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1989 / Horror
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7.0 / 10
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Directed by Michael Hawes
Written by Michael Hawes
Starring Mel Novak, Pam Phillips, John Andes, A.J. Woods, Kaylin Cool and Brad Kelly

A family on Christmas vacation visits a desert town called Sutterville, where a massacre had been committed 40 years prior, and discovers they had something to do with it. Meanwhile, the local police arrests a mysterious drifter.

The following tags are associated with this movie: supernatural, Christmas
Family Reunion (1989)
Review by Michael Mahoney

7 / 10
I hadn't heard of this one, really, before watching it, and thus, had no expectations one way or the other going in. I am happy to report that despite the lower budget, this movie is something that's worth watching.

It's a bit of a slow beginning, but it's bolstered by the fact that the actors really feel like a family in a stressful situation. Mel Novak did well as the father, and occasionally came off with an Amityville Horror vibe. A.J. Woods and Kaylin Cool did great as the bickering younger brother and older sister. Neither of them had any other roles in anything else, so it's especially impressive. It was a well put-together cast, so despite the sluggish beginning, I was still glued to the screen.

The story itself was moderately fascinating also. At times, it felt more like one of those 70's devil worshiper movies, and because the movie lacked much of the lighter tone normally found in 80's films for a dryer, 70's feel, it felt somewhat authentic, in a disjointed, 'what's-going-on' way.

As far as problems go, my main one is that the police subplot. It didn't really go anywhere, despite a good twenty-five minutes, if not more, being spent on it. Not only that, but those portions at the police station were actually pretty cool, in a Storm of the Century-type way. Shame, really, that it didn't play more into the plot.

Still, the downbeat conclusion was fun. I wouldn't say that this film is amazing, but it felt unique. I wish it had some better death scenes, but I liked what we got. If you want a movie that's a bit more out there, I'd recommend maybe giving this a look. I can't guarantee you'll love it, but I think that most would find it interesting, despite the lower budget at their disposal. 7.5/10 (rounded down to 7/10 to fit site's format).
Other supernatural movies that you may enjoy

Pray for Morning (2006)

Encounter with the Unknown (1972)

Deadly Blessing (1981)

Mystics in Bali (1981)
More releases from 1989 for you to check out

The Dead Pit (1989)

The Phantom Of The Opera (1989)

Kickboxer (1989)

The Dead Next Door (1989)

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