Stephen King fans trying to keep up with the slew of mediocre direct adaptations of his work will also have to contend with a growing brood of lackluster, "unofficial" sequels like this one.
Jon Porter (Michael Gross) returns to his small hometown with his daughter Michelle (Hilary Swank) following the death of his mother. As a boy, Jon interrupted--and inadvertently caused the deaths of--a group of demonic youths led by Tony Reno (Alexis Arquette) as they were preparing to sacrifice
his sister Lisa (Leslie Danon).
Through supernatural means, Tony returns to life, and the evil greaser begins putting the moves on Michelle. He also begins claiming more victims to bring his cohorts Vinnie (Bojesse Christopher) and Sean (Glen Beaudin) back from the dead. Retarded groundskeeper Steve (Gabriel Dell Jr.) and
Michelle's friend Maria (Jennifer Aspen) are murdered, as is Jules (Jennifer Elise Cox), a psychic girl who has become suspicious of Tony.
Unnerved by Tony's reappearance and the string of deaths, Jon seeks help from Father Archer Roberts (W. Morgan Sheppard) before the latter is also killed. Michelle is kidnapped by Tony, and the three demons prepare her as their final sacrifice before Jon intervenes and, in a re-enactment of his
boyhood encounter, dispatches the evil trio once and for all.
Billed as a sequel to a 1991 TV movie based on a King short story, this direct-to-video project actually just rehashes the author's plot with different characters and a bushel of supernatural cliches.
Director/co-writer Adam Grossman is stronger with individual setpieces than the big picture. The resurrection of the naked, demonic Vinnie from a pool of blood has true eerie power, and Jon has a relatively scary nightmare involving his daughter and Tony indulging in satanic sex. But the movie as
a whole has no honest tension, because everything that happens is a foregone conclusion, from the deaths of the obvious victims-to-be to the climax where history violently repeats itself.
Casting "Family Ties"'s Gross as a dad who has real problems with his family is a nice touch, but the younger performers are unpersuasive, including Arquette (who was much better in the New Zealand-made chiller JACK BE NIMBLE) and Cox (Jan from the BRADY BUNCH movies)--though the latter's death by
flying Tarot cards is admittedly novel. Still, it's clear that aside from the opportunity to further exploit King's name, there was no real reason for this particular story to "come back." (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: Stephen King fans trying to keep up with the slew of mediocre direct adaptations of his work will also have to contend with a growing brood of lackluster, "unofficial" sequels like this one. Jon Porter (Michael Gross) returns to his small hometown with hi… (more)