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ALICE KRIGE & BRIAN KRAUSE IN STEPHEN KING'S 'SLEEPWALKERS'

Title: SLEEPWALKERS Year: 1992 Rating: ***

Stephen King found himself a worthy future director in Mick Garris for the TV mini-series THE STAND two years after SLEEPWALKERS, an intentional b-movie that introduces a new kid in school, fawned-over despite his shyness and, somewhat like Sissy Spacek in CARRIE, which was King's first adaptation, Brian Krause's Charles Brady reads a story aloud in class that the English teacher reviews rudely... 

Resembling a magazine model surfer, Krause does a good enough job playing-down who would obviously be an otherwise instantly popular kid... Although, blond and bright on the outside with a dark, secret interior, he does quickly land an equally perfect-looking girl, and Mädchen Amick's Tanya quickly becomes our vulnerable bottom-lip-biting ingenue dating her dream boy; the latter who, behind very closed doors, has an extremely close relationship with his sexy middle-aged (or maybe eternally-aged) mother, Mary...

Brian Kraus and Alice Krige in SLEEPWALKERS

In this pivotal role, Alice Krige combines sensuality and jealousy: wanting to protect her son while yearning for her next meal, and fearing the horde of loathsome cats, gathered outside their home like union members on strike...

As explained in the opening scrawl, and later orchestrated by the classic slide guitar instrumental "Sleep Walk," mother and son are in fact SLEEPWALKERS i.e. cat-like creatures that have to feed on blood to survive: a combination of werewolves, vampires, and something altogether gross and slimy...

Brian Kraus and Mädchen Amick in SLEEPWALKERS

The best scenes occur as the good girl warms up to her seemingly normal new beau while, alone on the side, he cruises around in his muscle car within the outskirts of the rural town, taking care of daylight business concerning that bullying teacher and a pesky comic-relief cop...

Sadly, and as would happen in Garris/King's THE STAND concerning villain Randall Flagg, the moment when the cheap 90's CGI has Krause's face morph into a monstrous reality (at one of his future victims), all mystique is gone...

Mädchen Amick in Sleepwalkers

Then he gets violently down and dirty with his beloved girlfriend, trying for "Here's Johnny!" style fervor and, alas, this sudden lunacy blunts the suspense far too soon in a game-changing scene that should have occurred during the final act instead of the second: leaving us with an overlong car-to-foot chase that, although altering locations, is one-dimensional and rushes to a predictable conclusion...

Thankfully, throughout the 11th hour bedlam, Alice Krige remains mysterious and creepy even after the trick is revealed; that is, she keeps classing up the proverbial joint long after it's burned itself out.

Alice Krige and Brian Krause bond in Sleepwalkers
Mark Hamill opens SLEEPWALKERS
One of the coolest shots of the movie, spookiest... a CAT'S EYE view of the Sleepwalker's muscle car
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Brian Krause's changeling in Stephen King's Sleepwalkers directed by Mick Garris
Everything morphs including a red Mustang into a blue Camero in SLEEPWALKERS
Everything morphs including a red Mustang into a blue Camero in SLEEPWALKERS
Everything morphs including a red Mustang into a blue Camero in SLEEPWALKERS
Mädchen Amick, her shallow friends, and her fiendish crush Brian Krause in SLEEPWALKERS
Alice Krige and Brian Krause bond in Sleepwalkers

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