“Sometimes they Come Back” (Stephen King adaptation)

Yup: a ghost story. I figure Stephen King didn’t have time to do anything more than a placeholder for the title and so scribbled down sometimes they come back as one of those hazy sentence fragments which encompasses the general story while the mind unconsciously tinkers with a real title. Evidently, however, this was the best he could come up with- anyways, this is a fine movie.

Directed by Tom McLoughlin, this film from the past was based off of a Stephen King story, and so is likely a striking mockery of what the actual point it all about. But whatever its source material the point is that McLoughlin’s efforts have not gone to waste. Though he movie isn’t scary, more of a thriller, the overall product is as best as moviemaking from yesteryear can make, given the constraints.

The plot follows high school history teacher Jim Norman returning to his home town after a 20 year hiatus. Unfortunately for Jim, the return is far from a hero’s triumph. Several of his students in class, upset at Jim’s expectance of them to actually work for their grades, harass him. Of course, this is but the beginning and soon “greasers” from beyond the grave surface, tormenting his waking hours as he is forced to re-live (through memory) the tragic death of his brother and several greaser bullies. The bullies in question have now returned and are bringing up members of their “crew” by murdering Jim’s well-to-do students.

So, of course, Jim embarks on a horrish quest to discover how to quell the monsters back to their graves. All rather trite. Any horror/ thriller lover will understand the plot about half-way through the film (if not earlier). Nevertheless, nothing is awry with the movie. The actors play their roles fine (with the exception of the bullies annoying “evil” rolling laughter which just becomes grating on the ears after the second dozen time you hear it), the music is… acceptable, and the narrative execution not bad.

But hey, I am not exactly the best, most objective source, for movie reviews about 80s films, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Even so, the plot was-in its own manner-gripping in a “well, I haven’t seen many of these films lately” kind of way. Though the clichés and tropes made my eyes embark a rolling crusade, I found the experience to be not unpleasant. Six out of ten stars. Maybe seven.


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