Charms (1973)

CHARMS (1973)
aka Hex
Article 2772 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-9-2008
Posting Date: 3-16-2009
Directed by Leo Garen
Featuring Keith Carradine, Scott Glenn, Hilary Thompson
Country: USA

Sometime after the first World War, a motorcycle gang, chased by a posse from a small Nebraska town, takes refuge on a farm inhabited by two sisters. However, one of the sisters seems to have special powers, and those that cross her must feel her wrath…

In its way, this odd period horror piece is as eccentric and unique as yesterday’s movie, DARK FORCES; however, unlike yesterday’s movie, I emerge annoyed rather than fascinated. I don’t think this movie knows what it wants to be. Is it a horror movie? A mystic love story? A comedy? A slice of life character movie? All of the above? None of the above? I just don’t know, but I do know it doesn’t succeed on any of those levels. I have several particular problems with it. First of all, the characters seem unbelievable and in the wrong time period. Also, every time the characters break into regional dialects, the end result sounds forced and awkward rather than quaint and authentic. And then there’s the simple fact that I find it impossible to take seriously any movie that prominently features a mouth harp on the score. None of the characters seem to react realistically to the strange events that go on around them; when one of the characters finally says that there’s “something strange going on”, it’s so late in the movie that it became the biggest laugh line in it for me (and a lot funnier than the intentional comedy). In the end, it feels like a somewhat arty mess. Recommended only to the extremely curious.

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