Director: Gregory Hoblit
Running time: 124 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 13th March 1998
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 30th October 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have seen this film before and pretty much enjoyed it. Noticing it in the TV schedules recently, I thought I’d give it another go and put some thoughts down about it this time. A film that is not widely hailed as a horror film, I found it both atmospheric and quite menacing. To me a good horror film pays on the audiences’ fear of the unknown, and this film does just that. I’ll tell you more after this brief summary.
When serial killer, Edgar Reese, is about to be executed, he asks to speak to the detective that caught him, John Hobbes. Gloating at Hobbes, he begins to speak in some foreign language and finally bursts into song; The Rolling Stones, ‘Time is on my Side’. Thinking nothing of this, Hobbes proceeds to witness the execution, but it’s not the last he’ll see of Edgar Reese, or is it Edgar Reese? A day later Hobbes is called to the scene of a murder, a murder that has all the hallmarks of Edgar Reese. Does he have an accomplice, or is there a copycat out there? Either way, it’s a puzzle that has to be solved and one that will lead Hobbes and his partner, Jonesy, down a very perilous path. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police (demonic branch) will be possessing my family and turning them against me.
A well made film with a very interesting narration and a delightful twist at the end. Great performances all round, especially from Denzel Washington as John Hobbes, John Goodman as Jonesy and Embeth Davidtz as Gretta Milano. Honourable mentions go to Donald Sutherland as Lt. Stanton and James Gandolfini (with an outrageous moustache) as Lou.
I very much enjoyed this film although it did fall a little flat about two thirds of the way through and I did find it a little over-long. Other than that I found it quite an intelligent film that keeps you guessing right until the end. It’s one that will be overlooked by many (low gore factor), but one I would encourage any horror fan to watch. It has quite a slow pace, but don’t be deceived, it’s quite enthralling if you give it a chance… Recommended.
My Score: 7.6/10.
IMDb Score: 6.8/10 (based on 30,255 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40/100 (based on 55 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Azazel: Time is on my side. Yes it is.
John Hobbes: There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this, and after this... Sometimes you can feel such a moment coming. That's the test, or so I tell myself. I tell myself that at times like that, strong people keep moving forward anyway, no matter what they're going to find.
Azazel: [Last lines] Like I said before. I was beaten. I was battered, tired and neaten by a detective John Hobbes. It's disturbing that you were alive for a thousand years and you realize that you're actually going to die, because some self-righteous cop thinks he’s gonna save the fuckin' world. Yes, a demon can die, and Hobbes finally knew how to beat me at my own game. Oh, I forgot. I was gonna tell you the time I "almost" died, seeya 'round.