Sometimes They Come Back (MGM)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Jim Norman (Tim Matheson) is still haunted by the memories of his brother’s death, as well as the memories of the greasers who were involved. His brother was only nine years old when he was murdered, in a brutal and violent act by hoodlums. The hand of justice didn’t deal with the derelicts in a courtroom, instead the teenagers were killed themselves, in a horrific accident. Even now, decades after the events, Jim is unable to cope with the past. He decides to return to his hometown and teach at the high school, in hopes that his re-arrival will help him find closure. But his homecoming has brought on the return of those greasers as well, who have intentions of getting their own closure, through revenge. Can Jim face down his fears and send the hoodlums back to hell, or will he be burdened by his past forever?

Based on a short story by Stephen King, Sometimes They Come Back isn’t a bad movie, it just isn’t a great one. The premise works well as a short story, but when expanded to feature length, it seems a little thin. A lot of the duration is devoted to flashbacks, most of which aren’t needed to advance the plot. I think the flashbacks here are too often used as filler, which slows down the pace and hurts the overall entertainment value. If the plot can never get into the next gear because of constant flashbacks, it hinders the entire movie and that happens here. I wouldn’t mind seeing the story adapted in the Masters of Horror series, as with a shorter duration, I think the story has great potential. Sometimes They Come Back is never scary or even eerie, its a basic ghost story that deals with fear and how we cope with it. If you’re after intense chills, then look elsewhere, but for a passable movie on a dull night, give Sometimes They Come Back a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Sometimes They Come Back is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer is by no means great, but it is a massive improvement over Trimark’s full frame release. The image looks soft and a little worn, but stable and watchable. The detail isn’t good, but it looks decent and some scenes have better depth than others. The softness impacts the colors, so they have a slight fade and contrast also looks light. But this is still a passable visual effort and when compared to Trimark’s transfer, this is a welcome improvement that will delight fans.

Audio: How does it sound?

I don’t have much to report in this section, the soundtrack is decent, but not memorable. The music packs the most punch, as it is loud and sometimes overpowers the other elements. Even so, dialogue isn’t a concern and vocals sound clear, with no volume issues. The rest of the audio is rather reserved, aside from some tense scenes and some engine noise. Not a remarkable soundtrack, but it covers the basic needs of the material. This disc also includes a Spanish language track, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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