Sam (Adam Taylor Gordon) is tormented by dreadful visions and
nightmares and self-inflicts injures to his body. After a period in the
hospital, Dr. Cairns (Claudia Christian) tells Sam's father David
(Brian Wimmer) that the boy is affected by the divorce of his parents
and a period together with him will make good to Sam.
David travels with Sam in his truck but Sam sees a spirit on the road and pulls the steering wheel of his father, provoking a car accident. Out of the blue, the farmer Ben Zachary (Lance Henriksen) rescues them and offers a job to David in his farm. He accepts the offer and enrolls Sam at the local school.
Sam has Bible classes with Miss Grace Chapman (Sean Young) and sooner he leans that Mr. Zachary is the devil and the place is the Garden of Eden. Further, Zachary has an evil plan for David.
"The Garden" is an almost good B-movie. Lance Henriksen is great in the role of an evil being, the cast has good performances and the atmosphere is sinister. Unfortunately the story is flawed and messy, with a disappointing conclusion. The motive why Zachary has chosen Sam and his father to accomplish his goal is not clear. And why David and his wife did not talk about Dr. Cairns, if she had sent the doctor to the farm to bring Sam back. My vote is four.
Title (Brazil): "Jardim do Mal" ("Garden of the Evil")
In my opinion, this film was innovative and compelling yet at the same
time it slightly lacked the ability to grip me as a spectator. Mind
you, I watched the entire film and thought it was a good concept. The
metaphor of the fathers drink addiction and his temptation for the
devils urges was very well done. Adam Taylor Gordans superb acting
performance was very well needed in this film. The ending was perhaps a
little confusing, but, who knows, perhaps it was the best ending
Storyline - 8/10, acting - 8/10, Cinematography - 8/10
I rate this film overall 8/10.
I recommend this film to anybody who's a fan of the genre, even though the genre escapes me right now. Try not to get confused by the plot like I slightly did.
I saw this movie at the BIFFF (Brussels international festival of
fantasy film) and found it struggling with it's plot material.
A young boy suffers from nightmarish visions and as a result has a tendency to put his body full of razor cuts. The boy resides with his father who is recovering from alcoholism and fails to be of support for his troubled son.
When father and son end up having a car accident caused by a vision the boy has, they get rescued by an elder man named Ben (Lance Henriksen).
Ben has a spooky air around him; vanishing and appearing at random pace throughout his ranch, always the sharp answer or life lesson on his tongue.
Ben has a weird agenda as he manipulates the father into alcoholism again and the boy into experiencing weird visions.
The movie tries so hard to build up the Christian undertone (think tree of life, adam & eve, apocalypse themes) but fails at each occasion.
The visions of the boy are the only up tempo sequences as the rest of the movie focuses on Lance Henriksen talking in Chinese fortune cookie lingo.
A shame, because the production values are there, the star (Henriksen) is wasted with this kind of script and the editing tries to contrast every moment of suspense with random actions (like heating up a stove, cleaning a fish, ...) This is B-movie material, a rental for the Henriksen fans, others should wisely avoid.
This movie start just like The Shining and sometime it's feels like you
are watching The Omen! Plot: A troubled young boy and his father on a
road trip stumble upon a rural farm where the elderly owner has
sinister plans for the both of them involving witchcraft and evil
This movie is not great but far far far away from being a really bad movie I did enjoy this movie, there were some great creepy scenes this (This did NOT have those silly scares scenes) i love bathroom scenes and Mirrors stuff (Least that one scene from this movie better the movie called Mirrors) and Farther get angry with son (it might be a bit of the The Shining again) but it works very well with the rest of the movie
Acting was not bad at all it was actually really good!
Some might say this is a The Shining rip of It far from it.
7/10 Good movie
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