B Movie Glory: Devil’s Pond

Be careful who you marry because they could end up being like the dude in Devil’s Pond, a so-so two person horror flick that sees a newlywed couple (Tara Reid & Kip Pardue) embark on their honeymoon to a remote cabin on an island in the middle of a lake, only for her to discover that her charming new husband is in fact a possessive, volatile nut job who has no plans on letting her leave this island… ever. Now, you would think there’d be signs of this guy being a loonie early on or at least something to suggest to her that he might not be a trustworthy spouse, but experience, my own and that of others around me, has taught that you can think you know someone pretty damn well only to have them pull the rout out with no warning bells and turn out to be an absolute monster. It’s a tricky situation because the island is smack-dab in the kiddie of this giant Montana lake, it’s boat accessible only and hubbie keeps the keys to his truck, parked over on the lake’s edge, on his person at all times. This leaves her to play a dangerous, breathless, brutally violent game of survival and wage a battle of wills with him so she can escape, always trying to elude his psychological torment and scary outbursts, overcome her intimidating fear of water/swimming and get out of this nightmare. The performances are good, Pardue does a serviceable lunatic routine pretty well, but Reid surprised me with a disarmingly well calibrated turn. I’m used to her in disposable teen comedies and whatnot, where she’s usually the ditzy chick and the only thing I ever consistently rewatch with her is The Big Lebowski where she’s basically the original ditzy chick prototype. She actually comes across as likeable, desperate and earned my sympathy here with emotional beats that felt authentic and a well rounded character, so good on her. The film overall is nothing special, just your run of the mill psycho husband thriller with a nice spin provided by the uniquely situated location. Just good enough to be solidly entertaining, if not much more.

-Nate Hill

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