Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movie #227: The Guardian

The Guardian is a pretty terrible horror film from William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist. Don't let that fool you into thinking it's any good, though. It stars Jenny Seagrove, Dwier Brown, Carey Lowell, and Brad Hall.

The movie opens with title cards informing us that druids used to sacrifice people to trees and those trees had guardian spirits or some shit, and they we see a couple leave for the night, leaving a nanny to watch their two kids (one probably four and one just a baby). They come back to retrieve forgotten glasses and OH NOES BABY MISSING! An unseen woman takes the baby to a tree, the baby disappears and becomes a wooden "carving" in the tree, boom, movie starts.

Phil (Brown) and Kate (Lowell) are a young couple who move from Chicago to LA so Phil can take a job at a marketing firm (maybe). Kate is pregnant, and has their son Jake about 20 minutes into the movie. They go through the normal baby issues; not sleeping, money troubles, earthquakes (LA), and meet the architect who designed their house (Hall). They decide to hire a nanny (Seagrove), and you see where this is going, the nanny is actually a tree-spirit-guardian who controls coyotes (they sure looked like wolves to me, but whatevs) and, in four weeks when "the blood changes," she'll take little baby Jake to the tree to sacrifice him.

Along the way, we see her kill some biker would-be rapists with the tree's help, and the unfortunate architect, who pulls a full-on Acteon and follows her to the grove. But then she tries to straight-up take the baby from the hospital (where he's being non-responsive, but we never really learn why), and Kate stands there completely useless while a crazy druid lady takes her baby, but then Phil comes back and acts like an actual parent, i.e., knocking the nutty woman the hell down.

Oh, and then he goes after the demon-tree with a goddamn chainsaw. That's how you get shit done, yo.

This movie is terrible. It doesn't make a lot of sense on the face of it (you'd think the police would notice frequent child disappearances, all involving the same nanny, all in the area of this one particular stretch of forest), and the characterizations are just south of horror-movie stupid. Oh, and there's a lot of poo-pooing of breastfeeding, which of course annoys me. And there's the bit where Phil makes himself a root beer float in the middle of the night, which I always forget when I watch this movie, because then I want one. So bleah.

My Grade: D
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: Guys and Dolls