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Cujo (1983)

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Plot Summary:
"Donna Trenton is a frustrated suburban housewife whose life is a turmoil after her husband learns about her having an affair. Brett Camber is a young boy whose only companion is a Saint-Bernard named "Cujo", who in turn is bitten by rabid bats. Whilst Vic, Donna's husband is away on business, and thinking over his marital troubles, Donna and her 5-year-old son Tad take her Pinto to Brett Cambers' dad's car shop..the car fails, and "Cujo" is very, very sick."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 31 December 2003 My Rating: out of 5


The plot? Rabid St. Bernard terrorises an adulterous wife (Dee Wallace) and her whiny son (Danny Pintauro).

One of the few Stephen King adaptations that really doesn't deserve its bad reputation. After a very slow start, which presents us with uncharacteristic flawed characters, the film never ceases to keep you on the edge of your seat. You don't really like Wallace, and you certainly don't like the dude she's cavorting with (hubby Christopher Stone, actually. Don't know if they were married yet), but c'mon- big scary dog attacks someone, you gotta have some sympathy (And no, I'm not talking about the dog, although it's not really his fault when you think about it).

The final half hour is terrific, nail-biting stuff (there's at least one classic 'boo' moment that I'll never forget), and that damn dog is one of the finest thespians I've seen in a long time. His range is enormous. Superlative editing in the attack sequences and brilliant camerawork (by future crappy director Jan De Bont) really are the stars of this sometimes frightening experience. Basically, it's a really good B movie, and the much-maligned characters are no dumber than 'Jaws', where we had the idiot mayor played by Murray Hamilton.

Simplistic, but effective monster movie may be a slow-starter, but as soon as mother and son are left alone with that dog, hold on, we're going to hell. Scary stuff.

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