The Carpenter

01/28/2018 13:08

Film: The Carpenter

Year: 1988

Director: David Wellington

Writer: Doug Taylor

Starring: Wings Hauser, Lynne Adams and Pierre Lenoir



This film starts showing a circular saw cutting through some wood. We then shift to a woman staring off into the distance inside of a kitchen. She is Lynne Adams. She then goes upstairs where she lies down. We then see her cutting up a suit. Her husband, Pierre Lenoir, then comes home and asks her what she is doing.

Adams has suffered a mental breakdown and she is taken to a hospital. Lenoir comes to visit her and she wants to leave. He tells her that she can’t yet. We then get a brief montage of Lenoir buying a house and Adams in the asylum. She has a nightmare where the doctor frees her with a chainsaw, but then goes to kill her with it.

She is then released when she is deemed to be cured. She is given tranquilizers to use as she sees fit to. Lenoir then takes her to their new home. He has hired a cheap construction crew to finish the renovations; they are led by Bob Pot.

Adams can’t sleep one night and she hears pounding in the basement. She goes to check it out to find Wings Hauser. She asks him what he is doing and if this is the best time to be working. He is quite charming and she doesn’t seem bothered by it. After a pleasant exchange, she goes back up to bed.

The following day, two of the workers notice that the basement hadn’t been started, but now is almost done. They believe that Pot has hired scab or student workers to come in at night to help save money. They aren’t happy about it. One of them overhears a phone conversation between Adams and Lenoir. Lenoir is a professor and tells her that he has a meeting and isn’t sure how long it will run. The worker then hits on Adams, trying to have dinner and drinks with her. She declines his offer. Adams is struggling with everything as she is being cooped up in the house.

It really turns out that Lenoir is actually seeing one of his students. She is Louise-Marie Mennier. We then see the two of them making love.

At a bar, the worker who hit on Adams thinks that she is into him. He then decides to grab a bottle of wine and pay her a visit. He forces himself in and then tries to take advantage of her. He is stopped though by Hauser and a circular saw. Adams doesn’t seem bothered by this and goes up to bed. Lenoir arrives home later and finds a bottle of wine. He also finds a drop of blood on the ground as well.

Lenoir is leaving for work and talks to Pot as he does. He sees two workers messing around and tells Pot to fire them. He pushes back, but agrees with what his customer wants. These two disgruntled workers decide to go back to the house to steal tools in revenge. Hauser is there to stop them though.

The local sheriff pays Adams a visit one day, he is Ron Lea. He tells her the story of the house and the background of who Hauser really is. Adams ends up finding a job at a local paint store and she starts to stay up late, working on cleaning up the house as well as painting it. This also leads her to more encounters with Hauser.

Is Hauser really haunting this house or is it something else? What is Adams’ mental state and what will become of her?

This was kind of a blind buy that I did as it was listed in a horror film encyclopedia I own that was part of the basis of research I’m doing. I knew the basic premise, but this film wasn’t anything like I thought. I feel this film has some great things to work with and took a route that wasted it unfortunately. I think the idea of Adams’ mental breakdown could have been played with more. I don’t mind them using it as to when she sees these people being murdered; she doesn’t believe it’s real. I do like that. It would have been much better to play the mystery that maybe Hauser isn’t really there and that it is all her. The items used to kill though were great and the ending was okay. The film also doesn’t explain how he disposes of the bodies either. I just was disappointed what they did with the story.

The acting isn’t good, but it does have a zany feel that gives the film a little bit of cheesy fun. Hauser though is solid in his role. There is something about him that he comes off macho while still being charming. Adams seems to be in a dream like state the whole film, which does make sense for her character. Lenoir comes off as miscast. He comes off as awkward and angry, yet he is able to hit on a pretty hot Mennier. I didn’t really buy it. Jones was funny in the little time that she has on screen as well. The rest of the cast are really unique and round out the film.

There aren’t a lot of effects that were used in this film, but they are practical which is good. As I’ve said above, the items used to commit the murders were unique, which I liked. They really don’t show any blood and gore though, so it is kind of wasted. One of the death scenes I found really odd and to not make sense with Hauser just drilling into an already dead corpse. I don’t really get what was going on there. The editing of the film is odd as well. The film doesn’t really build tension and just kind of moves to the climax. I give it some leeway here as Adams is the main character and she is in a dream like state, so I think that’s the reason for that. The score was okay, but it didn’t blow me away by any stretch.

Now with that said, this film has a good concept, but missed out on an opportunity to do something special. The story is lacking with what they decided to do. The acting is pretty wacky, but I thought Hauser and Adams did a pretty solid job in their roles. The effects were practical, which is good. They were lacking a bit though. The editing is odd as it doesn’t build tension, but I think that is the feel the film is going with. The score was okay, but nothing special about it. I would say that this is a below average supernatural slasher. If they would have gone a different route, I feel it could have been much better. With that said, I think there are much better films like this that are out there.


My Rating: 4 out of 10