"Has there ever been a made-for-TV-horror movie that was, y'know, scary?"
I'm not exactly sure who's greenlighting all these old made-for-TV movies for a DVD release, but I'd love to ask them to stop.Aside from touting the questionable marquee value of names like Casper Van Dien and Teri Garr, low-end, low-budget, low-viewership fodder like NightScream (sometimes spelled with the appropriate space between the words) is about as generic and throwaway as a TV-movie can be. And that's pretty freakin' generic.
Based on Robert Specht's novel “The Soul of Betty Fairchild”, NightScream sees one confused lass chance upon a sleepy seaside town before announcing "Hey all! I'm that girl who died here last year!" through a series of silly coincidences and irritatingly muddled dream sequences. But wait! It seems that young Drew (Candace Cameron Bure) is not at all confused and insane and possessed...but is part of an elaborately scammy scheme that sees her new boyfriend (and the suspected murderer from a year before...) calling all the shots. Through a series of exchanges too silly for words, Drew slowly begins to convince some of the fine clueless folk of Steveton (?) that she is indeed...a dead girl reincarnate! What dolts!
So what happens when you mix the untimely death of a young woman with a pair of opportunistic con-persons hoping to exploit said demise for their own personal gain? a-Ha! The ghostly stuff starts kickin' in, reality-wise, leaving our con-persons both desperate to find Dead Gal's old journal AND wondering what all those darn ghostly dream sequences are all about.
Bah. Enough blab. Movie stinks. It's slower than molasses, familiar like slippers and as predictable as a drive-thru Happy Meal. As the flick unspools you'll find yourself less compelled by what's offered onscreen and more fascinated by the fact that the filmmakers involved thought they could hold your interest with this banal and warmed-up basic-cable-flick. And by basic I mean TBS and TNT as opposed to Showtime or HBO.
Not helping matters in any way is the wholly atrocious lead performance by Ms. Bure. Somehow parlaying her presence as the "Non-Olsen Girl Kid" on TV's Full House into her first bona-fide starring role (and her last), Candace never once comes close to impersonating an actual human emotion. I feel bad knocking the gal since those Olsen girls are worth trillions while Candace gets to star in NightScream, but there's no getting around it: the gal's performance is so bad that it smashes Camp and heads right into Unintentional Hilarity.
Populating the background you'll find Teri Garr (who deserves better) and Casper Van Dien (who does not), each of whom do their own part to advance the mind-numbing narrative. Garr plays the bereaved and entirely stupid mother of the dead girl, while B-movie immortal Casper V.D. brings an oily sleaze that may or may not be good acting. Tough to tell with this guy. Neither performer can elevate "NightScream" beyond what it is: a wholly forgettable little TV flick that you need never see.Ever.