This was the first horror movie I have seen in a movie theater. I must be around 12 by then. Well, I do not remember who took me to this movie but after watching this again, I can say that it was definitely not a good idea.
So we have a family of four: father Louis, mother Rachel, two year old Gadge and 5-6 years old Ellie. They move to a new house and they have a neighbor, a nice old man, Jud. (Jud is the Herman Munster of The Munsters by the way.) There is a burial ground left from the Native Americans and according to Jud, a dead animal who is buried here will come back to life. Well, not in the original character, a bit wilder. The house is located just off the road on which huge trucks pass by all day and we have a two year old wandering around in an uncontrolled manner. Go figure.
****** Spoilers *****
I guess one important aspect of this movie is that it blends tragedy nicely with horror. There are two such tragic stories: obviously, little Gadge hit by a truck and Zelda, Rachel’s sister who died from spinal meningitis when Rachel was a child. The “Nooooo!” cry of Gagde’s father (Louis) holding his son after the accident is one of the most tragic scenes in horror movie history. Also the scene where the hand of Gadge’s corpse can be briefly seen when the coffin falls down due to a hustle and bustle between Louis and his father-in-law was heart-breaking. At least it was to me who is the father of a son.
You feel very sorry for Zelda but she is also very scary. (There is a nice trivia about Zelda: a male was playing the role because they could not find a woman skinny enough for the part.) To be honest, the stories of Zelda and the ghost Pascow were not integrated into the movie very well. I do not know how it is in the novel but they certainly did not have anything to do with the main story about the cemetery. They were like “independent” ghosts wandering around giving us the impression that the burial ground was not the only supernatural element. But then no explanation was provided. I loved Pascow’s character tough. He was very funny. I loved him sitting in the airplane with seat belt fastened.
It is not a flaw in the movie but I would appreciate some more detailed explanation about the Native history of the burial ground. It would probably a distraction for most of the viewers but I love Native American stuff. Again, I do not know how detailed this is in the novel.
The final was predictable but nice enough. I must say, you must be really in love to kiss a woman with an eye hole discharging like that. I am not even mentioning the burial ground soil in her mouth.