DVD Review

Fright Club

In honor of Halloween, Warner does the monster mash on DVD with a crop of creepy debuts.

EW reviews a slew of horror flicks

Forget major food groups. This Hallowday season, Warner has a few major fear groups covered in a rollout of brand-new horror releases:

FEAR OF BIRTH If you're as squeamish about pregnancy as most men, the first 15 minutes of It's Alive may be nerve-racking stuff — even though it's a mundane look at the lead-up to the blessed event. Once the monster baby is born, however, the scariness tapers off. Two sillier sequels, double-featured as It Lives Again/It's Alive III: Island of the Alive, prove that auteur Larry Cohen never settled on a coherently pro-or anti-infanticide stance.

FEAR OF AGING If you ever felt like you were growing old sitting in a waiting room, you'll identify with vampire David Bowie, who ages about 50 years waiting for an appointment with Susan Sarandon in The Hunger, Tony Scott's first and best film. Speaking of phobias, the lesbian scene helped many male viewers overcome their homophobia (and ''certainly changed my fan base,'' Sarandon quips in a commentary).

FEAR OF DYING A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE He Knows You're Alone concerns a bride-mangling slasher, though he mostly kills the chief fiancée's female friends (which may be a fate better than tacky attendant dresses). After making his brief film debut as a victim's boyfriend, Tom Hanks inexplicably disappears; his death scene was scripted, but, the filmmakers reveal, they '' liked him too much...to kill him.''

FEAR OF MALPRACTICE Return of the Living Dead Part II, described by its director as a ''horror comedy,'' sadly comes up wanting in both genres — save one line good enough to rival Shaun of the Dead: A physician, recognizing a former patient among the zombies at his window, cheerfully declaims, ''Harvey, it wasn't my fault! We ran out of type O!''


It's Alive: B-
Lives Again/Alive III: D+
Hunger: B+
He Knows: C-

Originally posted Oct 29, 2004 Published in issue #790 Oct 29, 2004 Order article reprints
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