Sometimes They Come Back (1991) Review
The year was 1991, I was only 8 years old, and a made for television movie came through the screen and it completely derailed many people’s view of scary movies on tv. Ok, maybe it didn’t hit as hard as I would have liked it to, but the 1978 short story became an awesome television movie, and I for one was completely caught off guard by how good this movie was. Today, we will talk about “Sometimes They Come Back” from the master of horror, Stephen King.
The plot is an easy one to manage, and something that I had a few doubts about at first. Two kids walking in their hometown are roughed up, one of which dies, and that sets up the future. In the future, the surviving kid has to deal with something that is happening in his past, and is haunted by the memory of his fallen brother. All this and something odd begins to happen, the original villains are back, this time they are killing off students at a high school where the surviving teacher works, and are coming back to haunt the other kid (now an adult) in order to finish him off too!
The acting is above par for a made for television movie. The greasers that are coming back from the dead are not just random zombies that they put make up on, they are done up quite well. I was surprised how well they acted and how the reaction of the teacher was in contrast. Tim Matheson is not a great actor, but given this role he actually does it well, making you believe that he is in legit fear and trouble, determined to make it to the final scene.
The car, the camera angles, and the music all do a great job in showcasing the terror here. I loved the phantom car chase sequencing, as the camera angles changed dramatically, and were more “artful” than much better movies that would come out even a decade later. The small attention to details on such things, makes this movie stand out against other made for television movies.
The movie has a very “light” tone. This is not a gore fest, it is not a rated R scary movie, and feels like you’re watching an episode of Goosebumps. Don’t get me wrong, I love toned down horror, but there were points here that really made you question whether or not this was even a scary movie. Things turn out well in the third act, as you start to get far more reveal, and you eventually get the pay off, which is definitely a Stephen King classic moment.
Lots to Love
This movie really did strike me, as I used to live in a small town, and sometimes wonder what it would be like to go back there to become a High School teacher. There are things that would haunt me, nothing like that in the movie, but still, it makes me think. Sometimes the best horror movies are not the ones that have exploding guts, but rather the ones that make us think about our own lives, and careers. That “What if” moment happens often, and when we see it, those movies become our favorites. This is definitely one of mine. I highly recommend “Sometimes They Come Back”; it’s an awesome adaptation of a short story. You will like it, I hope.
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