Friday, October 5, 2012

Not To Be Confused With Any Porno Called 'Night's Cream': "NightScream" (1997)

The only screaming I experienced during the viewing of this film were the results of my uncontrollable laughter.

Drew (Candace Cameron Bure) shows up in a small Oregon coastal town, a town still reeling from a murder-suicide a year earlier. It seems Julie's (Teri Garr) daughter Laura was strangled by her boyfriend Ted, who promptly threw himself off a cliff into a river. Clue Alert! Clue Alert!: his body was never found! Drew begins taking on the personality of the dead Laura, and because the two look exactly alike, Julie spends more time with her.

The sad news is that the whole Drew/Laura ghost thing is a scam. Unbunch your panties, the film makers let us in on the secret way too early as well. Drew is in Oregon with Laura's old boyfriend Ted (Casper Van Dien, wondering where the promise of stardom he showed in "Starship Troopers" ended up). The couple wants to find Laura's diaries and solve the case themselves, clearing Ted's name. This is an obviously foolproof plan, except Drew begins having visions of Laura for real. Everybody is not who they seem, and Drew and her scrunched up button nose are plunged into a whole sack of peril.

I was never a "Full House" fan. It wasn't funny, the cast was terrible, and yet it was on the air forever (any show launching the careers of the Olsen twins deserves its own level of Hell). Candace Cameron Bure has grown up into a beautiful woman, but she cannot shake the role that made her a star. She still looks thirteen here, and I halfheartedly waited for a 'Dave Coulier as Bullwinkle' cameo to liven things up. Bure annoyingly spends most of the film looking slightly nauseous and telling everyone she's not crazy. Casper Van Dien has too few scenes to be totally terrible, and Teri Garr does her best Teri Garr impression- kinda ditzy, kinda weepy, and kinda disinterested in the film.

The film is full of so many "oh, come on" moments, it should be covered in screenwriting classes at university level. Nosseck's direction is terrible. The awful musical score NEVER stops until the end of the film, when a Chris Isaak wannabe croaks a nonsensical ditty about two loves.

The film premiered on television, and in the VHS version I saw, the black spaces where commercials were to be put ran a lot longer than a simple fade out and fade in, instilling a false hope that the damn thing was over. Dangling plotlines include the mystery of the sheriff's dad, and exactly how long did Drew rent that car for?

"NightScream" (an awful title) might take you in with its flashy video cover art and the promises of a scary horror film. Yes, this is horror, but the kind of horror that comes from knowing you rented a very bad film. Muffle this scream... (*) out of five stars.