MARCH 2, 2007
Nightmares is an early 80's anthology film where the only interconnecting theme is that all four stories are stupid. An anthology film with no wraparound is pointless, but forgivable if the stories themselves are worth your while. Not the case here.
All of the stories are meant to teach you a lesson (the woman in the first film went out late at night to get a pack of smokes, so DON’T SMOKE; the arcade one: DON’T LET VIDEO GAMES CONSUME YOU, etc.), but they are terribly presented and delivered with the subtlety of a tornado. Someone in the film even says “Sometimes you use a sledgehammer when a word or two would do.” I wish the writer took his own advice. Paul Haggis must love the film.
I understand the film was originally a TV movie that the network decided was ‘too intense’ for TV, so some extra stuff was filmed and it was sent to theaters. I’m not sure what exactly would have scared anyone, let alone an entire network. No one in the movie even dies after the first story (and one kill is so unconnected I suspect it was precisely what was added into the film for theaters). Afterward, the total body count is made from a rat (not the giant one) and some of the Atari-lite ‘monsters’ that Emilio shoots in the real world after they break out of the game. Hell, the giant rat (with a hilarious green outline. Nice matte choking!) doesn’t even mean the people harm. INTENSE!
What say you?