That it’s not a good movie is honestly a little mystifying. Robert Englund is a joy to watch in anything he does and appears to have a good amount of snarky fun here. Joey Fatone is effective and affecting as the hapless detective into whose precinct Englund wanders, carrying a severed head. The redshirt station cops were all eminently watchable in their small parts. Kevin DeCristofano (who has no picture on IMDB so I hope that’s who I’m talking about) is a joy as the guy unjustly arrested for the death associated with the severed head, who spends the rest of the movie explaining to the cops that they’re all going to die in the tone of voice I imagine Mark Zuckerberg uses with small dim children. Put together, their performances should have added up to a good movie, and yet.
There’s just no there there, ultimately. Part of the blame for that has to go to the script, which is uninspired – Englund plays an incubus who apparently has to find a new host in the next few hours before he dies, but this is alluded to in one line and then dropped, leaving the impression that all he really wanted to do was go out in one last gory hurrah. There’s some attempt to provide him with a nemesis in the form of William Forsythe as a retired cop whose family the incubus killed, but it falls flat – Forsythe is given almost nothing to work with except a Stereotyped Tragic Past and a bit of clumsy family drama, and he makes nothing at all of the material he is given to work with, preferring to do the Paycheck Walk from one end of the movie to the other. I can’t say I blame him, but it didn’t make for much of a subplot.
It’s an excellent setup – an incubus walks into a police station, carrying a severed head, and sits down at the table. What happens then? It’s a damn shame that the answer is “Not much, particularly.”
So what’s the verdict? Two stars. It’s not a bad movie, at all; it’s just not a good one. Watch it if you have the chance, but don’t expect much. I did enjoy it, more or less, but mostly I just wanted to send the story and cast back to the filmmakers and tell them to start over and give it another try.