This movie clearly shows that shock horror and comedy doesn't go together very well. Or perhaps it's more fair to say that Kevin Smith has absolutely no idea how to effectively combine these two genres into a great movie...

And that's a real shame, since I honestly do feel and believe that with just a few minor changes and a different approach this could have been an absolutely great little horror movie. As weird and as silly as it main concept sounds, it actually works in the movie. The horror really hits you and the movie is filled with some absolutely great gut wrenching and shocking moments. But literally every time the movie hits you with a genuinely shocking or emotionally touching moment, it gets followed by some quirky and awkward comedic moment, that almost totally ruins the movie's momentum and completely takes you out of the movie.

There truly is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this would have been a great and very memorable horror movie, if it had been made with a more straightforward and serious approach to it but it's almost as if Kevin Smith himself doesn't want his movie to be good. He deliberate tries to make the movie as goofy and unlikely as possible, by throwing in some quirky characters, awkward comedic moments and silly pieces of dialog, that all feel like it belongs in a different type of movie.

The most explanatory example of this is the Johnny Depp character. He's quirky and over-the-top in the way how he looks, sounds and reacts to all of the different situations. In other words, it's Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp, in a movie that screamed for a far more subtle acting approach and character. Most people also say that the movie went downhill for them the moment the Johnny Depp comes on screen and while i don't necessarily agree on this (the movie started to go downhill way before that moment for me) I can definitely see what they mean and where they come from. Every little bit of credibility that the movie had build up and still had in it gets slowly taken away from the movie during its second half, not only courtesy of Mr. Depp but also definitely because of Smith's own writing and directing approach.

I'm still willing to give the movie plenty of credit as well though. It's a low-budget movie but it has a good look and feel to it. I also never expected a walrus-man to look as credible and 'realistic' as it did in this movie, so kudos to the effects- and makeup department as well.

And as I said before, the movie its concept of course is an absolutely ridicules one but it works surprisingly well, which still is a real accomplishment by Kevin Smith and something I will praise him for. On the other hand, it still also remains nothing but a very gimmicky concept and movie in general. There are some minor side-plots and characters but none of it ever gets made as important- or is as well developed as its main storyline. And there only is so much the movie does with its main storyline as well though. There really isn't that much depth to it and every time that it seems like the movie is going somewhere interesting with its concept, main story and characters it's doing something shallow and 'childish' again, which makes the movie go into nothing but an ultimately very simplistic and disappointing direction.

Disappointing probably also is the best way to describe this movie as. It's never really a terrible one but the way how it approaches its story and concept makes the movie nothing more but a mildly amusing one, with at times some hints of a great horror movie in it.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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