A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades, but when renovations start, a series of murders take place.A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades, but when renovations start, a series of murders take place.A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades, but when renovations start, a series of murders take place.
A rather solid slasher remake
Director Tobe Hooper once entered the horror-hall of fame at the top position back in 1974 with his undeniable masterpiece of imaginative terror, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ever since that, his career only went downhill. In the nineties he simply well sucked with a repertoire of titles like The Mangler and Crocodile. The tide seems to be turning a bit now, as his version of the Toolbox Murders is surprisingly decent and well made. This is a remake of a vicious 70's slasher that is overall gory and disgusting (the original was even included in the `video nasties' list of banned horror movies in the U.K) The plot and motivations of the murdering nut are slightly different in Hooper's version of the Toolbox Murders. The story is about a young couple that moves to Hollywood and homes in an old, spooky building. Inhabitants of this building mainly wannabe actors and other scum brutally die one by one As the title implies, the butchering is achieved by hammers, drills, screwdrivers and a bunch of other tools. And I bet you can imagine how badly things can get messed up if you're using tools on people, no? Indeed, this films is rather gory and extremely violent with a few gruesome killing-highlights such as a (semi-)decapitation with a sawing machine! Angela Bettis, the girl who stole every horror fan's heart since `May', plays the screaming heroine who slowly gets to the bottom of the murder mystery. She receives good feedback from the beautiful Juliet Landau (Martin Landau's daughter) . The script and story-development isn't always logical and most of the interior shots are under-exposed. Also, the Toolbox Murders seems to give the impression we're guessing fro the identity of the killer initially like a good old-fashioned whodunit' slasher, but the mystery and detective aspects abruptly come to an end as the plot opens up a little more. Far from being an intelligent (or even clever) horror remake, Tobe Hooper's film is entertaining and perfectly suitable for an evening of scares and loud yells.
- Mar 20, 2004
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