Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) Review

It’s time to look at the remake of Dr. Jekyll. It’s pretty much a point for point remake as opposed to some which try to take a little more liberties with the source material. This movie should have tried to do that because the first title was pretty awful so the more accurately you re-create that the less chance you have of actually making a good movie. This one is on the same level as the original and ends up falling to the same errors. You may as well be watching the same film when you think about it.

The movie starts with someone going crazy inside of a church. Dr. Jekyll has the man escorted to a hospital and wants to try a new drug on him that will separate his evil and good side. Nobody bothers to ask where they could be transporting the evil side and instead they all mock Jekyll for such an outlandish theory. Jekyll’s crazed attempts to defend himself don’t help matters. After cheating on his fiancee Jekyll gains the courage to test the serum on himself. Since his evil side is already overpowering him and makes for a convenient excuse to do whatever he wants, Jekyll takes the plunge. He is now the evil Mr. Hyde and will bring a lot of terror to the town.

Lets start with the obvious problems of the film. One is naturally the animal violence here as Jekyll tests on a lot of animals before going to human testing. A lot of rats end up dying due to his tests which shows how careless he is. Jekyll should have made a better serum before testing on innocent creatures. If anything testing on himself should have been the very first thing he did. These scenes are all pretty terrible and don’t help to start the film off on a good note. Then we also have Jekyll not being a sympathetic character from the start. We find out that he didn’t help the crazy guy out of the goodness of his heart, but just so he could run experiments. Additionally he is awfully quick to cheat on his fiancee. In the original film he at least pretended to resist for a bit while here he seemed to be the one making advances.

Then we’ve got the obnoxious plot with Mr. Hyde and Ivy that drags the film all the way down. It’s a pretty bad plot that’s just here for edge and grit. It makes the film a lot darker to be sure, but doesn’t add any actual substance to the movie. Ivy also makes all of the wrong choices here in not telling the cops or attempting to leave even when given many opportunities to do so. In this version she actually has a reasonable support group with her two friends, but still chooses to be alone and things don’t go very well. Hyde is also not an interesting villain in the slightest as he’s just evil to be evil.

Jekyll’s friend is also pretty terrible. Once he sees Hyde that should have been the end of the adventure. It’s no time to feel sympathetic to this guy. Even if the friend doesn’t shoot him right then and there he should have at least taken him to the cops. Hyde should be paying the price for his crimes in a cell, not being allowed to roam the streets any longer. As the bodies continue to pile up you can directly blame the friend for this. If you don’t make a move to stop a villain then you are absolutely an accomplice.

As with the last film the biggest plot hole here is Dr. Jekyll’s entire experiment. The concept is that you can isolate the good and evil sides of the soul, but to do that you have to have somewhere to put it. If you’re locking them both in the same body then that’s really not changing a thing. Maybe you could make one side a little stronger temporarily but it’s not solving anything. If he was trying to implant one part of the soul somewhere else then maybe that’s something to be looked into, but otherwise this doesn’t make any sense in the slightest. Jekyll doesn’t strike me as a particularly intelligent character so I
suppose that makes sense, but it still sounds like a plot hole to me. The cast of characters are bland and the writing is pretty bad. The film drags on for eternity as you go through it so the pacing wasn’t good either. I don’t think there’s a whole lot more to say beyond that.

Overall, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a pretty terrible film. There isn’t really anything redeemable about it much like the first film. That’s because it’s really the same film just with a fresh group of actors and actresses. With no real changes to differentiate the films it would be easy to mix them up. When watching them almost back to back the issues become even more apparent. If you’re planning to watch a horror film soon then this is one that I would advise you to skip. It’s hardly one of the better horror films out there and is lacking in any real positives to keep it afloat. I’d sooner recommend watching the Son of Dr. Jekyll which wasn’t that great but still beats this one.

