Dir: Robert Harmon
Star: Laura Regan, Marc Blucas, Ethan Embry, Dagmara Dominczyk

Another in the series of mediocre films to which Wes Craven whores his name out, this goes for the "all sizzle" approach, never letting the viewer properly glimpse the demonic stalkers terrorizing a group of photogenic young adults. To which I reply, "Where's the beef?", and remind all those involved with the project that if I wanted to use my imagination, I'd read a book. Regan plays Julia, a psychology student (oh, the irony), who has a childhood friend blow his brains out in front of her, after burbling about "they" coming to get him - they, being the night terrors of his childhood. She meets two of his friends who are suffering similar assaults, and you know it'll only be a matter of time before Julia is, too.

The idiocy of these characters has to be seen to be believed. In their situation, I'd stick to well-lit, heavily populated public places - not, oh, go for a dip alone in a pool, or head straight into a mysteriously deserted subway. It's clear from the get-go that the minor characters exist purely for their deaths - shame the film takes so long to produce them. There's also a weird angle, never fully explained, about "they" implanting long splinters in people's bodies, and the film makes multiple mention of rolling blackouts, without ever having one. Maybe that's simply to explain the huge number of flickery lights. The final confrontation musters a degree of creep, and the sound design is impressive; otherwise, between the performances and the script, there's little of note or merit here.

February 2005

They don't have much clue
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