BUY IT FROM AMAZON: CLICK HERE!
STUDIO: Anchor Bay
RUNNING TIME: 92 min.
“It’s The Prophecy meets Frailty!”
Lance Henriksen, Brian Wimmer, Adam Gordon, Sean Young, Claudia Christian
Young Sam (Gordon) has ominous nightmares and copes by drawing and cutting himself (he’s what you might call emotionally unstable). After his recovering alcoholic dad David (Wimmer) picks him up from the hospital, they get into a bad wreck on some remote country road and are rescued by gravelly local Ben Zachary (Henriksen). Once they’ve awoken on an isolated farm, Ben offers David a job as a ranch hand and they decide to stick around.
But as Sam’s disturbing visions continue, Ben’s seemingly affable disposition quickly switches to cryptic and creepy, and he begins to influence David with stories of an impending apocalypse… and claims that his land is the original site of the biblical Garden of Eden. Is he telling the truth, and what part do David, Sam and the kooky schoolteacher (Young) play in it all?
"It’s always ‘Ooh, do the knife thing, Bishop!’. Never ‘Hey, I loved you in Survival Quest!’ Or ‘Hey, Delta Heat is my favorite movie’!"
Yet another supernatural thriller with heavy religious themes, The Garden is ultimately a frustrating experience — it starts out somewhat intriguing, then plunges into tedium before becoming outright confounding.
Technically the movie looks and sounds surprisingly good with a few chilling moments and some respectable production design, and the actors all give solid performances and display significant chemistry (Gordon is an amazingly natural young actor). But they’re only given irrational motivation and abstract preachy expositional gibberish about temptation and the Four Horsemen, all unresolved mystery instead of anything resembling excitement or logic.
Henriksen may be a genre veteran and cult favorite, and he can do back-rack sinister better than anyone this side of Bruce Payne, but I don’t get the sense that he’s overly particular about his projects.
"Excuse me, Mr. Davis? Are you a Catwoman fan?"
"Eh… got something a little more my type?"
The widescreen picture is passable and the Dolby 2.0 audio works just fine for the dialogue and spooky music. I was hoping the commentary by director Don Michael Paul might be a bit more illuminating as to some of the story’s bewildering aspects, but it’s considerably dry and focuses mostly on the shoot’s technical aspects. Six minutes of behind-the-scenes footage is exactly that – video shot on the set during production, presented with no fanfare. There’s also a stills gallery and a bio of Lance Henriksen.
5.0 out of 10
Now that’s more like it.