After the death of his mother, Elijah Wood is left with his uncle’s family while dad DavidMorse takes off for two weeks to settle their future. Uncle has two children: a little girl and anolder boy Wood’s age: Macaulay Culkin. Behind Culkin’s angelic visage, naturally, lurks thesoul of a devil. Wood suspects the evil, but no one will believe him, and so he is left alone totry to stop the increasingly deadly games his cousin is playing.
Director Joseph P. Ruben made …omething of a career of telling tales of domestic horror,what with this, The Stepfather and Sleeping with the Enemy. He claims, in thefeaturette, to want to reverse our expectations about Culkin’s character, which is, of course,nonsense: we know going in that he’s bad. And familiar as Evil Child territory is (think TheBad Seed, The Other, The Omen, etc., etc., etc.), this is still an effectiveexample of the genre, benefiting from an admirably economical narrative.
The 2.0 sound is clean and distortion-free. There are some pretty effective surroundmoments, especially when the sounds of the desert or of the ocean come out of all speakers.Elmer Bernstein’s score isn’t always quite as well served. During the opening credits, forinstance, the left-right movement of the music is odd, creating a distracting waver.
The colours are very nice, especially in the exterior scenes. The outdoor settings are oftenextremely striking, especially the desert scenes of the opening. The shift from Arizona to Maineis reflected by a distinct change in colour palette. There is some grain and pixellation, and thepicture is a touch soft, but the blacks and contrasts are fine. The image comes in both fullscreenand 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen versions.
The menu is basic, as are the extras: the theatrical trailer, and the usual featurette. Nuthin’special.
Very much a catalogue-filler release, with no real value-added on this disc. Sound andpicture are acceptable, and the movie is a decent 86 minutes.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer