It’s October and you know what that means. Time for everyone to binge on horror movies. Not just those of us who need it in our lives on a regular basis, but also the casual horror fan and Cold Moon can happily oblige both audiences with it’s eerie tale of supernatural revenge.
Now, the movie poster will tell you that Cold Moon is from the writer of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas and, technically, this is true. Based on Michael McDowell’s novel ‘Cold Moon Over Babylon’, Griff Furst and Jack Snyder co-wrote the screenplay. This detail is important because Cold Moon is not the Tim Burton-esque horror fantasy that this proclamation may have you anticipating it to be. It is, however, a perfectly nice gothic ghost story with some Beetlejuice visual nods thrown in for the eagle eyed viewer.
The Larkin family owns a blueberry farm in a small southern town and their business has been steadily declining. As the new crop is almost ready to harvest, the Larkin’s are eight months behind on their house payments and the bank manager, Nathan Redfield, isn’t the kind of guy who is interested in showing kindness. Played by Josh Stewart (The Neighbor, The Collector) Nathan is your run of the mill entitled rich kid who is mucking about with too many of the young ladies in town. In fact, Nathan is such a dick that Stewart’s innate charm is the only thing that rescues the character from being someone that you 100% hate. With a story set in 1989, Nathan wears some really ugly suits, drives the most impractical, glaringly conspicuous car either side of the Mississippi river, usually while drunk, and he can’t keep his hands off of his father’s money or the young girls. He’s a real catch.
Unfortunately for Margaret Larkin, she happens to be one of the girls that Nathan takes a liking to and her untimely death is what causes the Larkins and the Redfields to become engaged in a contentious relationship. Margaret’s death is shocking, vicious and the event that catapults this tale of ghostly vengeance. Furst is also the director and he pulls off some pretty cool visuals. Ghost Margaret is undeniably creepy and the other ghosts who join her in the revenge parade have a few tricks up their sleeves as well. Like I said, there are some blatant Beetlejuice references when the haunting really gets into it’s groove and they’re fun to see. Frank Whaley (Vacancy, Luke Cage) eases into his role as Sheriff Hale with a laid back, Southern drawl and Christopher Lloyd continues his streak of wacky, minor roles the way that only an actor of his legacy can get away with.
Some of the events that take place are asking the viewer to really let go of any kind of legal or forensic knowledge, but every time Margaret appears, you quickly forget about these missteps. Cold Moon is a beautifully creepy ghost story that’s perfect for a cozy, spooky October night.
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont
Images: Octobercoast PR