The supernatural horror movie “Cold Moon” promotes itself as being “from the writer of ‘Beetlejuice,’” gives billing to Christopher Lloyd and features a winking cameo from cult director Tommy Wiseau. Despite those potentially comic elements, the film takes itself — and the violence at its heart — very seriously. There’s little fun to be had for the audience other than in some nicely executed special effects.
In Babylon, Fla., in 1989, teenager Margaret Larkin (Sara Catherine Bellamy) is found dead in a creek, tied to her bicycle. The mystery of her killing unfolds, with her brother Jerry (Chester Rushing) and grandmother (Candy Clark) mourning as they search for answers and point fingers at rich Babylon resident Nathan Redfield (Josh Stewart). Meanwhile, Sheriff Hale (Frank Whaley) tries to solve the crime, but a vengeful spirit has its own justice in mind.
Based on a novel by Michael McDowell, “Cold Moon” makes no effort to explain the paranormal elements that course through it, with little adherence to an internal logic or concern for its characters. Despite that carelessness, the effects around the supernatural almost work well enough to distract from the script by Jack Snyder and director Griff Furst. The film also boasts some good camerawork and well-framed shots from cinematographer Thomas L. Callaway, but it’s ultimately not enough to win over horror fans.
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills