Thursday, November 03, 2005
Dominique is Dead
David wants his wife Dominique dead. Instead of just offing her in the usual manner, he decides to slowly drive her insane. By playing mind games with her (e.g., hanging a “corpse” in the den, scary sounds, etc) he achieves this goal fairly easily. Convinced that she is going crazy, Dominique kills herself. However, the tables are soon turned as Dominique haunts David; or is he just going insane himself?
Not bad for a .50-cent film picked up in the supermarket on an impulse buy. Although I didn’t predict the ending, I’m assuming that most will. Still, this low-budget effort is just gripping enough to warrant a viewing if you’ve run out of other things to watch. One thing I love about 70s horror is that reputable actors were cast in these films, lending some credibility and respect to the genre. Here we get Cliff Robertson and Jean Simmons. I know, I know, those names aren’t too familiar to you, but when you see them you’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I recognize them’. Certain trends emerge when you watch as many horror films as we do. We’ve spoken about the awful humor of 80s horror, yet we haven’t really discussed the age sea change. Up through the 70s the casts of horror films were, for the most part, older and more distinguished. During the 80s reputable people shied away from the genre and studio heads became bent on casting younger actors and actresses. From a business perspective this would seem to make sense. After all in the end films are ultimately just a business and horror films typically court the youth market. Unfortunately this means that we get idiots like the Smallville guy starring in The Fog. The best horror films in the past decade have had older casts with better actors and actresses. Look no further than The Ring, The Others, and Frailty to see my point. Ultimately older and better casts make even weak horror efforts more tolerable. Dominique is Dead is not a good film, yet it's made more tolerable, and dare I say more respectable, because of the cast.