Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dark Tower (1987)

A monolithic office structure is nearing completion in Barcelona until a series of bizarre deaths in and around the building disrupt its progress. While the security chief is initially convinced that these are merely unfortunate accidents, the architect who designed the building and who witnessed the first death is certain that some kind of force is responsible. Parapsychology comes into play as does the somewhat mysterious death of the architect's husband. I bet you just figured out the ending because yes, it was that predictable (except for when the dead husband takes shape as some kind of lizard creature)...cue the revenge and roll credits.

Personally, I've always preferred 'houses that kill:' Poltergeist (1982), the Amitys, Pulse (1988) was okay if only for the scene where the lady gets trapped in the shower and the water progressively gets hotter...its creepier than it sounds. But then, there is a level of comfort and safety that people expect their homes to provide so when this fails, it can be justifiably disconcerting. This does not work quite as well with a still in development office building. Most people just want to get out of office buildings as quickly as they can which had loneliness been the reason for the Dark Tower's homicidal tendencies, then maybe I could understand. As well, seeing as the entire tale became nothing more than a ghost seeking vengeance, why did the window washer have to die? or the multiple elevator/elevator shaft casualties? Another issue here with the Dark Tower, those are some pretty cliched ways for a building to kill.

On a side note (and not entirely Dark Tower's fault) but the security chief was played by Michael Moriarty who I have had a life-long tendency to confuse, by name only, with Michael Ironside. So, every time Moriarty's face eventually appears on screen, I tend to exclaim, "Damnit, not again," because everyone knows that anything is better with a little Ironside. And this is just the kind of mood killer that is never a good way to start a film.


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