The directorial debut of Nightmare on Elm Street anti-hero Robert ('Freddie') Englund is a sloppily scripted horror pic which takes far too long to get started and then fails to deliver the goods. 976-Evil is a toll-free phone number providing a daily horrorscope, an offer which connects with rebellious teenager Spike (O'Bryan); but it's his nerdy cousin Hoax (Geoffreys) whose attention is really engaged. Hooked up to the diabolical forces on the other end of the line, Hoax undergoes a physical and mental transformation. Little happens for the first hour, after which Hoax starts taking revenge on his religious fanatic Aunt Lucy (Dennis), Spike's new girlfriend (Deane), and the school bully. Englund says the film is about filial envy and the dangers of hero worship, but really it's just a reworking of the revenge-of-the-nerd scenario, with an underdeveloped familial twist. So by the time the Ice and Fire pits open up inside and outside Aunt Lucy's house, it's difficult to care about who will plummet into the frozen abyss or plunge to a fiery death. Odd scenes suggest that Englund has a good eye for visual set pieces.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Rhet Topham, Brian Helgeland|