“There’s no such thing as real monsters; only in stories.”
A woman (Dee Wallace) who has recently confessed to her husband (Daniel Hugh-Kelly) that she’s been having an affair with a local handyman (Christopher Stone) takes her son (Danny Pintauro) with her to get their car repaired at the home of a mechanic (Ed Lauter) who has just gone away for the week, and a rabid dog named Cujo is lying in wait for victims.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Horror Films
- Killer Animals
- Stephen King Adaptations
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “simply plotted, surprisingly nerve-racking adaptation of Stephen King’s novel” is “fast-paced,” with “economical direction by Lewis Teague, who’d later direct King’s Cat’s Eye.” He points out that while it’s “a good date movie”, it “may be too frightening for little kids” — no kidding! (There is no way I would show this film to my own kids, currently ages 8, 10, and 12.) However, I agree with Peary that it’s a nifty little flick, one which generates a surprising amount of suspense and terror given the (necessarily) limited setting and circumstances. Wallace is highly sympathetic as a woman given the ultimate opportunity to atone for her transgressions (she becomes the epitome of a bad-ass mom), and Pintauro is one of the more natural kid actors to grace the screen. Fine cinematography and location shooting add to the appeal of this movie, which remains worth a look.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Dee Wallace as Donna
- Danny Pintauro as Tad
- Fine location shooting (albeit in Northern California rather than Maine)
- Atmospheric cinematography
- Many highly effective sequences
Yes, as a good (horror) show.