Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Phantasm (1979)

Movie Review: Phantasm (1979)

Person standing on a sphere and another figure standing in front of it.Summary:
After Mike’s parents and a family friend die, he starts to suspect something sinister is going on at the Morningside funeral home.  After seeing cloaked dwarves and a flying sphere of death, he manages to convince his brother Jody that not all is right.  The two set out to defeat The Tall Man before any more townspeople die.

It’s rare for a movie to be simultaneously funny and scary, but Phantasm pulls it off well.  The Tall Man is incredibly spooky.  His mere appearance makes you jump.  Yet the dialogue provides comic relief.  An example is early in the movie, Mike thinks he’s heard something sinister in the woods.  Jody respond, “Ah, it was probably just a gopher in heat.”

The spooky elements are actually creative.  Very few horror tropes are utilized.  Some of the scenes reminded me of The Shining, with the eerie, waiting, quiet.  The audience and the character knows something is afoot, yet there is nothing right then that is actually wrong.  It gives delicious chills down the spine.

What really tips this over into awesomeland, is the character Reggie–an ice cream truck driver.  For almost the entire movie, he wears his ice cream man uniform complete with a giant black bow tie, yet he manages to be badass.  He jams on the guitar with the teenagers and fights a good fight.  He’s such a creative character, going beyond the immediate perception of an ice cream man.  I wish there were more characters like him in horror movies.

If you enjoy old-school horror with a touch of comedy, or just want to see some creative scares, I recommend Phantasm.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It

  1. February 9, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I do like old skool horror with a touch of comedy, like The Lost Boys, have you seen that?

    • February 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      It’s even better when you’re not completely sure if the movie was trying to be funny or not! 😉
      A quick imdb check shows me that I have not seen The Lost Boys. Is it worth a watch?

      • February 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm

        I love it, definitely worth a watch. If not just to see a really young Kiefer Sutherland.

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