Monday, June 1, 2009

Ankle Biter

Pet Sematary was a horror hit and boy does it deserve it. (Childish rhyming for a post about children - Club Silencio is all about innovation.) It's still a very effective little chiller, based largely on the strength of its performances, somber direction and brutally bleak core. A film about the living trying to cope with the dead and vice versa. And how rare it is to see children killed in horror films, let alone brought back only to be killed again. Stephen King and director Mary Lambert take to audience sympathies like a truck would to a cat - or child - crossing the highway.

It's emotionally decimating stuff that deals with the ultimate contemplation: accepting death. Of course our lead, Louis, is a doctor who tries his hands at toying with the balance several times, unable to deal with life's most vicious conclusion. And Louis never quite learns his lesson... But then who can blame him when we're talking about losing one of the most adorable children in horror film history in one of its most tragic moments.

"No fair. No fair, no fair."

Miko Hughes should be a household name to horror fans at this point, with his painfully sweet and unsettling debut as Gage, as well as a roles in Wes Craven's New Nightmare and equally dread-induced episodes of Full House. He was also the educational tool for many adolescents with the seminal line, "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina," from Kindergarten Cop. He has to be one of the most memorable and unsung child actors. Not only was he crushingly cute, he seemed to actually know what he was doing on-screen. And most importantly, he was never annoying. (Someone tell that kid from the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Ring... He'll hear it on the schoolyard eventually.) It also helps that he's one of the few children who has played both horror movie victim and horror movie icon within the same film. He gets to say, "I love you, Mommy," while he literally and figuratively rips her heart out.

-- Accordingly then Miko Hughes is all grown up (now 23) and has a blog (now defunct) wherein he links to recipes for cooking weed and says one of his favorite movies is "porno." He's also a DJ and he's on Myspace. I for one would love to see him dabble in acting again as an adult... but not in adult films. And I'd really love to have him cook for me.

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