Thursday, October 06, 2005
Posted by JPX
“Every year thousands of people move to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. Some succeed. Some go home. Others just… disappear.”
Bearing little resemblance to the original Toolbox Murders, I was surprised at how disappointing this was given that Tobe Hooper directed it. I’ve concluded that horror movie directors are a strange breed indeed. Compared to directors of other genres, horror directors only seem to have 1 or 2 great films in them. Carpenter gave us Halloween, arguably the greatest horror film every made, yet every film he’s made since then has been horrible. Craven gave us A Nightmare on Elm Street and now all he can muster up is crap like Red Eye (I don’t even think Scream holds up). Hooper gave us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and now he’s directing direct-to-video films. What the hell?
As the story begins Steve and Nell (i.e., the star of May) are moving into the Lunsford Hotel, which is an exceptionally crappy shithole. The couple is informed that the Hotel is chock full of “history” and “character”, which is another way of saying that it’s dilapidated with lots of problems. Right from the start it makes no sense that any newlyweds would ever choose to live in a place like this. Before they even sit down they can hear neighbors screaming at one another it’s obvious just from looking around that everything is in shambles.
Steve is a med student and is away most of the time. This leaves unemployed Nell with little to do and a lot of boredom. As the story progresses characters start to be murdered by a man wearing black from head to toe. Despite being called “Toolbox Murders“, the film doesn’t really adhere to its moniker. I mean, how do hedge clippers fit into a toolbox? When people aren’t being murdered, Nell starts to investigate the history of the building. This actually ends up being much more interesting than the murders. After looking at blueprints, Nell figures out that the building was designed in such a clever manner (e.g., every room has a slightly different layout) that there’s actually an entire townhouse within the walls of the hotel that’s hidden. You see, there’s a long-term resident who resides in this secret townhouse and he’s not happy with the way the building has been treated over the years, or something like that.
Shame on Tobe Hooper, Toolbox Murders should’ve been better. The hotel itself is a real hotel and its spooky setting is perfect for a horror movie. Unfortunately, the murders are not scary or very interesting. When the ski-masked killer’s mask is finally removed, we find that Tobe just can’t progress beyond his Leatherface character. This is a second-rate horror movie with a lot of potential that goes nowhere.
at 8:04 AM