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Chiller Reviews

One of several made for TV horror movies directed by NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET creator Wes Craven during the 1970s and '80s, this philosophical fright flick revolves around a man retrieved from cryogenic sleep minus something vital: His soul. After the sudden death of youthful corporate executive Miles Creighton (Michael Beck), his grief-stricken and deeply religious mother (Beatrice Straight) has his body cryogenically frozen. Ten years later, his capsule malfunctions and Mrs. Creighton orders doctors to try and revive him. To everyone's amazement, their efforts are successful. Mrs. Creighton is overjoyed, but her son's homecoming is marred by the chilly reception he gets from his old dog: The animal bares its fangs and barks until someone leads it away. It's soon clear to everyone but his mother that there's something very wrong with Miles; she resists any suggestion that Miles is no longer himself, even when it comes from her spiritual advisor, Reverend Penny (Paul Sorvino). As soon as he resumes control of the family business, he abruptly fires Clarence Beeson (Dick O'Neill), the loyal co-founder who helped maintain the business for the ten years Miles was away. He also brutalizes a female employee (Laura Johnson), leers suggestively at his mother's underaged ward, Stacey (Jill Schoelen), and tries to kill Reverend Penny. Mrs. Creighton must look into her own soul and decide what to do about the shell of her son who's caused so much pain, and will clearly cause more unless he's stopped. A high-tech variation on the classic horror story The Monkey's Paw, this ambitious genre film is marred by slack pacing and low production values.