While the film has never been a critical darling or even that well liked by it’s own director it has always been well regarded among a huge number of Wes Craven fans and a general cult item with steadily increasing followers. I’d describe it as the closest thing you’d get to a family oriented graphic horror movie as it’s mash up of genres create a unique viewing experience that somehow works like a charm.
Serial killer John Wakefield went on a killing spree on Harper’s Island, a small isle off the coast of Washington State, and murdered a number of people before being killed by the island sheriff Charlie Mills. The sheriff’s wife was among the casualties and he consequently sent his daughter, Abby, to live with family in L.A.
I’m not going to suggest that “A Kiss Before Dying” is some forgotten masterpiece but this little studio title has become somewhat of a cult item and it’s a film that I keep revisiting at regular intervals. The end product shows obvious signs of post production tinkering; the engrossing story leaves a number of interesting avenues unexplored and it’s overly rushed.
Mostly a thriller but seriously dabbling in the slasher genre; “10 to Midnight” is a crackerjack flick that’s one of Bronson’s best 80’s efforts. He’s also allowed some room to give a performance and the veteran actor has a commanding presence and makes Leo a compelling character despite some very questionable behaviour.
A classic in the slasher movie cycle but completely dependent on mood and old fashioned suspense instead of blood and gore; “When a Stranger Calls” is in many ways a trend setter but differs from most slashers with it’s emphasis on the killer’s psychological state and the detective who’s hunting him.
Dempsey Cain (Reeve) is a dedicated and highly intelligent cop on the rise who’s always looking out for his kid brother Nick (Edward Kerr) who’s also on the force. Nick is having an affair with Dempsey’s wife Gail (Kim Cattrall) and there’s also a fellow cop, Alan,(Joe Mantegna) who’s displeased at how much Dempsey is impressing the top brass with his investigation skills.