Nightbreed

By Justin Hamelin

Released: 1990

Written and Directed by horror god Clive Barker

Nightbreed is based off of Barker's novel 'Cabal'.

The film tells the tale of an underworld of monsters and creatures from all over the nightmare landscape. When Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), a troubled fellow who has little but his fiercely loyal girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) in his corner, is betrayed by his psychiatrist Dr. Philip Decker (played by the one and only David Cronenberg), the young man joins the Nightbreed, a motley crew who lives below a cemetery in a place called Midian.

The film focuses on the idea that the monsters living below the tombstones aren't what we should be worried about- it's the men and women walking alongside us in everyday life. Sheffer does an excellent job as the lost soul in a leather jacket, and Bobby really steals the show as the strong and loving Lori. Then there's Cronenberg- one of the greatest horror geniuses of all time, in one of the most memorable horror masks of all time.

There isn't much as far as resolution when the film ends and one begins to get excited about finding the sequel in the back corner of their local video rental shop. But then you realize that while sequels were planned and expected, a lazy butchering of an editing job left the film dead in the water at the box office. Thus, the sequel dreams were dashed before they could even materialize.

It's clear from early on that this is a Barker original- loaded with visual terror (some of the monsters are downright disturbing, even twenty-two years after the film's release) and mythology surrounding the monsters that live amongst and within all of us as humans, Nightbreed is a fun romp through the world of gore and terror. Think Little Monsters on steroids. Minus the cat litter tuna sandwich and plus a lot more of the red stuff.

My grade: 7/10

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