Wednesday, October 21, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Day 21

The Mangler Reborn
Matt Cunningham, Erik Gardner

Hadley (Weston Blakesley) is a repairman who is fixing up an old machine. Since this is the second sequel to The Mangler (1995), you can guess that the machine is up to no good. The machine posses Hadley, and after doing in his wife, he basically waits around for people to come wandering into his house so that he can stalk them and then feed them to the machine. Thankfully for Hadley, some burglars and a young woman both end up in his house. For the sake of extending the running time, both intruders and Hadley prove tougher to kill than expected. Who will get away and who will get feed to the grinding engines of the Mangler? You’ll just have to sit through all 84 minutes to find out.

I’m not exactly a fan per say of the original Mangler, but I think it has an undeservedly abysmal reputation. The Mangler 2 (2002) is astoundingly terrible to point where I kind of like it, while simultaneously feeling bad for its star, Lance Henriksen. So, with these subterranean expectations, I went into The Manger Reborn. The verdict? The movie is cheap, slow and kind of boring. However, there is an effective creeping claustrophobia since the film rarely leaves the confines of Hadley’s house. There is also a certain slow grinding doom that feels like the characters are inexorably drawn into the machine itself. Much of these strengths are buried under amateur performances and some bland camera work, but for a tiny budgeted second sequel to a movie no one liked in the first place, maybe it’s not so bad after all.

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