Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Come Back to Me: There Goes the Neighborhood
message is clear: get a dog. They are protective and sensitive to the
supernatural. Sarah and Josh’s neighbor simply cannot abide them, but unfortunately,
they do not have one. Things will get decidedly creepy for her as a result in
Paul Leyden’s Come Back to Me (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
is pretty clear from the opening prelude Dale is a little off. He seems to be
one of life’s victims, but there is something wrong about his responses. Not
surprisingly, he grows up to be a weird, twitchy adult, who moves in right
across the street from Sarah. Clearly, she is just his type, while she would
prefer to avoid him altogether. However, she soon realizes his arrival
coincides with the vivid night terrors suddenly plaguing her.
M.D. friend can relate. She too had similar experiences, but they subsided with
a little medication. She also got her dog Buster around the same time. In a
funny coincidence, Dale used to deliver her groceries, until he switched
assignment due to his canine aversion. Even Sarah realizes Dale is a profoundly
bad guy. She just cannot figure out how he is tormenting her. It is kind of a
big revelation, but the title of former kick-boxer Wrath James White’s source
novel pretty much gives it away, so do not watch the credits too closely.
Leyden deserves credit for not going the found footage route, even though some
digital video footage plays a pivotal role. He actually set out to make a real
movie instead. It is still a rather mixed bag, but there are a couple of nasty
surprises in store for viewers and he nicely maintains a consistent atmosphere
he never really capitalizes on the potentially disorienting Vegas setting,
aside from occasionally showing Josh at work dealing at his casino table. In
fact, Josh is often problematic, disappearing to sulk over his sterility at the
worst possible times. The fact that they own smart phones but never check their
voicemail is annoyingly convenient. Katie Walder furrows her brow well enough for
us to buy into Sarah’s ordeal and Nathan Keyes is appropriately unsettling as
Dale, suggesting a restrained Crispin Glover. Even so, good old Buster often
steals the show.
Maybe it is the over-exposed looking flashback
scenes, but CBTM never truly takes
flight, despite some promising elements. The ending is also likely to be
divisive, but it earns points for avoiding the clichéd horror movie finale. Mainly
for dark thriller-horror movie addicts, Come
Back to Me opens this Friday (7/25) in New York at the AMC Empire and also launches
on VOD platforms.
Labels: Horror Movies