Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: TO DIE FOR (1989) and SON OF DARKNESS: TO DIE FOR II (1991)

Poorly scripted and blandly performed, To Die For (1989) is a passable horror/romantic thriller from the late 80's, notable for its failed attempt to update the Dracula myth to modern times, pitting Vlad Tepes, masquerading in Los Angeles as a wealthy bachelor, against his evil brother Tom(!), who wants to kill Vlad's latest lover, Karyn. Sloppy direction and terrible dialogue make this a slow-going watch, but some of the make-up effects are impressive.

For some reason To Die For garnered a sequel, which is surprising, since it barely registered at the box-office upon release and is hardly considered a cult classic. The sequel, Son of Darkness (1991), fares a little better, with genre veteran Michae Praed (Nightflyers, Robin of Sherwood) replacing Brendan Hughes as Vlad Tepes. Son of Darkness benefits from adequate direction by David F. Price and stylish cinematography by Gerry Lively (Waxwork, Warlock: The Armageddon), and the first half of the movie is fast-paced and atmospheric. The movie stumbles in the second half, as the emphasis shifts from horror to romance, and the plot becomes incoherent. Still this is a better movie than its predecessor, and a diverting 90 minutes for a rainy night.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.

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