Tamara (limited)

A strong start that ends up falling flat on its face before the finale- ironically enough, Tamara looked better before she rose from the dead. Although somewhat entertaining, by the end on the film I couldn’t help but wonder how in gods name this film is getting a limited theatrical release before Lionsgate sticks this on DVD sometime in 2006.

Tamara, which plays out extremely similar to the Japanese film series ‘Tomie’, is about a girl of the same name who is the big loser in her high school. The kids pick on her, call her names, and joke that she’s a witch. Tamara is secretly in love with her teacher and casts a spell that will make her irresistible to him. We think the spell worked that is until a prank call leads Tamara to a hotel room and embarrassed by her classmates. During a struggle Tamara is killed and buried in the forest. Like many movies before this, she comes back from the dead sexier than ever… with new powers.

I really like the clich√© storyline (no sarcasm), as it has worked for me many times in the past. The screenplay is set up just like the Japanese film ‘Tomie’ and works incredibly well for the first 30-minutes. Tamara’s big reveal (when she comes back from the dead) is the final moment of interest for me, as everything after that becomes a terrible mess. All of a sudden Tamara carries the power to possess other people and begins using them in her plots for revenge… I guess she didn’t want the blood on her hands (no pun intended). Besides the fact that our attention is shifted from one killer to another (possessed) killer, there’s something about a super sexy chick that I don’t find scary. The whole movie we see Tamara getting more and more powerful and then suddenly she vanishes off screen for a huge chunk of the film so her minions can do her bidding for her, yawn.

Then finally Tamara is back as she begins to show her true decomposing self- I’m hoping for some sort of uber-disgusting finale when she quickly shifts back to mega-hot Tamara and leaves me in the dust. It’s a horror movie guys!!! I’ll never understand why indie films lack balls, and I don’t want to hear the usual lame excuse “it was the budget”– no, it was the script.

Even more disappointing is the cinematography, which looks like a low budget made-for-TV movie; and the editing showed no creativity whatsoever. The film felt like there was only half of a heart in there and it’s disappointing since Jeffrey Riddick was obviously inspired by that Japanese phenom that is ‘Tomie’.

Even though we are treated to some awesome gore shots early on (a kid cutting out his own tongue), I would never pay to see this in a theater. As a rental some of you may enjoy, but if you’re hoping for some gruesome decaying corpse-witch fun, which is expected in this type of film, you will not find it here. Instead go pick up any season of ‘Tales from the Crypt’ where this same type of story is done better (numerous times) in only 28 minutes.

Official Score