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Rob Vaux. Felix Vasquez Jr. As thrilling and scary as Cujo can be, it's dreadful for long stretches. Christopher Null. Directed by Lewis Teague with less cinematographic flair than even the TV miniseries for 'Salem's Lot, Cujo unfortunately demonstrates the difficulty in adapting King's shorter works. Eric Henderson.
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Cujo Critics Consensus Cujo is artless work punctuated with moments of high canine gore and one wild Dee Wallace performance. Super Reviewer. Share on Facebook. View All Photos. Movie Info Cujo is a frightening, but uneven horror tale of a rabid St. Bernard dog who terrorizes a woman and her son who are trapped in a stalled car. Donna Dee Wallace Stone and her son are forced to stay in the car for several days as the dog prowls around outside the car and they try to find a way to escape.
Cujo, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, is directed by Lewis Teague, who, while taking a leisurely pace in the beginning of the film, succeeds in building the suspense to a conclusion that, when it finally arrives, is truly terrifying and for horror fans, well-worth the wait. Cujo one of the more successful adaptations of King's work, is a genuinely frightening if somewhat slow horror film, and definitely not for children.
Lewis Teague. Lauren Currier , Don Carlos Dunaway. Aug 21, Dee Wallace as Donna Trenton.
Danny Pintauro as Tad Trenton. Daniel Hugh Kelly as Vic Trenton. Christopher Stone as Steve Kemp. Ed Lauter as Joe. Kaiulani Lee as Charity. Billy Jayne as Brett Camber. Billy Jacoby as Brett.
Mills Watson as Gary. Sandy Ward as Bannerman. Terence Donovan. Jerry Hardin as Masen. Merritt Olsen as Professor. Arthur Rosenberg as Roger Breakstone. Bob Elross as Meara. Robert Behling as Fournier. Clare Nono as Lady Reporter. Daniel H.
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Blatt as Dr. Danny Pintauro. The 13 Fiercest Moms in Horror. Oct 3, Full Review…. Mar 26, Full Review…. Feb 9, Full Review…. May 20, Full Review…. Apr 29, Full Review…. Oct 4, Full Review…. Feb 23, Full Review…. Jul 20, Rating: 2. View All Critic Reviews May 20, Considering the age and the concept, this is actually quite good. The would work better today as this plot device would suit the standard horror filmmaking of Blumhouse for example.
It's a brutal film to watch and is only undone by the slow character focused beginning. Not without flaws, this is a solid cult film that you should seek out if you enjoy films of this genre. Brendan N Super Reviewer. Aug 31, A rather poor adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling novel, Cujo doesn't deliver any real scares. The story follows a suburban family that's going through some domestic issues, while across town a junkyard dog named Cujo slowly turns rabid and starts attacking people.
Either because of poor acting or bad writing, the characters aren't very interesting. And, the dog isn't that frightening. The directing is also rather weak, and doesn't bring any sense of danger or intensity to the scenes. Additionally, the score is cliched and trite. Cujo is a little more than stereotypical B-horror film that relies mostly on cheap scares.
Dann M Super Reviewer. Jul 13, On the outside, Cujo is cuddly, pleasant, likable. When he's bitten — and maybe that bite from a bat can be directly equated to King's Salem's Lot success — he changes. Filled with uncontrollable rage, foaming at the mouth, unable to be the good dog he was. As King writes: "He had always tried to be a good dog. He had been struck by something … free will was not a factor. He hurts those he loves.
He is brutal and remorseless, because he is not himself. Those who would stop him are cut down or trapped. They can only look at him through windows and pray he leaves them alone, or that they get a chance to stop him. Even when the demon is dead, it still kills them. Well, no. Actually, what kills Tad is his desperate need for a drink. Maybe that's too much. Maybe we have to come at this from a Barthesian position , standing back: this is a scary book about a rabid dog. But I simply don't believe we can. King cannot remember writing the book, but he did.
Daily, he sat at his keyboard and drank himself into a stupor and beat the keys, and at the other end Cujo was sent to his editor. Somewhere inside, his subconscious was driving: something had to be. Many of his books from this point on are less than subtle with their metaphor. That isn't a criticism: I think King does some of his best work when looking inward, consciously or not.
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- Three men in a boat : (to say nothing of the dog) (1890).
It's not always pretty, but it's always interesting. It's not as if Cujo was the first of his novels to mine the alcoholism metaphor — The Shining told the story of an ex-English teacher with a drinking problem — but this is the point at which it became the book. Not a character, but the whole text. Structurally, Cujo is fascinating.
There are no chapters, no page breaks: it's a constant rush of words, darting between characters and with reminiscing periods of backstory, but always pushing forward. Like the plot and the dog — and, yes, King's addiction — it's unrelenting. The book stops when the dog does, or just after, as the families try to pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of the chaos that has wrecked them. The surviving members of the Camber family, Cujo's owners, buy a new dog. This one is vaccinated, but here's the thing: it's still a dog. The potential for what it could do, how it could turn on you, is always inside it.
Reading interviews with King from the time when his addictions weren't public knowledge, he feigns normality , pretends he knew what he was doing when he wrote Cujo. Now, after he's admitted that he was then suffering his worst bout of alcoholic torpor, we know it was all a lie. Cujo is as much a surprise to him as it is to the reader: the brutality, the pace, the agony inside. It's a tremendous book — more tremendous, in my view, when you know how it was written, and how absent King really was.
It's scary, it's tense, it's incredibly pacy. And it's another non-supernatural book. It's a shame King can't remember writing it, that he can't revel in his creation of something this good. But what's not a shame is that we have it: not only as readers of great fiction, but as admirers of a man who was suffering and couldn't face his demons in person, so put them directly on to the page.
Cujo — either the dog itself or the deaths it rendered — is invoked in several other Castle Rock novels: The Tommyknockers, The Dark Half , Needful Things all books, incidentally, that deal with King's addictions in their own ways. Bannerman reappears in Cujo and meets his end at the dog's teeth. But another character also makes the transition to this book: Dodd himself.