Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apprentice to Murder

(Ralph L. Thomas, 1987)
Ooh, it's based on a true story, and it's about death and ghosts. It's got Donald Sutherland as a charismatic healer who takes young Chad Jones under his wing as they stalk the creepy guy in the old house who they think is a demon. Sounds promising, even stays promising for a few minutes, after-school-special ambience and all. But this promise is an even better reason to get infuriated as things turn to shit, logic flies out the window and all characters are drained of sympathy by doing stupid thing after stupid thing. Why does Jones' hottie girlfriend exhibit even this much patience with the clod? Isn't it, like, an obvious cheat to keep showing the creepy guy look aggressively menacing from a low angle, and then when the big confrontation comes at the end he's all meek and chatty? I don't care if I'm spoiling; this is Competence Paradox filmmaking at its worst, and will make you grind your teeth in abject frustration, should you happen to watch it, which you won't.

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