Overall 0/10

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Review

It’s time to look at a terrible film from back in the day. When you think of Jekyll and Hyde you already know it was one of the weakest horror classics from back in the day. There’s really just not much to the concept and it’s really just a classic horror slasher with no soul or personality. It ends up faltering pretty early on and there’s no real way to root for the main character. It may not be the longest film out there, but prepare for it to drag on quite a lot.

The film starts with introducing us to Jekyll who is currently engaged to a lady named Muriel. He wants to marry her, but her father believes that they should wait another 10 months so the wedding happens on one of the anniversaries of his wedding. Jekyll isn’t happy about this, but that’s how it’s got to be. He then cheats on Muriel in the meantime with a lady named Ivy and decides to create a serum that will release his evil side. He succeeds and then uses this as an excuse to go around committing murder and other such crimes. Can anyone stop this guy?

There’s no need to feel sympathetic with Jekyll right from the start because nobody was forcing him to do any of this. It was all of his own free will and no amount of whining later on can change that. Even before the whole Hyde plot he was cheating on Muriel with Ivy. When he is called out on it Jekyll gets defensive and tries to pull the “You’d do it too card.” That’s not even a defense as it’s just trying to say that anyone would make the same mistake, but not trying to say that it isn’t wrong. It’s really just a way for him to justify his own actions and he spends the entire film doing this. Nothing is ever his fault and he just blames everyone around it while feeling sorry for himself the whole time. These scenes drag on quite a lot.

Muriel’s father was right about Jekyll from the start and so he ends up being the most reasonable character around. If only Muriel had listened to him. Nothing much would have changed to be honest, but Jekyll had a ton of red flags all around him from day 1. He can’t keep on calling out sick every time there is a big function. After a while enough is just enough with that. Ivy is easily the most tragic character of the lot. True, she did convince Jekyll to cheat despite knowing that he was taken so she isn’t exactly a saint, but it doesn’t mean that she deserved the terror that was to come for the rest of the film. Hyde gets away with way too much in the film and the scenes are all in poor taste. It drags on and on as the film tries to be as gritty as possible.

There’s no real reason for the film to go down this road as we have already established that Hyde was the evil persona of Jekyll. This is where films make their big mistake as they don’t need to keep hitting us over the head with how dark the film can be. Since this is old knowledge it’s just a waste of screen time. Take away the whole Ivy plot and the film would be way better. Instead her scenes just add an extra layer of violence and grit not to mention fanservice that further seals the deal of the movie. Throughout this the character who doesn’t really have to own up to anything for most of the film is Jekyll himself. You’d think he would have had to put up with a little more as payback for all that happened, but he actually gets to mostly enjoy his victories until the very last scene. That doesn’t seem all that balanced.

The police also look pretty bad here. At one point around 20 of them are losing to Jekyll. Why didn’t anyone think to shoot him until the one guy took out his gun? This guy is already a confirmed murderer who is resisting arrest and assaulting other officers. I think that’s more than enough reason to take out your gun at this point. Otherwise you’re really just allowing yourself to become the next victim and at that point you’re really doomed. Jekyll’s one friend also made that mistake. He had the gun, he needed to at least have used it or grabbed the cops earlier. Playing it defensively the way he did didn’t really do anything except let Jekyll cause more terrors in the mean time.

Overall, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a terrible film. There are no real redeeming qualities about it and it just continues to sink further and further as the film goes on. You’re just hoping it’ll reach a speedy conclusion before long. The writing was poor, the characters were bad, and at that point there really isn’t much that can save it. If you’re going to watch an old horror film then you’re better off watching just about anything else. Check out the original Godzilla film or perhaps the Werewolf titles with Lon Chaney. Those films certainly have a lot more heart to them than this one.

Overall 0/10

In Dreams Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be far more negative.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film this terrible but we’re finally back down to 0 star territory. Fitting that it would be a horror/psycho type film since that genre tends to churn out the majority of these for me. There really isn’t anything to like in this film from the terrible writing to the mean spirited ending.

