Friday, August 19, 2011

Be Kind, Rewind: The VHS Reviews ~ Cry Baby Lane (2000)

"Someone Wants To Meet You"

Synopsis: Andrew (Jase Blankfort) and his older brother Carl (Trey Rogers) enjoy listening to ghost stories that the local undertaker (Frank Langella) tells them. One night he tells the tale of a local farmer whose wife gave birth to Siamese twins, one being good natured while the other was clearly evil. The farmer, ashamed of them, kept the twins locked in their room. Eventually the twins got sick and died together, so the farmer sawed them in half and buried the good twin in a cemetery and the bad twin in a shallow grave near the house. Later, Carl and his friends decide to hold a séance in the cemetery where the good twin is buried, but they unintentionally awaken the bad twin instead. Gradually, he possesses nearly everyone in town and it is up to young Andrew to stop him.

My Thoughts: Okay, so the story of 'Cry Baby Lane' goes like this. Back in 2000, Nickelodeon decided to air a horror flick (that they produced) during their big Halloween weekend. Kids love to be scared on Halloween, right? So they got their biggest star at the time, Melissa Joan Hart (or 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch'), to introduce it and everything would appear to be fine. Until it aired that is. Apparently, parents were outraged by how frightening the film was, so they bitched about it, the network backed down (like they always do) and it's never been aired again on Nick or any other network.

Is this as scary as advertised? No, of course not. The problem Nickelodeon made was throwing the TV-7 rating on it. There is definitely images in this movie that could scare the crap out of a 7 year old. There's a lot of creepy crawlers and skeletons, but no gore. I think if they just played it safe with a TV-13, then all of the problems would have been avoided. It's not like the network was trying to build it up to help sales on a dvd release ...though maybe they should have.

The movie itself? Well, it's not too bad. The acting from the kids is no better or worse than you normally see on Nick or the Disney Channel. Frank Langella does a great job as the creepy undertaker, Mr. Bennett. The effects are decent enough, especially for a lower-budget TV movie.There's a pretty nice looking scene where a spider crawls out of a little girl's mouth and onto her tongue.

One thing I did like about this movie is that there's an oddness about it. It's not quite like any other horror movie that I've seen. I don't know if it's the story, the dialog or just the way the characters interact, but there's definitely something different about it. If anything I have to give the director (Peter Lauer) some credit for that. Also, I could see how if I saw this a bunch of times as a kid there could be some nostalgia for it. It's too bad Nickelodeon never gave it a chance.

My Rating: 4.5 / 10

Still no release for this one, but you can check it out on youtube before they pull it off again. 

Watch It Here...

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