Monday, October 24, 2016

Film Review: Tremors (1990)

Tremors (Review)
United States/1990
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Prime
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"It's a simple but exciting horror/comedy."

A small, isolated town known as 'Perfection' is attacked by subterranean creatures...

Tremors follows the residents of Perfection. It primarily follows Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward), the town handymen, as well as a graduate student studying the seismology of the area, Rhonda (Finn Carter). The characters aren't very deep, but they get the job done – they're interesting, at least. As Val and Earl plan their departure from perfection, they stumble upon several strange events – most of which include death. They soon discover that they are being hunted by underground creatures that follow their vibrations. From there, they're basically forced to fight for survival against a group of smart creatures. It's a pretty simple plot that leads to a predictable ending, but I liked it.

Tremors is a lot of fun. Some people probably wouldn't consider this a horror film, but I think it qualifies. It's not going to give you nightmares, but it will definitely keep you at the edge of your seat. This is a very suspenseful film. There aren't a lot of movies that can keep me on the edge, but this accomplished that sensation several times, especially during the latter half of the film. Blending the suspense with the quirky humor gives us a very exciting and fun package. I had a few issues with the pacing – it can be inconsistent here and there – and it's not perfection (like the town), but I genuinely enjoyed it. It's pure fun.

The performances are as quirky as the characters. It has that 'bad' 80s/90s acting-vibe to it. Kevin Bacon is great as the leading man, though. Michael Gross is also great as the legendary Burt Gummer. The film is shot very well and the music matched the tone/setting of the film – no issues there. The practical effects were also fantastic. The film was written by Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson; Ron Underwood directs. The writing and the direction were good. There are some issues with the pacing, an occasional plot contrivance here and there, but it's not significantly flawed.

Overall, Tremors is a great movie. It's a simple but exciting horror/comedy. The buildup is strong and the suspense is unnerving. Fans of creature features will enjoy it most. I still enjoy The Relic a bit more, though.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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