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Chill

Directed by Directed by Serge Rodnunsky

Written by Written by Serge Rodnunsky

Starring Starring Thomas Calabro, Ashley Laurence, Shaun Kurtz, James Russo

Produced by Produced by Serge Rodnunsky, Shaun Kurtz

Rated R

86 mins

*

I had to admit, I was pretty scared when I cracked this one from Lions Gate open—frankly, just hearing the words “H.P. Lovecraft movie” are enough to make my blood run cold any more. There have only been a precious few of these that can actually be considered good, and each new one that comes out operates under its own handicap of being less likely than any other to be a good one.

This time around, we’re following a doctor who’s going after the secrets of eternal life thanks to everybody’s favorite how-to book of eternal damnation, the Necronomicon. And when a young writer discovers the doctor’s secrets, all hell is going to break loose. Literally.

Wow, this could be one of the cheesiest attempts at an H.P. Lovecraft piece I’ve seen in a good long while. There are plot holes, logic bombs, and just about every kind of narrative failing a script can generate. Plus, they’ll hop around the narrative like it’s a bad game of hopscotch, jumping from point to point and time to time like things like coherence were merely optional.

And when it’s not being confusing it’s just being outright stupid. I mean, for crying out loud…one, did the main character NOT manage to work somewhere that wouldn’t be relevant to the plot later? Convenient hell, his resume must read like a plot synopsis. Meanwhile, you’ve got stereotypically crooked cops, stereotypically gangsta black people, and of course, stereotypical damsels in equally stereotypical distress.

Then you tack on some truly godawful special effects, including the thoroughly digital decapitation of a scientifically wrought monstrousity and the horrendously programmed death of the mad doctor, and pretty soon you’ve got a recipe for a hundred pounds of crap in a five pound sack.

The ending requires you to suspend disbelieve so badly that it must be expelled, but there is a nifty twist ending of sorts in here, so I give some credit where credit is due.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, as well as trailers for Chill, Punisher: War Zone, The Legend of Bloody Mary, Artifact, Deception, and Side Sho.

All in all, this is yet another in a long, long, depressingly long string of lousy H.P. Lovecraft movies. I don’t know what it is about the guy’s work that makes video translation of it so thoroughly impossible, but man, it just IS.


Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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