That's a shame, because The Abandoned is the first genuinely scary movie of the year. The film knows how to make spines tingle and hearts pound. There are moments when characters are walking through dark, desolate hallways and grimy, web-infested bedrooms that contain enough tension to cut with a knife. But there isn't much cutting... the tension just builds and builds. And at the end of the equation, things just don't add up.
Continue reading: The Abandoned Review
What happened to Stanley's career (and in particular the sorry fate of his existential sophomore effort, Dust Devil) is a story of almost diabolical circumstance and cold corporate brutality. For a filmmaker like Stanley, starting his career with a genre picture was a fatal misstep but one that couldn't be avoided. Hardware set him up. When U.S. distributors Miramax saw that Stanley had delivered a follow up that was an art film more akin to the work of Alain Resnais than Tobe Hooper, they flipped. Cut from 120 minutes to a trifling 86 minutes, Dust Devil was butchered into incoherence. The British company funding the film went bust and everything went to hell. The cut version (or versions) of Dust Devil were dumped unceremoniously onto a paltry number of screens and quickly relegated to the video graveyard. Richard Stanley limped on, buoyed by a cult fan base, only to see his dream project descend into the creative nightmare that was 1996's The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Continue reading: Dust Devil Review