Nightbreed (1990)

Here’s day 12 of my #31DaysOfHorror – – play along, share your suggestions and share your movies with me on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror , or leave comments!

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Holy shit, how have I never seen this movie before?! This little gem has been making the rounds on my social media feed because Shout Factory has been working on a new cut to be released this month. I had never heard about this movie, or seen it, so I figured maybe it was time to check out it. The more I learned about it, the more excited I was. This little Clive Barker gem is about :

A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.

So, this one is written and directed by Clive Barker, and his flair for fantastic mythology really shine in this. I know that there are several versions of this movie, and the one that I watched runs at 102 minutes. Apparently the directors cut of this was two and a half hours long, and I am actually really interested to see that cut of the film. Even in this shorter version, it has an extremely deep mythos, and sets up a really unique and interesting world. Also, apparently this was supposed to be the first of 3 films, the 2nd and 3rd of which never did come out. That’s really disappointing, because the movie is so much fun, and I would really love to see the rest of the story play out.

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So, the movie it’s just dripping with 90s camp, but in a really fun and earnest way. The creature design is interesting, their individual characters are wonderful, and left tme really wanting to know more about them, and about the Nightbreed in general. It certainly has the air of mystery that can be found surrounding the Cenobytes from the Hellraiser films, though in this case it is presented as much lighter characters. Even at their most violent, there is a humour and fun about them. The performances are great all around, I particularly enjoyed David Cronenberg’s performance as Decker. Not to mention, Decker’s mask in the film could have been one of the most iconic in horror history, had the movie been given the attention it deserves.

The monster effects and makeup are great, and everyone is fun to look at and have moments of being genuinely creepy. Decker has elements of Slender Man about him, and does make me wonder if maybe this is where that mythology started. The fact that this movie didn’t spawn any sequels, really is disappointing. It really could have been what Barker wanted it to be, which was “The Star Wars of horror”, more recently, it could have been the Lord Of The Rings trilogy of horror. I’m hoping that the resurgence in popularity of this film might lead to more.

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The elements really are all here. Great performances, fun effects, a pretty insane battle scene, and the score by the immortal Danny Elfman. What more could you want in a 90s horror flick? I’ll definitely be checking out the directors cut coming out soon, and keep an eye on this.  There’s not much more to say, it’s fun and if you want to have fun then why not check this movie out? It’s certainly made me interested in checking out Barker’s other film “Lord Of Illusion” so you may see a review of that one coming up pretty soon.

If you’re like me and haven’t seen this movie yet, there’s no time like the present.

FINAL GRADE : A-

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