Nightbreed (1990) is an American dark fantasy movie that was based on writer and director Clive Barker’s 1988 novella Cabal. Director and writer Clive Barker (Hellraiser (1987), Lord of Illusions (1995), Candyman (1992)) did a fantastic job bringing us this cult classic. Clive was angry that some of his scenes were lost, and some good scenes were cut from the movie. Scream Factory released the uncut footage/directors cut for the film in 2014 and this review is based on the directors cut of Nightbreed, the better Nightbreed version. Some behind the scenes footage and scenes that were lost and is now recovered can be viewed on Clive Barker’s Revelations website. The movie contains sexual content with brief nudity, suspense, extreme violence, gore, bad language, intense moments and sitting on the edge of your seat scenes.
Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer - A River Runs Through It (1992), One Tree Hill (2003), Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)) is a mental patient that started to believe that he is a serial killer. Aaron’s girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby - Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Happiness (1998), BioShock (2007)) made Aaron go see a psychotherapist. Aaron believes that there is a place called Midian, and that is where the monsters live. Psychotherapist Dr. Philip K. Decker (David Cronenberg - The Fly (1986), eXistenZ (1999), Eastern Promises (2007), A History of Violence (2005)) persuades Aaron into believing that he committed a lot of murders and that he is fact a serial killer. The real serial killer is Phillip, who had murdered several families over a period of time. Phillip drugged Aaron and told him to confess to the murders, but Aaron was hit by a truck on his way to the police station and landed himself in the hospital. Aaron overheard someone speaking about Midian and got the directions to the huge city under the graveyard.
After a few events, Phillip led officers to Aaron, and they shot him several times until he was dead. Aaron woke up or came back from the dead at the morgue because he was bitten by a monster in Midian. He made his way to Midian where he is now welcome. Lori cannot believe that Aaron left her and is now on a quest to find him, even if she has to believe that there is a place such as Midian. The movie goes on to show a great confrontation between Lori, Aaron, and Phillip. The confrontation ends, and there is so much more to the movie involving Aaron having a thirst for blood and… watch the movie.
Nightbreed was a beautiful screenplay to watch although it was intense at times and scary. I love the storyline and could not get enough of it. It is a horror cult classic that will be rewatched many times in my house. The actors did a fantastic believable job with their roles. I love the sets, especially the graveyard; it was done so well. The ending of the movie (last 20 minutes) was a real treat and was awesomely done although it was left unexplained as to what really happened. The book is right on with the movie - in other words, about 85% of the movie stays true to the book unlike a lot of movies today.
About Nightbreed (1990)
Starring: Doug Bradley, Bradley Lavelle, Daniel Kash, Mac McDonald, Ted Maynard, Craig Sheffer, Bob Sessions, Simon Bamford, David Cronenberg, Hugh Ross, Peter Marinker, Eric Loren, Oliver Parker, Nicholas Vince, Tony Gardner, Catherine Chevalier, Charles Haid, Craig Spector, Hugh Quarshie, David Young, Tony Bluto, Debora Weston, Stephen Hoye, Tom Hunsinger, Kenneth Nelson, Paul Jones, Anne Bobby, John Agar, Charles Bodycomb, Malcolm Smith
Director: Clive Barker