Matinee (TV Movie 1989) Poster

(1989 TV Movie)

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More murder mystery than horror, average at best.
poolandrews11 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Matinée starts in the small Canadian town of Holsten B.C. as it's annual horror film festival is taking place at the Paramount theatre, it's the big night of the premiere of 'Murder Camp Bad Blood' & the audience is in a frenzy as scenes of murder & mutilation (knowingly similar to the original Friday the 13th (1980)) are projected on screen for their entertainment. However one audience member named Kelly (Kerry Sandomirsky) has her evening ruined when she looks across at her boyfriend (Boyd McConnachie) & discovers that someone has stuck a great big knife straight through his throat... Jump forward 'Two Years Later' & Holsten is reviving it's horror film festival after it's years hiatus, Detective Al Jason (Ron White) is already receiving letter from concerned members of the public about it not being a good idea to restart the festival. Unfazed by both past & present events the theatre's manager Earle Gardener (Don S. Davis) pushes ahead with the festival & the premiere of 'Bad Blood II' but it's not long before lightening strikes twice & the dead bodies begin to pile up...

This Canadian production was written & directed by Richard Martin & is an average murder mystery at best. The script is a little on the slow side for my liking & doesn't seem able to decide whether it wants to be a homage to classic horror as it recreates various scenes from the likes of Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Psycho (1960) & a few other's as well as sticking lots of horror film posters up all over the theatre where the story takes place. Despite all these horror film references & nods Matinée is a cop thriller at heart as the murders are very few in number & aren't like those from your typical stalk'n'slash horror, there more restrained & there's a reason why people are killed in Matinée rather than there just being a psycho killer on the loose. The eventual identity of the killer isn't that surprising & I doubt much effort was put into their motives, it all seemed rather sedate & a bit dull. Matinée would probably have worked better as an hour long TV film rather than 90 plus minutes, it's one of those films that I don't think anything is particularly wrong with it but at the same time it didn't exactly impress me either & it's OK for what it is no more, no less.

Director Martin doesn't give the film any sort of life or style, it's all rather bland, flat & instantly forgettable. The character's are as you would expect for this type of film, the tough cop, the sleazy reporter trying to stir up trouble, the obvious suspect who you just know is innocent because everything points to him & the disposable teenage victims. Forget about any gore as there isn't any worth mentioning, Matinée is a very tame film.

Technically Matinée is a competently made-for-TV film but has all the blandness you would expect from such a production. The acting was OK but nothing spectacular, The X-Files (1993 - 2002) cigarette smoking man regular William B. Davis has a small role.

Matinée is an OK murder mystery film, it's more of a thriller than a horror film & has little that you would associate with the genre apart from the horror festival setting & the films that play on screen during them, for me that simply wasn't enough. Average at best, watch only if your desperate or your a fan of dull cop thrillers.
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Canadian Made-For-TV Horror
gavin694222 October 2012
Two years ago the local movie theater had a horror film festival, during which a local teen was murdered at the same moment and manner as the on screen character. Now another horror movie festival is set to happen, and some people feel history will repeat itself.

I was fairly amused with the film starting out with the Kevin Bacon death scene from "Friday the 13th" (though without Bacon himself and the movie renamed "Murder Camp"). This seemed to bode well for how the rest of the film would go.

And then, well, the film goes nowhere... we have a few amusing scenes with a guy dancing on a skateboard, and you get to see a blonde, curly mullet and Major Briggs from "Twin Peaks". But, yeah, being made-for-TV it is pretty tame and not the bloody slasher it should be.
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You want first-rate seats?
lost-in-limbo16 May 2008
This made-for-TV Canadian production was an acceptably entertaining, if predictable whodunit thriller using horror references (posters and images) and backdrop tools (horror movie festival) to suck in genre fans. Well those novelties do amuse. As it is, it holds your interest, but can be plodding and flat with its flabby material covering the conventional basics and having an overly talky script. You got the usual red herrings (the movie geek, weathered cop, seamy newspaper reporter, repressed mother, two rebellious teens and the list goes on… and on) and dramas (forbidden love to lurking secrets) in a more bounded by reality than most stalk and slash items that are screening at the movie festival. However some certain plot aspects seem to be just there or just non-effective (like the police investigation). Everything is done in a subdued manner (from the minor list of off-screen killings to the performances) and drills out a sombre vibe. Disposable performances are passable and there are some recognisable faces in the way of Don S. Davis and William B Davis that add some class. Director Richard Martin slack handling doesn't build much in the way of suspense or etches much style. Despite being steadily well presented (the score is competently suited), it's wooden all round and shows it TV origins.
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Maybe pick something else.
BandSAboutMovies11 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Supposedly, this is a made for TV movie, but there is enough violence and f-bombs that I wonder. Perhaps our friends in Canada are allowed to swear that much. That said - they seem so polite, I kind of doubt it.

The movie starts with a movie within a movie (can I say movie again in this sentence) ending with a murder in real life that echoes the movie (I can say it again). And that movie has a scene in it which is a complete ripoff of Kevin Bacon's death in the first Friday the 13th.

That tragedy shuts the town and the theater down, My Bloody Valentine-style. Yet when the theater opens up again, people start dying again. And oh hey - say hello to William B. Davis, who the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files, playing a horror director.

This is the directorial debut of Richard Martin, son of Laugh-In's Dick Martin. And now you know. That said, of all the Canadian horror I have watched, this was the most boring. So perhaps you should avoid this one.
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Classic Canadian slasher, deserves a better reputation
TheBlueHairedLawyer8 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
9/10, I'll bet you never suspected anyone to rate this film 9/10. It's extremely low-budget, has out-of-date soundtrack and cheap special effects. But that's what I love about it! I'm a big fan of Canadian slasher films, from My Bloody Valentine (filmed in my hometown in 1981), to The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, American Gothic, Prom Night, Black Christmas, The Paper Boy, Happy Birthday to Me... alright, you get the picture.

Matinée takes place on the opposite side of Canada from where I am, out in British Columbia. It's your average slasher plot, but still manages to be captivating and original, with some nostalgic soundtrack and great acting, surprising for a low-budget film. My favorite actor, William B. Davis (The Cigarette Smoking Man on the X-Files), was the minor but effective role of Heath Harris, a popular horror director and estranged father of one of the main characters.

I understand that there is varying popularity between movies, but Matinée is much better than it's given credit for! Sure it's not perfect by any means, but given what they had to work with I really enjoyed it. The Canadian scenery was beautiful and dreary, perfect for a horror film, and although it definitely didn't scare me, it was entertaining and at times funny, at times creepy, everything I love about these 80's slasher classics.
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