Castle Freak (1995) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Stuart Gordon
Producers: Maurizio Maggi
Writers: Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon
Date Released: November 1995
Jeffrey Combs as John Reilly
Barbara Crampton as Susan Reilly
Jonathan Fuller as Giorgio (the Freak)
Jessica Dollarhide as Rebecca Reilly
Massimo Sarchielli as Giannetti
Elisabeth Kaza as Agnese
Luca Zingaretti as Agent Forte
Helen Stirling as Duchess D’Orsino
Raffaella Offidani as Sylvana
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a family who experienced a tragedy and moved into their inherited castle in Italy. According to stories, the duchess who once lived there was alone because her husband left him and their child died when he was five years old. What they did not know was that the child was alive and was being tortured in the dungeon. When the family moved in, the freak in the dungeon named Giorgio managed to escape and cause trouble. He was a disfigured monster hungry for blood. The grief-stricken family will have to put aside their problems to be able to survive this castle freak.
This is considered a monster movie and the creature itself is hideous enough already. His kills were all brutal and violent, filled with blood and gore. The first bloodbath happened when the cat was eaten and the monster bit his thumb in order to escape the shackles. The most notable violent deaths include the monster biting the prostitute’s breast and eating her, the helper beaten to death, the policeman’s face getting eaten, and the monster taking his time to eat the girl.
The Grave Review
The plot is good, especially when the inspiration came from an H.P. Lovecraft masterpiece. There is already a good material for the movie’s storyline.
However, there were some parts that are questionable such as how the duchess’ son became a disfigured monster. Without the backstory from the real estate agent and his sister, audiences would assume that the man was locked up and beaten because of his physical appearance. It would have been better if there were clearer and elaborate story as to the relationship of the mother and the freak son.
Speaking of physical appearance, the monster in this movie is very commendable in terms of prosthetics and makeup effects. The fact that he was nude and the whole body had to be transformed into a monster is a masterpiece in itself. The creature was truly terrifying especially with the zoomed-in shots of his eyes and mouth.
The only problems in this movie include the random Italian language being used in dialogues, the slow drag and unnecessary scenes up until the death of the prostitute, and the cheesy rooftop chase.
Ultimately, the ending became a redemption in the sense that the husband being so problematic and has been the cause of their falling out as a family was able to sacrifice and prove his love for his wife and daughter. But an alternative ending where he would pull the chain and push the monster off the roof would’ve been good as well for a happy ending.
Overall, this movie is recommended for horror lovers who are into cannibal monsters.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Castle Freak (1995) three graves out of five graves.
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