Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scary Movie Month 2014, Day 8

The Monkey's Paw (2013)

"It'll give you what you ask for, but not the way you want it." That's a direct quote from the movie and a pretty decent synopsis as well. As anyone familiar with the story (read: everyone on the planet) knows, every wish brings with it a big pile of bloody consequences. Sure it's a story that's been done to death (and then wished back to soulless life) but this made-for-TV movie is a pretty solid take on it.

Remember a few days ago when I was knocking Stephen Lang for being lousy in A Good Marriage? He's forgiven, because he's kind of a hoot here. He's a friend of Blandy McBland, our main character, who is accidentally killed and then wished back to life courtesy of the shriveled appendage of the title. Not surprisingly, he returns as a soulless murder enthusiast and only Blanderson Blankface can stop him. He's clearly having fun running around New Orleans (side note for exactly one reader: thanks for the geography lesson, Nicky :-*) stabbing the holy hell out of everyone he encounters. It's a fun performance, and the movie suffers a bit whenever he's offscreen (particularly toward the middle) but for the most part it's a fun watch.

The lead, C.J. Thomason is (as I might have mentioned) a bit on the bland side, but Lang is so much fun to watch that it doesn't sink the movie. The great Charles S. Dutton plays a cop investigating the murders, and he's a welcome presence in any movie even when he doesn't have a whole lot to do, which is unfortunately the case here.

All things considered it's a slick, above-average TV movie. The story is solid and well-told, it has a wickedly humorous streak running through it, and there was even a moment that made me jump, which is all too rare these days. Also, it was written by Blue Ruin star Macon Blair  which made me want to watch that again, so that's gotta be another point in its corner.

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