Monday, October 22, 2012

The Spell

This movie is really a low-rent "Carrie" ripoff that came out in the days when that movie's popularity spawned a slew of ripoffs hoping to cash in.  It's a TV movie that is often remembered fondly by people who saw it back then when they were kids, and if I'd been about nine or so when I saw this, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.  It falls apart under even the briefest scrutiny, and it would probably be etter to just watch "Carrie" again and avoid this movie, but this one does do some interesting things that I was glad I got a chance to see.

this movie is about a plain-faced high school student who keeps being called "fat" by her classmates, even though she's just a bit chubby (and all those girls are homely enough that they really have no room commenting on someone else's looks).  In the beginning of the movie, a girl in gym class who is taunting Rita, the "fat girl," suffers a terrible "accident," and that's really the only "scary" thing that happens for the next 45 minutes.  What scares me though are this girl's parents, especially her father.  He's such an insufferable asshole that I spent the entire movie's running time wanting him to die horribly.  He snaps at his wife, calls his own daughter fat and ugly, and dotes on his other, younger daughter (played by a young Helen hunt).  Rita's parents keep whining about how hard she is to love, but I don'[t really blame her for being cold and distant to them since all they do is mock her and belittle her.  I'd be "cold and distant" too if these were my parents.

Of course, we eventually find out that Rita isn't just rebelling against her awful family, she's learning a dark craft and dabbling with some dangerous magic, and someone has to stop her (it seems to me that a good way for her parents to stop her would be to stop themselves from treating her like shit all the time so she felt like she had to lash out to get them to stop, but no one asked me).  The special effects aren't great here, and the movie tries to throw in a twist that really only pissed me off more because it simply underscores for me how terrible this girl's family is.  That family supplies the real horror in this movie for me.  It's not great, and it's frustrating because the girl's family is awful and they all deserve to die at the hands of some terrible spell, but I suppose it's not the worst way to kill some time if you've got nothing else to watch.

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