The movie starts with a kid getting murdered and Claire has visions of the mass murderer getting more and more victims. Unfortunately her visions are of the future but she doesn’t have a concrete time frame so it is very difficult for her to actually help the cops stop him. Furthermore, the murderer is somehow able to control and enter her dreams making the information even more unreliable. Then there is the fact that he can also possess her and you’ve got a losing battle. That really sums up the film in a nutshell, a losing battle all around.

There are some movies where you go in and you wonder what the point of it all is. Most of the film is about Vivian messing with Claire and completely destroying her psyche. It’s not all that hard considering that he murders everyone close to her and forces her to watch each time. There’s nobody around to help her since it’s all in her head and people don’t believe that her precognitions are real even after she calls multiple deaths down to the very location. It’s particularly surprising when the psyche expert doesn’t believe her but that’s just the nature of the film.

It tries to show how unfair the whole thing is even down to the end when the sharp shooter misses an easy target. So much for experience right? Then even though they both fell and Vivian had more serious injuries he somehow lives? It’s supposed to even out at the end since now she can haunt him, but it’s really not a happy ending at all. Sure, she can mess with him now, but that won’t bring back her family or any of the other victims. From early on in the film you can tell that this is going to be a terrible one.

The whole plot of all these kids being murdered with nobody able to stop Vivian is already terrible. Then you throw in the fact that he has supernatural powers and the film jumps the shark even more. Naturally Claire also has a dog and Vivian makes use of that. Why did the dog go with him in the first place? Why didn’t it bite as we got a weird scene of Vivian taming it. Somehow Vivian is able to be just about everywhere and has time to pull off elaborate pranks to mess with Claire that would have taken a very long time, but he does it almost instantly. Parts of it are in her mind and parts aren’t so you have to decide what is real and what isn’t. The film also gets pretty violent at times and as always the movie goes for the tired old trope of Vivian going crazy at the end as he imagines himself to be a kid again.

The parallel scenes with Claire trying to escape the mental ward while Vivian does the same thing are incredibly dragged out. Then you’ve got the fact that one of the police officers is portrayed as being pretty sleazy just to get her an easy way out. The writing is terrible and relies on all of the characters being sinister to move the plot along. Even the fact that Vivian wants to have a family with Claire and she goes along with it as part of her plan is cringe-worthy. There are no good scenes in the film so it’s a 100+ minute experience that you’ll have to try and endure.

Of course, that’s assuming you don’t just turn the TV off right away. The only way to win this battle is to simply not play right from the start. With no positives to speak of and the film not even being remotely entertaining, there is no incentive to watch this film. You can do almost anything else with this time frame and have a more positive experience. The low effort poster is already a good warning bell to take into consideration before watching this one.

Overall, In Dreams is definitely a stinker and will have to sink into the gutter. It’s a movie where the villain wins in the end and nothing goes right for the innocent people trapped in this awful situation. I can see why I hadn’t heard of this film before and it sounds like people knew not to check this one out. I definitely won’t be seeing this one in my dreams as it’ll quickly retreat into the fog from whence it came. At best this can work as a coaster for your drink.

Overall 0/10

Murders in the Rue Morgue Review

Whenever you watch a few good movies you get this feeling in the back of your head that a stinker is probably coming soon. Whether it be in the form of an old Oscar bait title, a classic that hasn’t aged well, or a new film that tried too hard to be edgy, it’ll come. In this case, it’s none of the above as I doubt this one would be called a classic as I’ve never heard of it. Unfortunately it is still as terrible as you’d expect and you’ll find it hard to sit through this film. It’s a good chance to catch up on your stretching though.

So the film starts with a classic mad scientist going around murdering everyone. He works with a circus as a cover and has a trained monkey. Well, it’s not really trained as it tries to strangle people, but we’ll ignore that. He wants to cross the DNA of the monkey and a human but everyone he murders doesn’t have the right blood type. Finally, he decides to attack the main heroine during the night. Can she stop him? After all she can’t rely on the main hero who is busy telling crazy stories about a monkey murderer to the sleeping cops!

