It Waits

It Waits (2005)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Cerina Vincent
Extras: Commentary track, Featurette, Trailers

Directed by Steven J. Monroe, co-produced and co-written by Stephen J. Cannell, "It Waits" opens with a group of explorers dynamiting a cave and unwittingly unleashing a demon-like creature who was trapped in the cave for a thousand years. The creature then proceeds to kill them all as the screen fades to black.

We are then introduced to Danielle, a Forest Ranger trying to put back the pieces of her life after a car accident a few months earlier took the life of her best friend.
Through flashbacks we see the two girls were out drinking in a bar, left and were driving in the rain when the accident occured. Justin is Danielle's boyfriend and also a Forest Ranger. He stops by the Tower she is assigned, to see how she's doing.

In the meantime, the creature is stalking them. (We know this because we see the stalking through the creature's perspective) At one point, the creature is atop the tower roof and sounds the air siren alarm and knocks over Justin's jeep. Justin decides it must be an Elk, but doesn't have any answers when Danielle asks him how an Elk climbed to the roof of the tower and turned the crank for the alarm.

As the two Rangers are hiking to nearby headquarters for supplies, they come across a husband and wife who got lost while backpacking. Justin advices them to stick with him and Danielle, since there's a "creature on the loose." Naturally, in these kind of movies, the husband is arrogant and all he needs to do is be pointed toward the road and he and his wife will be on their way thank you very much – creature carnage follows.

I kept waiting for "It Waits" to become interesting and it never did. This was one of the worst straight-to-video "horror" movies I have seen. After the initial opening with a quick flash of the creature, "It Waits" played out like a "Lifetime Original" movie for at least 40 minutes. Flashbacks abound in a subplot regarding the night Danielle and her friend were drinking. This had absolutely nothing to do with the main plot of "It Waits." In fact, the movie should have been entitled, "We Wait." There's even a love scene in here repleat with soft music, glow lighting and burning candles! It made no sense at all. The soundtrack didnt even fit the genre, as easy listening love music played everytime we had to endure tender and retrospective moments that just didnt seem to fit in this film.

As the plot meanders along, we learn the creature has some sort of intelligence along with a nasty sense of humor – it digs up the bodies Danielle buried and sets them around a table for her to discover. After Danielle figures out that she isn't dealing with an "Elk," she tracks the creature back to its cave after wounding it with a lucky shot earlier while it was tormenting her. Wouldn't ya know it? In the cave she finds Professor Riverwind, a Native American who turns up just at the right moment to "explain" it all to her. (And us)

Before we get to hear the explanation, we have to endure even more bad acting and insipid dialogue such as Professor Riverwind stating there are two types of people in the world – those who watch their calendars and make grocery lists, and those who follow the mystical world – *ouch! Apparently, the creature is the result of a human female mating with a demon and somehow being able to cross between worlds. When Danielle asks why it lives in a cave, we get more horible dialogue from the good professor – "I'm not sure really, but it has something to do with the fact the creature lived in a cave while Jesus Christ was buried in a cave." Oh, the creature also has the ability to regenerate and to fly – just like "Jeepers Creepers." In fact, "It Waits" is a terrible attempt at ripping off "Jeepers Creepers." I was never really a fan of that movie, but now I may have to rethink my position on at least the first "Jeepers Creepers" flick after seeing this debacle.

"It Waits" makes its DVD debut in a 1.77:1 enhanced-for-16×9-TVs widescreen transfer. For a direct to video presentation, the image was quite impressive. Free from any dirt, grain, or edge-enhancement, contrast is well balanced and skin tones appear natural. Colors are well saturated and vibrant, while blacks are deep and rich allowing for nice shadow delineation.

Sound is coming to us via a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surrround track with an optional 2.0 soundtrack. There wasn't much activity in the rear speakers, but the front channels provided a clean, crisp field that remained distortion free. Overall, a really good transfer married to a very bad movie.

The special features section includes a commentary track featuring director Steven Monroe and actress Cerina Vincent. I only skimmed through the commentary as I couldn't endure sitting through the movie twice. It appears the two are having a nice time discussing the making of the movie. There's also the featurette, "Blood on the Pines," a 20-minute segment in which we hear Stephen J. Cannell state how proud he is to have changed the script around and added the unnecessary love story angle; while director Steven Monroe and cast pat each other on the back on how great the script, the acting and movie is. Four trailers are also included, one of which is for the feature presentation itself.

I usually try to find something positive to say about movies even when they don't appeal to me, but "It Waits" was a bad movie all around – from the extremely wooden acting (The cast sounded like they were doing a first day table read-through with script in hand), the lame plot, the unnecessary sub-plot, the out of left field soundtrack, to the poorly designed creature, I have to say this movie is a B.O.M.B!