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Review of Night Terrors
by Jeremy Thomas
Posted on June 7th, 2021
Negative 3
Overall Rating
film #15 of hooptober part v: a new beginning tobe hooper was a hell of a filmmaker whose contributions to genre storytelling were undeniable. but like all horror directors, there are some serious swings and misses in his filmography. night terrors fits squarely in that category. the film's ambitions are laudable, as it tries to fit the marquis de sade and concepts of destiny, legacy, faith, and sexuality into its ninety-three minute running time. but the ideas don't manage to come together into rom globus and daniel matmor written words. the dialogue hackneyed at best and, more often than not, atrocious. the plot twists are heavily telegraphed, meaning that for a film about the most infamous sexual libertine in history, there are surprisingly few shocking moments. hooper doesn't have much to add here, either. the sexual content isn't as erotic or taboo as it thinks it is, though he at least gives the film a nice sheen. and his stars certainly try their best. robert englund is having a lot of fun in dual roles as de sade and his descendant, paul chevalier. he sinks his teeth into the work and chews scenery with all the considerable charm he has to offer. zoe trilling is game for most of the proceedings as the protagonist genie, until the final act when she can't quite manage the hysteria right. and alona kimhi makes genie's corrupting influence in sabine an intriguing character, even as it's clear where her loyalties lie at any given moment. night terrors would have been a hell of a late night cinemax flick, but as a horror feature film it's a failure, albeit a somewhat admirable one.
Jeremy Thomas

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