There’s really nothing to like about this film. It’s rather violent and dark throughout. There are no happy scenes in the film and everyone is wearing a virtual red shirt that’s so bright you can’t even see their character through it. You just know that they’re doomed. The film has animal violence and torture. Truly a losing combo if there ever was any. I don’t even think the writers were worried about the plot, they just wanted to get this on screen. It’s like in debates where one guy wants to get his signature quote in no matter what the context so he just says it near the end even though it’s off topic. That’s basically this film.

The main guy is pretty slow on the uptake as well and isn’t very smart. When he runs to the cops he decides to immediately start rambling about the monkey even though it’d be smarter to just mention the evil scientist instead. He knows who the guy is so he could have mentioned the name, but no. He wants to talk about the monkey. Naturally the cops don’t believe him and the other witnesses are no help as they debate about languages. You gotta love their passion though as they attack the other witnesses and the whole thing makes about as much sense as someone grabbing a budlight instead of a Pepsi.

There’s also the overweight roommate of the main character who likes to make macaroni and then complain about it. That’s his complete character arc and the scene lasts about 10 minutes too long. I also have to point out that it’s a disturbing trend of films showing characters eating from the pot and then putting the spoon back in. Just about every film does this and it’s always gross. Have they not heard of the no double dipping rule? When you’re making something for guests or sharing a dipping sauce, the whole point is that you want to keep it clean. So, if you’re all dipping french fries in the sauce, you only dip once per fry. That’s because if you bite into it and then dip it in, you’ve just wrecked the sauce for everyone. The same rule applies for meals. If you taste the soup to see if it’s ready, don’t put the spoon back in. Now the whole thing is contaminated. It should be common sense but you’d be surprised at how many people mess this up. Honestly that’s one of my worries whenever I go to a restaurant, but fortunately most of my dishes aren’t the kind that people have to taste to see if it’s ready. Nobody messes with my pizza!

So, the film can’t even get basic writing down. Usually old films at least have good writing, but there’s none of that to be found here. I’ve seen better writing in the old Bazooka gum slips. At least those would have a good punchline or some kind of entertainment. I’m gonna start to go in circles if I talk about this film for much longer. You don’t really need to know much else about it. Even the characters are all one dimensional and forgettable to the point where you’ll forget them all instantly. You’ll begin to wonder if there were any characters on screen at all or if they were all simply poorly constructed puppets.

Overall, This film is one you’ll want to skip. I’m starting to wonder if Poe was actually an incredibly overrated author as this is probably the 4th or 5th story I’ve seen adapted from him that was actually pretty bad. I wouldn’t be surprised though as a lot of the mainstream authors aren’t all that good. We can’t forget LOTR after all. What we need is a return to quality for books, but it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose there’s not much you can do with horror either as I haven’t seen all that many good ones. There have maybe been 3-5 good ones out of over 100 that I’ve seen so those are terrible odds to be frank. The only question this film left me with was if it should get 1 or 0 stars. Both are tempting options. Eh, there really wasn’t anything good about this film so lets plunge ahead and give it the 0.

Overall 0/10

Secret Window Review

I’m on a roll so lets go with another terrible film that I saw a little while ago. I’m actually shocked that this one is PG-13. The tone and everything felt like it was not, but I’ll give the film some slight props for that I suppose. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there. This film falls into some deep traps that thrillers/horrors are prone to stepping in and the film’s glum outlook doesn’t help matters either. It’s simply not a fun experience from start to finish.

Mort is an author who hasn’t been doing well lately. His papers won’t write themselves and he certainly doesn’t want to do any writing either. Things get worse when a guy by the name of John Shooter shows up and claims that Mort stole his paper. Mort knows that this isn’t true because he wrote it before John claims that he did, but he needs proof. Until Mort can get proof, John decides that he will destroy everyone close to Mort and will scare him into submission. Can Mort get this guy off his back or is it time to panic and retreat? Lets just say that neither one is an option.

