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CASTLE FREAK

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CASTLE FREAK Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton (1995, Full Moon, R/unrated, priced for rental) Re-Animator’s Combs and Crampton reunite with director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli, playing a troubled couple on the verge of divorce who inherit a castle with a murderous long-lost heir locked in the cellar. The familial crisis is typical fare for Gordon (who Þrst visited this territory in 1987’s Dolls), but the believable stars bring suburban normalcy to what would otherwise be one of the genre’s most cliched settings. And while this surprisingly intelligent direct-to-video movie benefits from its leisurely tension, Gordon’s experimental-theater background comes across as he stares unflinchingly at his characters’ suffering. B

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