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31 Days of Horror Challenge: Movie #17
A group of former colleagues, all psychically gifted, are called together one last time, to a remote hotel, The Bodega Bay Inn, for the death of Neil Gallagher who had apparently committed suicide. Gallagher, who was married to the woman who iherited The Bodega Bay Inn, had claimed to be remodeling the hotel, but was in truth searching for the secrets of Andre Toulon and his puppets.
This is a particularly well done, creepy film that holds up well over the years. With brief appearances by William Hickey, as the gentle, mysterious, Andre Toulon, who killed himself to escape the clutches of the Nazis, and Barbara Crampton, as the dizzy customer getting her fortune read, and Paul LeMat as our hero whose dreams and visions tend to predict the future, Alex Whitaker, this film starts out nice and strong.
The characters are, if not multifaceted, enjoyable. Jimmie F. Skaggs’ gaunt and extremely expressive looks make for a very sinister villain. The puppets are wonderfully crafted, each have their own personalities, which is evident from the start, and their characters develop along with the human characters throughout the film and into the rest of the franchise. The music is suspenseful and the story is completely memorable.
This is a solid film and a great foundation for the franchise that has built from it. I still recommend it to my horror loving friends.