Anchor Bay / 2005 / 88 min. / NR
First, the story: In the opening tease, a group of students break into a long-sealed cave somewhere in the great north woods. Discovering some weird cave paintings, they high-tail it out when some unseen creature comes zooming after them from the bowels of the cavern. Cut to two months later, and we meet emotionally fragile Danielle St. Clair (Cerina Vincent), a buxom, brunette Ranger in a tank top, drinking away her sorrows in her isolated Forest Service watch tower in the woods. Danielle is ravaged by guilt over the car accident (seen in flashback over and over) that killed her best friend after a night of gal-pal boozing. And poor Danielle has no one to talk to except her smartass talking bird, Hoppy.
But wait! Something is out there! (We don't actually get a good look at it until over an hour into this snooze-fest.) Danielle's boyfriend and fellow Forest Ranger, Justin (Dominic Zamprogna), shows up to comfort her, have sex with her and become an early victim of IT but not before a middle-aged couple who've been lost in the woods meet their grisly fate at the monster's clawed hands.
Even though Danielle is stationed in this area, for some reason she never heard about the five students who were viciously and mysteriously murdered just two months before. Thank god their professor, Joseph Riverwind (Eric Schwieg) pops in for some clumsy exposition. In one of my favorite pieces of bad dialogue, he tells Danielle the creature is "the frustrated spirit of a mythological beast mated with the basest human qualities, and somehow, it's found its way from its world into this one." In reality, the monster looks like a somewhat scarier version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon with wings.
Of course, this all comes down to a third act showdown between Danielle and IT. Following one hoary cliché after another, I don't have to tell you who triumphs. Written by the venerable Stephen J. Cannell with help from veteran hacks from his TV past, Tom Szollosi and Richard Christian Matheson, one can only scratch one's head and ask the question: It took three of you to write this crap? Really???
Given the deficient material, I suppose the actors do their best, which isn't saying much. Cerina Vincent will never be confused with Meryl Streep, but she works hard, and the movie rests on her petite shoulders and implanted breasts. In a horror flick filled with mediocre to bad performances, special notice must be given to Eric Schweig as Professor Exposition for his egregiously awful acting.
Though director Steven R. Monroe apparently did little to shape this material into something even nominally interesting, and his handle on performances is at the Mystery Science Theater level, he does have a decent eye for composition and action and wrings the most out of his obviously limited budget.
VIDEO & AUDIO
Jon Joffin's cinematography is actually one of the few good things about IT WAITS. He gives the movie's forest setting a rich look in both the day and night sequences, and the film is well presented in 1080p, 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The 5.1 surround mix is fine.
Extras??? This thing doesn't even have a MENU!
IT should've been kept waiting.