Five years after the TV-movie based on the Stephen King story was unleashed, a more gruesome sequel was released and thanks to the late Alexis Arquette, this is one hoot of a underrated horror film.
Jon Porter is a therapist who has just learned that his mother has died. Taking his daughter Michelle with him, Jon returns to his childhood hometown for the funeral and to close up the family home. Jon begins to reminisce about an incident that happened 30 years ago involving his sister Lisa and a trio of hoodlums made up of Lisa’s “boyfriend” Tony Reno and his two buddies Vinnie Ritacco and Sean Patrick. Jon was able to kill the trio by electrocuting them years ago after he saw Tony and his friends kill Lisa in a Satanic ritual.
However, when Michelle makes friends with locals Maria, Jules, and Steven, a mystery man appears who introduces himself as Tony. Michelle is planning to leave in time for her 18th birthday and Tony offers his wristwatch. As Jon remembers seeing Father Archer, the priest who once helped him years ago, he soon learns that Tony has returned and has planned to get even with Jon by taking Michelle. When Michelle’s new friends are picked off one by one, Jon and Michelle must find a way to stop Tony and his friends once and for all.
In 1991, Stephen King’s tale Sometimes They Come Back was released as a made-for-TV movie about a man who literally confronts past demons when the trio of thugs who killed his brother years ago return to haunt the man. The film did quite well for its times and now five years later, we are treated to this sequel, which in the wake of mid-90’s horror, melds crass humor with gore scenes as this was a direct-to-video sequel that holds its own not just as a sequel, but also a standalone film.
Michael Gross goes a long way from his trademark role of Steven Keaton on the sitcom in Family Ties and ways away from his other iconic role of Burt Gummer in the Tremors franchise. As Jon Porter, Gross does a bit of meshing the two ironic roles in the role of a therapist who must confront demons of his past who re-emerge to seek revenge on him. A young Hilary Swank plays the innocent daughter of Gross, who finds herself first enthralled by the charms of the mystery man who enters her life. That is, until she learns the truth after her friends are picked off one by one, prompting her to help her dad defeat the evil.
And speaking of evil, the highlight of the film is without a doubt, the late Alexis Arquette in the role of lead villain Tony Reno. With a smile that is meant for this role, Arquette does an amazing job at pulling off not only the evil meant for the role, but when the script calls for it, gives off some hilarious one-liners. Bojesse Christopher makes the most of his role as cohort Vinnie, who just seems hungry while Glen Beaudin goes a bit over the top, even more than Arquette, in the role of third demonic presence Sean. The death scenes are a bit over the top, but one highlight involves the use of tarot cards as weapons to a victim and a hilarious one-liner after one victim gets shredded from a lawnmower.
Sometimes They Come Back…Again is a great sequel that may have its over the top moments, but you have to hand it to the late Alexis Arquette, who is wonderful in the role of the lead villain.
WFG RATING: B
A Trimark Pictures production. Director: Adam Grossman. Producer: Michael Meltzer. Writers: Guy Riedel and Adam Grossman; based on characters created by Stephen King. Cinematography: Christopher Baffa. Editing: Stephen Myers.
Cast: Michael Gross, Hilary Swank, Alexis Arquette, Bojesse Christopher, Glen Beaudin, Jennifer Elise Cox, Jennifer Aspen, W. Morgan Sheppard, Gabriel Dell Jr., Michael Malota, Patrick Renna, Leslie Danon, Ingrid Sthare.