The Damned Thing was not one of the better episodes of Masters of Horror, I prefered Tobe Hooper's Season 1 entry Dance of the Dead to this. Still, I wouldn't say that it is a total bomb. Sean Patrick Flanery and Ted Raimi were both terrific actors in their portrayals as the supernaturally-targeted sheriff and the priest who falls victim to the curse, and that, among some shots of the movie including the serene "twenty-four years later" town scene and the malicious flashback of his own father's possession. Now, here are things I didn't like about this film. I thought the whole "the monster kills everyone" theme is kind of retarded and cliche-at least show us what happened to the sheriff's son and wife instead of just a few fast-forward motions and sounds before blacking out. Why would someone of wrong heritage become a victim of that thing? To be honest, I thought the whole oil monster routine was a bit...stupid. I would think that the Damned Thing feared by all would look a little more frightening than just Texas tea with bat wing-arms and a leech's mouth. Still, the movie was alright, but again not of the better ones.
As far as i remember, season 1 eps had quality spikes but were mostly good. Season 2 is starting bad. This had the potential to be a good story, but everything here is boring and it has really been hard to watch it until the end, expecting for an improvement or a good, original idea. It never happened. I think the fail of this ep is due to a lack of punch, energy, nothing to keep you awake and it will be a hard time to not fall asleep. The basic story was a good idea, but is way too poor in the devellopement. Actors aren't bad, but not really charismatics as well. I really hope the others eps of the season will be better.
On a positive note, I think that the cast acted wonderfully in this episode, especially Sean Patrick Flanery.
Now coming to the complaints. Even though I understood what was going on in the episode, I really didn’t enjoy the episode as such. It started off well, but it went downhill from there. It wasn’t terrifying or scary; it was just gory and sick to watch. Also, the ending didn’t make any sense at all. If the Sheriff was the only cursed one, why did the thing attack his wife and child too? There are so many unexplained questions in this episode which make you more confused than satisfied. We don’t know anything about this virus, how it affected the family and why or whether it was even stopped or not in the end.
All in all, this was a pretty disappointing episode in my opinion.
We can only hope the next episode will be better. This episode was terribly written, pointlessly gory, not scary, frustratingly obscure, and had terrible casting. No one in the episode is sympathetic so you really don't care when bad things happen. The whole plot hinges on a silly connection to the main character's traumatized childhood. This connection is evidently supposed to bring some kind of sense to what is happening in the present but it doesn't. This episode is total crap. Don't bother watching it. It brings down the quality of the entire series which, in general, I like very much.
Now I am a fan of gore and odd things, and this was just odd with a capital O! It had a great start, the father being possesed and then killing his wife and trying to kill the kid and then waiting 24 years to hunt down the son. Was acutually a little scary to begin with and then a little silly but I still think a great start to season two, lots of blood and guts, but the end effect was kind of weird altogeher and left me wondering if the writers did not plan it too well with how that would turn out, it would have been better if we never saw the thing altogether, much scarier that way.
After reading the other 2 reviews for this episode, I feel compelled to show the other side of the coin. This episode was truly terrifying, a great piece of horror cinema (not just TV, it was that good).
The acting all-round was well above par for the series with Sean Patrick Flanery excelling as the disturbed sheriff whose family seem to be cursed. This "curse" effects the entire town every 24/25 years or so, with a freak storm and general widespread madness affecting the locals.
I thought the opening sequence was riveting, casually drawing you in with a "happy families" sequence where all appears well and yet the manner in which the camera prowled the dinner table clues you in that something is not right. When that "something" happens it is completely unexpected. The father turns on his family with a shotgun after saying "The Damned Thing, it found me."
The boy escapes and grows up to be the sheriff of the town, but when curse time rolls round again and the madness spreads the film kicks into high gear and had me on the edge of my seat until its final frame. I must say that I don't scare particularly easily and I have seen a lot of good&bad horror films and it is a very long time since I've found myself shaking with fear afterwards.
Admittedly the CGI is uncalled for as it wasn't present near the start but my theory is this:
The "curse" is a malignant force of nature, disturbed by the oil digging, that feeds upon mayhem and destruction until it is strong enough to manifest its physical form to claim cursed member. The father was the only surviving resident of the neighbouring ghost town which was deserted since the oil search many years previous.
I was waiting almost a year for the new season of \\\"Masters of Horror\\\" to begin, and THIS is what they pick for the premiere? Last years season/series premiere ROCKED- it was exciting and engaging. Other than some gore, this was boring, incoherent and not worthy of the \\\"Masters\\\" series. Hooper's episode from last year was one of my favorites from the season- I cant believe this was HIS. I will tune in again, however- the beauty of the series is that theres a fresh start every week. But this was very disappointing.
The Damned Thing is the story of a small town plagued by a malevolent force which provokes others to do evil and the sheriff who has lived with this horror before and is trying deperately to save his family from repeating his past.
If the summary was exactly where it went it would have been great. The movie starts out running with an amazing story, an invisible protagonist which uses it\'s victims fear and anger to possess them and lots of blood. It looks to be one of Tobe Hoopers best films. Then somewhere about 10 minutes from the end it runs out of breath, sits on the curb and goes to sleep.
The atmosphere of the movie was really well established. The setting and feel was more than great. The characterization and acting was wonderful, especially for a horror film where much of the time acting is abandoned for cheap thrills and gore. All of the characters were amazing including Ted Raimi who, I think, did one of his best performances. The sheriff was especially good in his leading roll, had he been giving somewhere to go with it this could have been an amazing horror film.
One of the greatest things about this movie was that it had both a good story as well as high levels of blood. In the first scene you see more blood than I\'ve seen in a movie theater in a long time. Within the first half there are two great scenes of violence that will leave you cringing. Especially the hammer scene... I was both horrified and stunned by how well it was executed. The whole setup is wonderful and the fact the you never see a creature in the beginning makes it all that much more mysterious and intriguing. You want so badly for the sheriff to unravel this mystery and figure out why it has plagued his family for so long. It\'s when it reaches the top of the hill and prepares for the race to the bottom that it hits the landslide and falls flat on its face.
In the end it feels as if Tobe Hooper just ran out of ideas and turned it over to the CG guys. They reveal the monster (which is a rediculous CG effect... with the CG abilities we have now they could have at least given us a good monster), they abandon the mystery and the creepiness and then they end it without any resolve whatsoever. It was like being given the best present ever for Christmas and then realizing it was just a blurry photo of what you really wanted. After revealing the monster they still could have saved it by at least doing something creepy in the end but I honestly think they really had no idea how to end it and they just... rolled the credits. It\'s really that bad.
Tobe... If you read this review, I\'m disappointed in you. If this is the level of crap we can expect from you then please, retire now. I gave this movie 3 just because it had so much potential to be, honestly, one of Tobe Hoopers greatest films to date. The road rash this movie has from crashing and burning has got to hurt.
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