To paraphrase an old tune from the hit parade of yore, "Do you believe in black magic, in a young girl's heart?" If you do, then you will fall for Tamara with or without the Love Potion #9. In the tradition of Carrie and Hello Mary Lou, Tamara tells the tale of an unpopular, picked-on high school girl who comes back from the grave to exact bloody revenge on her tormentors.
I heard that Tamara had originally been scheduled for a DVD release by Lionsgate Home Entertainment last month, but due to the tremendous internet popularity the film generated, the DVD release has been pushed to May/June 2006 to allow a theatrical release of the film. It's a very limited release, mind you, but believe the hype: Tamara is much better than, say, Freedomland (also coming out this Friday).
Tamara (Jenna Dewan) is a dowdy only-child, living alone with her alcoholic father (Chris Sigurdson). She amuses herself with fantasies about her hot-but-happily-married English teacher (Matthew Marsden), becoming a writer/journalist (her expose about steroid use on the football team gets front-page news), and lots and lots of witchcraft (her bedroom is literally a shrine to the black arts, but she's too timid to really explore the full extent of her powers).
When two of the school's best and brightest football players get wind of the steroid story, they decide to make Tamara's life a living hell… only, she doesn't live long enough for them to enjoy it. The jocks, the bulimic bitch, the laid-back California transfer student, the would-be ally, and the fellow nerd who participated in Tamara's untimely death all have to run for their lives when Tamara is resurrected as a villainous vixen.
Tamara is a mostly enjoyable horror romp — there are few issues, such as uneven acting, dodgy CGI, and a clichéd third act — and well worth a look if you're into supernatural thrills, witchy women and revenge of the nerds.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson