Okay so with this film let's begin with the cover art.It draws you in.I will say I have seen this title for a while (well, probably about 10 years) and never watched it.For some reason I had in my head this movie was a lot older than it is, even when I step back and consider it is 10 years old by now.
The cover art is very nicely done.It has just the right amount of darkness and a mischievousness that makes you wonder about this movie.
The beginning of the movie you instantly know, this is low-low budget. There is just no way around it.I will admit I am not liking it just in the first few minutes because I have some weird thing about watching movies with this low budget type of camera(By the way, if you know what camera was used, please email me, it is driving me nuts!).
I decide to give it a go anyway.A lot of my favorite horror films are low budget.I know sometimes there are gems hiding past all of the bad equipment.
This movie was not really the case.It wasn't BAD.Okay it was bad, but it was redeemable in some aspects.
So let's go on this adventure and see what was good and bad about it.I will not give away any major spoilers.
The idea of this little film is a boy, Dougie (Alexander Brickel) who is 11, is obsessed with a video game called Satan's Little Helper. In the film you see this video game (and it somehow is on more than one platform?)The game is bad.Poor graphics and low quality game.I give it a pass though; I am not holding the quality of the game against the film at this time.
Dougie is so obsessed with this game. His Dad bought for him and his crazy mother (Amanda Plummer) made him a Halloween costume of Satan's Little Helper, a character in the game.We can see some character development here now. Everyone in this movie seems to just be so naive.Mom lets the kid live in a dark fantasy world, and she (is not as bad as the "Mom" in Sleepaway Camp) seems to just float through situations, doing whatever is going to make people happy.
Mom and Dougie pick up big sister from a ferry.She is off at school studying theater.She is coming home for Halloween to carry on the tradition of going out with Dougie.(Sweet sibling moment)Sister, played by Katheryn Winnick, brings home her boyfriend (Stephen Graham).
This does not make for a happy Dougie.He was expecting to be with his sister (whom he states he is going to marry).Now he has to share her (The family dynamic just gets stranger as the film progresses).
During the course of the day, Dougie comes across Satan.He is in the middle of posing a body at a home he just killed.Dougie is mesmerized by this!All of his dreams have come true.He is already dress in his Little Helper costume, so the next logical step is to ask if he can help Satan.And I mean come on, why wouldn't Satan say no to this?
Parts of the film brings is through a bonding that Satan and Helper experience.They purchase ropes, knives, & candy.Break into homes... knock over pregnant ladies.It is pure and innocent fun for them.Well, for Dougie it is.He cannot see that these things are really happening.He is so struck in video game mode.
There is no real suspense in the movie up until this point.The dark humor is coming in and out, which is a major plus.The movie is saved by this.Finding out Satan is a perv really added to his character.It gave a depth he was lacking, just being a robotic "killer".
The intensity of a horror film finally comes and it is an intense moment.This is a real game changer for every character and the plot.You can start to feel the fear of the people involved now. It just goes on too long though with nothing to really heighten what we are doing here. After this moment though, the movie gets a lot better and we walk into the time that it is worth watching.
Even though I do not like the style of camera, the camera work and landscaping seemed to get better as the movie went on.As did the acting.It feels like this was the first attempt ever at making a movie and everyone learned as they continued.However, the character development did not get better; it only got worse as the film went on.
Satan's strength was not consistent throughout the movie.At one point he can barely push a guy around, and another he is throwing men through windows.It just doesn't match up.
Dougie seemed to get dumber as the movie went on too.We know that he is very naive, but his actions as the film progressed toward the end are just ridiculous.He would have learned some lesson by that point.
The acting of Alex and Jenna, the sister make the film better, however their characters are just plain annoying.There is a background story arc for Alex that plays through the film has a lot of potential, but falls short on almost every level.
The obligatory landscaping shots were good.Nice colors and settings, however they did not match the movie either.
A shining character moment is Mom.She went from being this aloof hippie to a real mom later in the movie.She stands up to the tests of motherhood in crisis and does deliver.
The kills in this one is lacking.There are a number of dead bodies, but you do not get to see a lot of the kill moments, but even if you did I don’t really think it would have made a difference.
Rewatchability?No. Unless I am with someone who already has it on and wants to finish watching it.
How was it? Eh.That's about all I got.It was Eh.
Was it worth it?I would say yes.With all of its flaws and downfalls, it was worth a watch.I can almost see how this has a small cult following.Almost.
Direct to DVD released 10/04/2005
Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003
Written and Directed by Jeff Lieberman
Starring- Alexander Brickel, Kathryn Winnick, Amanda Plummer, and Stephen Graham
Low Budget Black Comedy/Horror
The 100 minute running time felt like a LOT longer for this one.