Review: 'Cold Moon', Lacking In Scares And Christopher Lloyd Appearances

Cold Moon is a horror movie that tells the story of the murder of a teenage girl and the events that unfold after her death. The film is set in Babylon, Florida in 1989. The Larkin family owns a blueberry farm on a large piece of land in Babylon. Grandma Evelyn Larkin (Candy Clark) has been raising her grandchildren Jerry (Chester Rushing) and Margaret (Sara Catherine Bellamy) and they seem to be a close knit family. The blueberry market is not as lucrative as it once was and the family has been down on their luck financially. That doesn’t seem to slow down Grandma Evelyn’s optimism although Jerry clearly has concerns.

During a day that starts out like any other, Margaret asks for permission to go to school and help Mr. Perry (Marcus Lyle Brown), one of her teachers, with some things after lunch. Grandma agrees as long as Margaret is back before supper. On the way back from school Margaret is attacked by a man in a weird black costume complete with a leather mask that looks straight from a fetish flick. He throws Margaret and her bike off of a bridge, drowns her, ties her to her bike, and leaves her in the river. He then gets in the hearse that he is taking for leisurely spins around town, and drives off. Before you know it, supper has come and gone and Grandma is terribly worried.

That night we see a GIANT water snake swim up to Margaret’s body and into her mouth as her eyes glaze over and turn a terrifying white color. The lights on the bridge begin flickering and Margaret’s body slowly rises from the water. At this point, we are not exactly sure who the man that murdered Margaret is, but he is in for a serious shit storm coming his way.

Grandma reports that Margaret is missing to Sheriff Hale (Frank Whaley) and the focus of the investigation immediately becomes Mr. Perry. A couple of days later, a man is fishing in the river and makes an unexpected and incredibly unfortunate catch – a bike that has a body attached to it. Grandma Evelyn is convinced that Nathan Redfield (Josh Stewart) is the murderer, and the audience quickly comes to find out that she is right. The ghost of Margaret Larkin has been tormenting Nathan – but is it really her or the weight of her murder on his mind?

Griff Furst, who wrote and directed Cold Moon, created a decent horror flick, although I do wish there were more scares throughout. There are some silly plot gaffes, but when you’re dealing with a horror movie that features the floating ghost of a dead teenage girl terrorizing someone, that’s to be expected. The special effects seen throughout the film range from solid at times to pretty awful at others. I am not really sure why there is such a discrepancy, but it’s noticeable. The acting also isn’t top notch, but at least we get a few Christopher Lloyd appearances – which are always great (albeit not enough of them). Cold Moon is based on the Michael McDowell novel “Cold Moon Over  Babylon.” While I was not a huge fan of the film, that was mostly based on the acting, less than appealing visuals, and lack of scares - it was not because of the story itself. The story I found relatively interesting, and I think I will try and seek out the book from my local library and give it a read.

 Rating: 2 out of 5