Making Friends (Night Terrors, 1993)
The film opens with the Marquis de Sade in prison. We witness him being tortured and then once in his cell, he starts to mentally torment the man in the cell next to him until the man rips his own eyeballs from his head. The film jumps to the present day where Genie is visiting her father in Cairo. After an attempted rape by some locals, she is saved by Sabina.
Genie’s father recommends that she avoid Sabina…that Sabine is not a…good influence. Dad is kind of right as Sabina pulls Genie into a cult led by Paul, a descendant of the Marquis de Sade. There is murder, betrayal, and sex! Of the dullest kind! Anything resembling sensuality is comically inept. The threat of the cult is never there, in spite of them killing Genie’s friends and family.
There is a very fumbled attempt to present this all as a Christianity vs Depraved Cult…but Genie’s religious father makes your average Stephen King religious nut look nuanced. She has visions of her father walking into the room with a Bible and a big cross and yelling about the cult being unclean. He is an archeologist who proclaims “Thanks be to God” at weird times. “Look at this wall carving…thanks be to God!”
Most of the performances are weak and stiff. Even Robert Englund seems to just sleepwalk through this one, giving one of his least interesting performances.
Night Terrors is not only lacking in scares, it is terribly boring.