Picks and Pans Review: Night of the Hunter
Talk about going against type. Richard Chamberlain stars in this remake of the 1955 Robert Mitchum thriller as one of cinema's most compelling villains, a psycho preacher with the word LOVE tattooed on one hand, HATE on the other. He insinuates himself into the lives of a woman (Diana Scarwid) and her kids (Reid Binion and Amy Be-bout) then terrorizes them for money that Scarwid's late husband stole.
The movie never achieves the unsettling scariness of the original, the only film that actor Charles Laughton ever directed. For the most part, the new version is thinly acted—except for Chamberlain. There's a whole world of menace in his cold, slitted eyes.
Even with the star's surprising contribution, though, the film—directed by David Greene—lacks the sustained tension to be anything but a disappointment.