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Demon Kid Reviews

Slick-looking but hopelessly confused, FEVER LAKE is a lackluster entry in the youth-horror genre. College students Albert (Corey Haim), Steve (Mario Lopez), Bobby (Randy Josselyn), Sarah (Lauren Parker), Danielle (Mary-Rachel Foot), and Christy (Mathea Webb) head up to remote Fever Lake to stay at an old house that belongs to Albert's family. They are given a warning by local Sheriff Harris (Bo Hopkins), who has been advised by Native American Clear Springs (Michael Wise) that evil forces are rising from the lake. Young waitress Lila (Lindsey Brooke) advises the students about the area's history of strange occurrences. Later, she is killed by what appears to be a wolf spirit. Informed of Lila's death, the kids nonetheless decide to stay, and Sarah suggests a nighttime game of hide and seek. Trysting in the basement, Bobby and Kristy are axed to death, and Steve and Danielle are slain while trying to leave. Apparently possessed, Albert confronts Sarah, who proves to be a reincarnation of his mother, whom he killed as a boy. He hacks Sarah up and is subsequently arrested for all the murders. After the crime scene has been cleared, Sheriff Harris attempts to set the house on fire, but it won't burn. With a few recognizable names in the cast and some attractive photography, FEVER LAKE promises to be a cut above the usual student-slaughter opus. But the script fails to clarify the nature of the evil that threatens the characters, establishing several supernatural threads that are never satisfyingly tied up, and director Ralph Portillo dawdles his way through the material until finally piling on the shock effects in the last 20 minutes. The way in which suspicion is diverted from Albert to Sarah is intriguing, but the rushed climax doesn't adequately explain their connection--or pay off the film's prologue murder scene. Equally awkward is Portillo's handling of the horror sequences and the editing, which at one point juxtaposes a daytime scene and a nighttime scene apparently occurring at the same time. Inexplicably, Monument Entertainment put out an incoherent 76-minute edition titled DEMON KID at the same time as Showcase Entertainment's release of the uncut film; this short version drastically reduces Hopkins' role, reduces Wise's to a pointless bit part, and eliminates some of the scenes that attempt to explain the plot. (Graphic violence, sexual situations, profanity.)