Plot: John March ((John Terry) has seen a lot in his days as a private investigator, but even he wasn’t prepared for what he would experience when he took on the beautiful Claire Ward (Jane Sibbett) as a client. Claire was concerned about her husband Charles (Chris Sarandon), who has isolated himself to a rural estate in order to focus on some mysterious experiments. March quickly learns this is no simple case, as the locals talk about how unusual Charles has acted since his arrival, not to mention the intense smell of death that emanates from the property. The eerie feeling only grows when March is able to speak with Charles, who is quite defensive and refuses to cooperate, only wanting to be left alone with his work. March and his staff continue to snoop around for what little information can be found, but it is clear that whatever else is going on, Charles seems to have become dangerously obsessed. Is Charles just a stressed researcher, or is there a darker presence involved in his work?
Entertainment Value: The Resurrected is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward and while few movies have been able to capture Lovecraft’s magic, this one is often considered one of the better cinematic adaptations. The movie takes a bit to find its stride, but once the wheels are in motion, The Resurrected provides some effective, dark horror elements. I do think the pace is a little off here and there, but this is an atmospheric movie, so the emphasis is on mood and building the tension, not jump scares or the like. While the atmosphere is thick with tension and dread in most scenes, the segment with our crew down in the catacombs take that to another level, just super creepy stuff. I also just love all the dusty books and dark arts elements, especially with a lunatic like Charles Dexter Ward involved. The performances are strong in this one, with Chris Sarandon suitably insane as Charles, John Terry as the intrepid detective, and Robert Romanus as the goofy assistant. Jane Sibbett is fine too, but she isn’t given a lot to do, so she’s mostly eye candy and damsel in distress fodder. In the end, this is a rock solid, eerie flick that should more than satisfy genre fans.
No nakedness. I guess the abominations are technically unclothed, but yeah…no points on that one. The blood isn’t frequent or overly graphic, giving us some slashes, bites, and nice gushes of blood from time to time. I also have to mention the creature effects, which are well crafted and look as horrific as they should. Just total abominations that capture the whole twisted, human mind breaking feel you expect. The finale is wild too, with some very cool special effects involved, like a skeleton that is going to kick some ass, come hell or high water. The mental hospital carnage and catacomb exploration are certainly the high points, in terms of bloodshed. The dialogue is fine and does what it needs to do, but we don’t get a lot of memorable lines. Some do sneak in, such as March telling Ward that he has blown up his house and he will need a shovel if he wants to return home, but mostly it is just well written, but not quotable stuff. The craziness is here, with Sarandon’s effective portrayal of Ward’s obsessive insanity, the horrific creatures in the catacombs, dreadful mood, and the other quirks that are involved when one practices the dark arts. The movie doesn’t go over the top however, so don’t expect an unhinged take, just an unsettling vibe and experience.
Overall Insanity: 3/10