I didn’t know what to expect from The Guardian. Yes, it’s directed by William Friedkin who directed The Exorcist, but that doesn’t really give you the scope of the movie now does it. I mean The Exorcist as made in the early 70’s and this is an 80’s obscure Horror movie that I remember vividly from the video store wall. Did Friedkin forget how to do Horror? I love his work, but you really don’t know what the studios in the 80’s could do to a perfectly excellent director’s work. As it turns out The Guardian rocked me and scared me and got under my skin in the best way possible. The greatest part was he did it much in the same way that he did with The Exorcist, by finding a fear inherent in everyone, especially parents. What happens when an evil supernatural force, larger than life, attacks your kid? Scream Factory has put this in our hands as Horror fans. It’s our job to enjoy and let it scare us.
From the outset I got the basic gist. We’re dealing with a supernatural force of Pagan origin that wants to get babies for spiritual nourishment. Great story. Add in some truly creepy effects and creature creation and you can guarantee a moderate scare. The casting was great which helped to cement the story. Mind you, the whole thing does wander in and out of some unnecessary sequences to increase the body count, but those moments are at least entertaining. By the end of the picture, just when you think you know exactly what’s going to happen, the big bad reaches out and shakes you and says, “you don’t know shit”. The Guardian is a thrill to the end with plenty of juicy blood, tension au plenty and a real-feel that made me wary of any and all future babysitters.
The disc comes with traditional artwork and stills on the inside. The extras are filled to the brim with interviews including Matthew Mungle telling you all about the Tree Woman. That is a must listen to interview especially since it is an exceptionally impressive effect that stuck with me. The transfer is nice with minimal dust and debris in the early part of the movie. No qualms here.
If you have kids this one almost plays out like a supernatural home invasion movie. It can get you and make you fear for your little ones. That’s what happened to me, but I like that the clearly fantastical elements allowed me to enjoy the movie rather than feeling a complete panic for my baby girl. I can’t do much with modern home invasion movies, no matter how subtle (even Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a bit much). It’s a magical legend, and Friedkin creates a magical nearly parallel universe for the whole Druidic lore to evolve within that so closely mimics ours, you’ll question every damn tree in the woods. Great job, Scream Factory. Another gem saved from the shadows.
You can order this lesser loved William Friedkin classic from Scream Factory now:
From Scream Factory:
William Friedkin, the Academy Award®-winning* director of The Exorcist, delivers a new kind of fairy tale for adults.
A handsome young couple finds the perfect live-in babysitter to look after their newborn child. It seems like a fairy tale, until ancient, supernatural forces turn the couples dream into a nightmare.
In his first horror film since The Exorcist, Oscar®-winning* director William Friedkin spins a terrifying tale based on every parent's worst fear. Jenny Seagrove (Local Hero) portrays the enchanting guardian who enters the home of new parents Dwier Brown (Red Dragon) and Carey Lowell (Licence to Kill) possessing impeccable references and an affinity for children. But as her true intentions are revealed, the battle for the child's soul begins in this chilling film based on Dan Greenburg's popular novel, The Nanny.
*1971: Best Director, The French Connection
○ NEW A Happy Coincidence - An Interview With Actor Dwier Brown
○ NEW From Strasberg To The Guardian - An Interview With Actor Gary Swanson
○ NEW A Mother's Journey - An Interview With Actress Natalija Nogulich
○ NEW Scoring The Guardian - An Interview With Composer Jack Hues
○ NEW Tree Woman: The Effects Of The Guardian - An Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Matthew Mungle
○ Return To The Genre - An Interview With Director/Co-writer William Friedkin
○ The Nanny - An Interview With Actress Jenny Seagrove
○ Don't Go Into The Woods – An Interview With Co-writer Stephen Volk
○ Still Gallery Of Behind-The-Scenes Photos