It Waits (DVD)

It Waits (DVD)
A new creature feature, produced by Stephen J. Cannell.
Updated: 04-29-2006

When one of the characters in a direct-to-disc movie says, "Uh-oh. This sucks!" and you agree with him, you know you're in for a very bad time in front of the boob-tube. To make matters worse for the 18-24 male demographic, the never-shy Cerina Vincent doesn't even show you her boobs.


The character who says it sucks is actually the most entertaining in the film; he's Hoppy the Parrot, and he's the pet of Danny the Forest Ranger (Vincent). Danny starts out as weepy, self-pitying young woman who's harboring a Deep Dark Secret. She winds up as a bad-ass avenger, fighting for her life and seeking revenge against the Creature ("It" who "Waits") who killed her boyfriend.


Most of Steven Monroe's It Waits is the psychologically sentimental study of what hardship can do to a person (he did it better in House of 9). Once in awhile we get glimpses of the Creature, whose longtime snooze was interrupted by college students… it apparently woke up on the wrong side of the cave, because it's more than a little cranky…it guts, decapitates, and terrorizes its hapless victims with cruel glee. Why?


Well, I'll tell you why. More than halfway through the picture, a random character is dropped in to explain to Danny that it was his students who awoke the creature and he imparts his professorial theory in long-winded prose before melting back into oblivion and letting Danny do her thing.


The creature, borrowing its fangs-and-wings look from the Creeper of Jeepers Creepers fame, is actually pretty cool. It's a sadistic mo-fo and the combination of having a stuntman in latex, enhanced with CGI, works well.


Unfortunately, those judging the DVD by its rockin' creature-shreiking cover will be let down by this very talky, overly-sentimental pic. Dreadful chick flick music only a Lifetime Channel junkie could love is shoehorned in (Monroe's wife is the vocalist) where it does not belong. Furthermore, Jon Joffin's usually excellent cinematography (he rocked all in the first season of Masters of Horror) is choppy at best.


DVD featurettes include a brief making-of featurette called Blood on the Pines, which goes into the Native American inspiration for the "It" creature. Not bad.


The commentary from Monroe (and Vincent, for the first half-hour) is very dry and technical. When not pointing out the obvious ("Now, Cerina is walking from one end of the Ranger Station to the other"), Monroe talks about the weather (lots of rain), budget (low), takes and edits (lots of them, many cobbled together from different shooting days), and music (of course, he says it's "great!"). It's enough to put "It" who "Waits" back to sleep for another century.


Actually, Monroe sounds like a pretty affable guy and he did have a couple of interesting stories about Hoppy the Parrot.


It Waits is only recommended for die hard devotees of creature features or/and carry carrying members of the Cerina Vincent Fan Club. Aficionados of brisk-paced horror will want to let this one wait on the shelf, and rent something else instead.


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson


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