Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes
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There is an instant at which the endless possibilities of the future give way to the inescapable consequences of the past; an infinitesimally tiny pinpoint of time called “the present.” Director Mike Prosser stretches this microscopic moment into something he calls “The Dividing Hour”; a bit of temporal creative license one should be more than willing to give him given how impressive and surprisingly captivating his spook story is.
For ringleader Josh (Prosser), his kid brother Zach (Brian Prosser), and their buddies Dean (Greg James), a harmless stoner lunkhead, and the dangerously brooding Peter (Brad Goodman), this moment of truth comes when they carry out their plans to rob a bank and head for the Canadian border. Everything proceeds by the book until an exhausted, road weary Josh dozes at the wheel, launching the getaway car and its occupants into a roadside lagoon. Trudging wearily along the nearly deserted road, they’re more than happy to accept a lift from good-natured local Al (Jay Horenstein). He takes the battered band to a dilapidated farmhouse, where they meet Dawn (Jillian Hodges) and her blind and deaf father Lewis (Max Yoakum). Naturally, the primitive phone is out, forcing them to wait until it’s repaired…allowing plenty of time for the desolate farmhouse’s inherent creepiness and Dawn’s subtle chameleon-like flirtations with all of them to inflame the accumulated stress and tensions within the foursome and lead to mayhem and murder.
On the surface, there’s nothing all that original about “The Dividing Hour.” With occasionally shaky dialogue and acting dipping down into the lame range from time to time, the film is essentially an eerie goose bump-inducing spin on the Eagles’ “Hotel California” with a handful of mixed bag special effects thrown in. And yet…and yet, this film has a certain earnest, intangible cool vibe about it, which is all the more unusual given that it was shot on video, (although it seems to have been run through some sort of rudimentary film-look process). Even when you can kinda see where it’s heading, even after the on-the-nose expository dialogue waters down the film’s climax, a viewer passing through “The Dividing Hour” inevitably emerges more creeped out on the other side.
Posted on July 25, 2000 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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