The Garden


Drama / Horror / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Claudia Christian as Dr. Cairns
Sean Young as Miss Grace Chapman
Lance Henriksen as Ben Zachary

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Coventry 3 / 10

In the Garden of Eden, baby! Don't you know that I Love Youzzzz zzzzzzz zzzz....

First and foremost, it's a VERY bad idea to schedule a mainly story-driven and atmospheric horror movie like "The Garden" at 3am during a Film Festival and after exhilarating movies like "The Hills Have Eyes"-remake or "Neighborhood Watch"! The subject matter "The Garden" brings forward is interesting, but too abstract and definitely not compelling (let alone exciting) enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. A divorced father and his psychologically troubled son are involved in a car accident and recover at the house of a mysterious old man (Lance Henriksen in his umpteenth inferior horror role). The old guy's garden turns out to be the genuine Paradise of Eden; the place where our whole existence began according to the Holy Bible. Through the re-occurring nightmares of young Sam, the apocalypse can be inflicted in this exact same garden (don't ask me how as I somehow must have missed that part) and maybe that even is what the old man desires to achieve! Don Michael Paul's second film as a director starts out surprisingly stylish with elegant camera-work and a patient drawing of characters and settings. The first murder-sequence also comes at the exact right timing and it's quite bloody, especially considering the tone of the film so far. For reasons I fail to comprehend, "The Garden" then turns into a confusing and painfully dull mess that eventually reverts to annoying clichés and predictable plot twists. The only elements left to enjoy near the end are the creepy music and young Adam Taylor Gordon's impressive acting performance which easily surpasses the quality of his lines.

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 5 / 10

The Garden

I think ultimately, the viewer must decide whether or not what you are watching is a complete fantasy concocted by the delusions of a disturbed child or a religious battle between good and evil with the world's lives hanging in the balance. Henriksen has one of his better roles of the last several years as an enigmatic farmer who might just be Old Scratch himself perhaps seducing a child's father into taking the bite of an apple, reversing the apocalypse, giving away his soul since God has supposedly turned his back on him. Adam Taylor Gordon, in a mature, subdued performance, is Sam, a kid plagued with night terrors, portraiting his nightmares on paper. His father is David(Brian Wimmer, displaying a tormented soul), a somewhat reformed alcoholic hoping to bond with his son as they return from the hospital to his ex-wife waiting for Sam. Henriksen goes by Ben in the film, but director Don Michael Paul established upon his introduction something sinister and mysterious about this man. It seems that Sam has fallen prey to his troubled mind, but the movie remains ambiguous as to if Ben is Satan or not. Images of importance include a specter with a damaged face who beckons Sam, the hanging fruit just about ripe for the plucking, a wicked dead tree, dead victims(..who supposedly died at Ben's hands)who return to visit Sam, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, a serpent, and a flaming sword. Ben makes it clear that he will have David's soul and get revenge on God, with Sam threatening to stop him. Other supporting roles include Claudia Christian as Sam's psychiatrist who wished for him to remain at her hospital for further examination(..and perhaps suffers a horrifying fate when she comes to visit him)and Sean Young as a bible school teacher Sam befriends. The plot is chock full with religious overtones, and it's up to our determination as to if what Sam experiences is real or illusion. The finale where everything plays out like a spiritual warfare between both sides, is rather hokey, unless it's all in Sam's head..a final image, might contradict this theory, however. Every now and then, Henriksen acquires a role with some meat on it and he's quite creepy at times here. Some moments of startling violence, but the film is mostly a puzzler to evaluate.

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 4 / 10

An Almost Good B-Movie

The boy Sam (Adam Taylor Gordon) is tormented by dreadful visions and nightmares and self-inflicts injures to his body. After a period in the hospital, Dr. Cairns (Claudia Christian) tells Sam's father David (Brian Wimmer) that the boy is affected by the divorce of his parents and a period together with him will make good to Sam.

David travels with Sam in his truck but Sam sees a spirit on the road and pulls the steering wheel of his father, provoking a car accident. Out of the blue, the farmer Ben Zachary (Lance Henriksen) rescues them and offers a job to David in his farm. He accepts the offer and enrolls Sam at the local school.

Sam has Bible classes with Miss Grace Chapman (Sean Young) and sooner he leans that Mr. Zachary is the devil and the place is the Garden of Eden. Further, Zachary has an evil plan for David.

"The Garden" is an almost good B-movie. Lance Henriksen is great in the role of an evil being, the cast has good performances and the atmosphere is sinister. Unfortunately the story is flawed and messy, with a disappointing conclusion. The motive why Zachary has chosen Sam and his father to accomplish his goal is not clear. And why David and his wife did not talk about Dr. Cairns, if she had sent the doctor to the farm to bring Sam back. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Jardim do Mal" ("Garden of the Evil")

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