Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Dentist 2

Year: 1998
Director: Brian Yuzna
Writer: Stuart Gordon, Charles Finch
Genre: Horror

The Dentist was an interesting experience for me when I watched it nearly a year ago now. I was only more recently made aware of the sequel. Once I heard of it though, I knew it was something that would need some viewing. After having watched the sequel I can now say that it's still a pretty nice film all by itself but pales in comparison to the original. It's still worth watching if you liked the first though.

So what is The Dentist 2 (sometimes subtitled "Brace Yourself") about? You've got the doctor of the first film who is getting psychiatric care. At least, it seems like he is until he weasels a needle he'd been hiding under his skin out during a session to escape. He flees from Los Angeles to a podunk little city named Paradise. Once there, he attempts to suppress his homicidal urges but they can't help but surface once again.

In regards to storytelling this movie is somehow even more campy that the first. It's got a huge air of impossibility around it but it still almost works since each of the characters is willfully ignorant of everything occurring. The doctor develops more of a personality in this film, although it's still not especially interesting. At least it gives you a taste of a character who isn't purely mindless.

What managed to impress me most about the first film, and this one as well, is certainly not the story though. It was the fact that the torture scenes in both hit close to home. I've never stayed in a hostel, or even moved into a dorm so all those types of stories are far away from my experiences. However, I have gone to the dentist and I do so regularly. I know what it's like to be stuck in the chair and have someone poking and prodding around in your mouth, sometimes hurting you. This film takes that familiar space and twists the person with the position of power into something menacing.

I've never had a problem with dentists, but even so The Dentist 2 manages to make me squirm. Aside from the reasons I just stated, it's also rare to see scenes of mouth/tooth torture in movies. Even though I don't mind dentists, I still wouldn't want to go see one right after checking out this movie. Overall it was a middling movie but still entertaining and plenty gross.

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