The Carpenter (1988)

Directed by David Wellington [Other horror films: N/A]

There are some movies that I’ve known about for a long time, but haven’t yet seen. I first heard about The Carpenter back in 2009 (I’m writing this review October 2020, for a frame of reference), and I was captivated as soon as I learned about it. As it was, the movie didn’t turn out anything like I expected (as so often happens), but it was still certainly an enjoyable film.

To be sure, if you could do without melodrama, then maybe The Carpenter isn’t for you, as the horror portions are sandwiched by a lot of drama that isn’t exactly the pinnacle of enjoyable. I didn’t find it that problematic, as I found it hilarious when the titular carpenter did pop up (generally at night, because that’s how ghost carpenters do) with his suave, hard-working man charm, but I can imagine some people finding a good portion of this boring.

And to an extent, maybe they’d not be far off. It does take the film a bit to really get to the point (the first time the carpenter pops up, and actually, most of the times the carpenter pops up, he’s more a guardian angel than anything), but the kills here, when they occur, are still fun, and I didn’t find myself struggling to get through this.

Part of that is because the main actress, Lynne Adams deeply intrigued me. It’s not that her character was overly interesting (though to an extent, she did have a somewhat unique story), but I couldn’t see her for two minutes without thinking of Mary-Louise Parker (who most people might know from the show Weeds, but I’m most familiar with through her role on The West Wing). Adams really looked like Parker to me, and I even double-checked half-way through the film to see if they were sisters or something (they don’t seem to be). So that was fun.

Also, Wings Hauser had a hell of a lot of charm. I mean, he was totally goofy, don’t get me wrong, but I really liked his performance. His delivery was perfect, and who doesn’t like seeing him kill people and then act bashful about it afterward? Pierre Lenoir was solid as an unlikable and often dull prick, so kudos there, I guess.

What I expected with this movie was a more violent Toolbox Murders, with creative kills and all-out onslaught (or maybe that’s more what I was hoping for), but what I got instead was a drama-laden film with this ghostly carpenter popping up to charm the missus and protect her from the evils around her, which was still fine, but not what I pictured.

Regardless of expectations that fell through, this movie had some hokey charm to it, and I did find myself enjoying it. It just wasn’t as fun as I was hoping for.

7/10

Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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