Clive Barker’s feature directing debut graphically depicts the tale of a man and wife who move into an old house and discover a hideous creature — the man’s half-brother, who is also the woman’s former lover — hiding upstairs.
Barker frames his demons in intimate detail, using Vidgeon's photography as a sick form of containment. This is a surreal excursion into horror filmmaking that sometimes goes too haywire for its own good. Nevertheless, its ambition and atmospheric ferocity overshadow its flaws. It's like a nasty blend of Lovecraft, Carpenter, Friedkin, King, and apartment-era Polanski. A stunning, formidable piece of work.
It has good makeup effects & a delightfully sick sense of humor, & I give it credit for a protagonist who isn't as stupid as most female horror leads. The other woman, though, needs to spend a little more time asking questions & a little less time jumping from 'deranged half-melted corpse asking me for blood' to murder without at least asking how or why. --PolarisDiB
An admirably ambitious horror film that ultimately fails. It may have outstanding gore but it just doesn't have an interesting enough narrative. Really incoherent characterizations that lack depth; by the ending you just won't give a shit about anyone because you really don't know who they actually are. Disappointing, I thought this was a classic.
(rewatch) i forgot how genuinely weird the premise of this movie is. compared to your average john carpenter rip off, it's like avant garde theater or something. a shame that the direction is so run of the mill. with a jean rollin or even a david lynch behind the camera, this could have been a freaky little treat. instead, it's an interesting curiosity with some fun s & m flourishes slipping in under the radar.