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A Return to Salem’s Lot Review:
Tonight’s late night review is the forgotten sequel to the Hooper classic. This film feels like a misfire in almost every scene. While it did have its moments, the overall project was lackluster and felt more like a cash grab than an actual attempt to further the story.
First off, we have a great cast here. We have the always great, Michael Moriarty, turning in a fine and easily memorable performance. The rest of the cast kinda felt corny. Some turned in finer performances, but they overhauled the established lore to kinda reboot the series for a new image.
In this way, it does a disrespect for the series. This could’ve been called anything else and it would’ve made sense, slapping it with a Salem’s Lot only served to bring in fans from the original. The town looks different, the famous house isn’t anywhere to be seen, the aftermath from the last film is never mentioned, and the movie is tonally different.
The story is more of a comedic horror. The story has moments of creative genius in ideas that have been seen before or might I add have been seen since. However, these few fun ideas aren’t enough to save a film that’s too silly for its dark premise and too poorly written for its classic source material. The movie just might entertain for horror fans looking for a nice late night watch, but it’s hardly original and far from Larey Cohen’s best.
The ingenious director shines in Q and The Stuff, but here he tries the impossible and interjects his quirky style into a story that doesn’t need it. It’s level of quality is in part due to his strong direction and level of craft in that quirky effectiveness, combined with Moriarty’s always effective performance. But in the end these two great talents can’t pull it off.
Overall, A Return to Salem’s Lot does a disservice to all involved in the original. It’s lack of good characters and proper quality in storytelling lead to a more funny and less scary sequel in the worst of ways. 5/10