All right, this film’s terrible. We can start with the animal violence. Mort has a dog, but naturally he is destroyed. The film was pretty obvious about the fact that the dog was going to die and this prevents you from ever getting into the film. What’s the point when you know that something so criminal and tragic is about to happen. I didn’t like it…I didn’t like it one bit. It was a distasteful move right from the get go.

There’s also another big problem with the film and it concerns the ending. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often, but certainly gets quite bad when it does show up. There will be spoilers in this paragraph as well as the next one so skip these if you don’t want to know about it. You have been warned so lets go back to spoilers in 3….2……1….Go. It turns out that Mort is insane. John Shooter is a figment of his imagination. What this means is that Mort is the one who destroyed his dog. Mort is also the one who burned his house down and murdered a few other people. The ending of the film also sees Mort murder his wife and her new rebound guy. It then ends with him burying them and living a peaceful life in his house. The police know that it was him, but there is nothing that they can do about it without any proof. I call plot hax on that and it is a very depressing way to end.

There are few things worse than having the villain win in the end. Mort’s a mass murderer and the film ends with the knowledge that no charges can be put on him. Moreover, he still comes to town to intimidate people and everyone knows that he could easily do the same thing again. It’s a very depressing end to an already terrible film. Imagine if Sucker Punch had end….bad example. Imagine if Air had en…..another bad example. Lets go to Poltergeist 3. If the film had ended with Maryanne being stuck in astral world and everyone else just getting murdered and replaced with ghosts, it would have been pretty lousy. You question what the point of the whole film was. It’s possible to handle the situation well and still have the villains win in the end. For example, the Avengers film could have had Thanos show up and destroy the planet and I don’t think it would have affected the score negatively. If anything, it would have been a pretty fun ending. It’s all about execution, but you simply can’t have a psychotic mass murderer end the film off on a high note while all of the other characters get massacred. It just doesn’t work.

None of the characters are particularly likable here. Mort’s annoying and terrible. There’s no real way to like Amy since she is cheating on Mort the whole time. She wants a divorce, but she hasn’t actually gotten it yet so that destroys her as a character. Ted’s no better since he’s the rebound guy for Amy. To make sure that you don’t forget this, the film plays the flashback about 10 times or more where Mort finds this out the hard way. The only character who can be seen as semi good is the private investigator, but he’s not very good. He’s very relaxed about the whole thing and lets his guard down the whole time. He comes across as a guy who is all talk and no action. Needless to say, John Shooter is a pretty terrible villain as well.

The film feels very old despite being a 2000 and later film. Maybe it’s a technique that it used on purpose to achieve a retro affect. Whatever the case, the film looked and felt like a 1990’s R rated Indie horror film. While I can try to respect the fact that the film got this sinister tone, it doesn’t really help the film all that much at all. It doesn’t save it from the perfect 0 and doesn’t win it back any points. How could it? The plot twist at the end just ends up hurting your own trust in the film and it was already going to be a 2 or a 3 max. Add in the actual ending and then the 0 is an absolute certainty.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the film. If we ignore the plot twist, then there would have been a lot of plot hax and stretches of disbelief. With the twist, then everything adds up pretty well. I don’t like not being able to trust what I’m seeing though, it feels like a big cop out. I suppose that it’s the only way the film could go with this plot though. The writing wouldn’t have been able to handle it otherwise.

Overall, Secret Garden is a terrible film. It has one of the worst endings in film history, (And that’s saying something) a crippling plot twist, unlikable characters, and animal violence. I don’t think any film could survive such an onslaught of negatives. There is simply too much to overcome and the only mildly interesting scene in the whole film was a very brief fight, which doesn’t even matter thanks to the twist. It’s a shame…a true shame. If you want a film with some semblance of quality, then check out I Know What You Did Last Summer. If you want a film with actual quality, then go watch Space Jam. Trust me, there is a big difference between actually being a good film and having a very short glimpse of potential. Space Jam is the former and the Summer film is the latter. Secret Window can’t even make it to either category.

Overall 0/10