A police officer suspects that a local husband and father who has recently undergone facial surgery because of injuries received in a car accident is in reality the same man who committed a... See full summary »
Someone, or something, is on an indiscriminate killing and mutilation spree during night-time. Frustrated by the clueless police, the father of the first victim is looking for answers, no matter how far fetched they are.
John 'Bud' Cardos,
Cathy Lee Crosby,
"Wes Craven's Chiller" is the latest addition to my collection of "Dollar Store DVDs," and at this point I think I'm going to have to seek professional help for this addiction, because I don't know how many more of these sub-par films I can stand before my brain explodes...
Anyway, "Chiller" may have a famous name director, Wes Craven, in the driver's seat (the back of the DVD I bought makes sure to mention that this film is "from the director of Scream and Red Eye!") and an interesting enough premise but the execution suffers due to its made-for-TV origins. It seems that rich old Mrs. Creighton's heart was in the right place when her beloved son Miles fell ill with a terminal disease, and she had him cryogenically frozen at an experimental lab until a cure can be found. Ten years later, Miles' tube malfunctions and he's thawed out a little early; fortunately, medical science has progressed enough that he is successfully revived. UN-fortunately for the rest of the characters, he's a little, um..."different" after his resurrection, though nobody can convince Mama of this for nearly three-quarters of the film's length. The family dog hates him (so it suddenly disappears), his teenage cousin is scared of the way he leers at her while she's swimming in the pool, and when he takes over the family corporation his underlings are shocked at his cut-throat business practices (the scene in which he forces the kindly old senior partner into a fatal heart attack in a stairwell would probably make Gordon Gecko of "Wall Street" proud). Eventually the family's priest (Paul Sorvino, in a mostly thankless role) realizes that while Miles spent a decade between life and death, he lost his soul (cue creepy music) and it's up to Mama to do something about it before more lives are lost. Though "Chiller" is only about 75 minutes long, it feels a LOT longer than that. The few bright spots for me were seeing a young Jill Schoelen (the young scream queen later seen in "The Stepfather," "Popcorn" and Robert Englund's take on "Phantom of the Opera" before she disappeared off the face of the Earth) and the final battle in the walk-in freezer between Miles and Mama Creighton. It should be noted that the DVD I watched (released on the Digiview label as a double feature with a 50s version of Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart") is absolutely god-awful... the picture is grainy and dark, the sound alternates between overly loud or inaudible, and the cheesy synthesized music, which probably sounded creepy in 1985, comes across as dated and annoying now. I was also left with this nagging question... whose soggy, defrosted legs are those that we see at the beginning of the movie, shambling around amongst the cryo-tubes? It's never addressed!!For a buck, "Chiller" was an OK night's entertainment, but truthfully, unless you feel the need to see absolutely everything that Wes Craven has ever had his hands on, I'd say that you could live a long and happy life without bothering with this one. You got it, "Chiller" should've been left in deep freeze where it belongs.
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