Monday, 30 September 2013

Tales From the Crypt: Ritual

"Tales From the Crypt: Ritual" (2002, Avi Nesher, RKO Pictures, Silver Pictures, Dimension Films) is actually the third full length film based on the fondly remembered series, “Tales From the Crypt”. Sadly, due to some executive decisions relating to popularity of these films (or lack thereof), there is no sign or mention of the Crypt Keeper himself.

We meet Dr. Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey) who has had her medical licence revoked for using medication which has not been approved by the medical board and killing a patient. She had some noble reasons though, so we’re supposed to forgive her malpractice without question...

Anyway, long story short she secures herself a position in Jamaica treating one patient, rich boy Wesley Claybourne (Daniel Lapaine), who believes he is under a Voodoo curse.

She makes friends with a feisty young woman with loose morals, Caro (Kristen Wilson, and makes friendly acquaintances with resident vet and filthy older man, Matthew (Tim Curry) and driver J.B. (Gabriel Casseus).

More of a mystery film than a horror, I’d hasten to add that the only action is all in our characters’ heads in the form of hallucination and even then the plot and action are slow until the end when a delightful “Crypt” twist is added. All that was missing was The Keepers gleeful laughter there.

The redeeming qualities are, of course, the presence of Tim Curry, who is grossly underutilised in the script, and Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey,  as well as harking back to the voodoo zombie classics of old (“I Walked With a Zombie” and “White Zombie” for example), however, the execution is not up to scratch resulting in a shoddy knock-off rather than a clever homage.

Not one I’d willingly sit through again.

[Image: Dimension Films]

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