Film Reviews:

The Refrigerator

(Nicholas Jacobs, US, 1991)

The illustrations from 1950s home magazines, depicting gloriously happy housewives with their huge refrigerators, that pop in and out of the opening credits unfortunately promise more than the film ultimately delivers, although the choice, quirky soundtrack by Don Peterkofsky did have me smiling before anything had even happened. A young couple move to New York and rent a seedy apartment that comes with its own vast refrigerator. The landlord tells the happy lovers, "The appliances may be old but they have a lot of character". Oh, he forgot to mention that they eat people too. At least the fridge does. Juan, the Bolivian Plumber, does his best to ignore the strange events that have surrounded and eventually consumed previous occupants of the flat. As time passes, the demonic ice box begins to turn the two lovers against each other. Steve becomes more involved in his new office job, while Eileen becomes the bored wife who begins to turn to Juan for company.

The Refrigerator is full of the ideas and impressive camerawork that one might expect from a first feature. Director Nicholas Jacobs obviously has a fondness for the 50s (check out the motivational posters on the walls of Steve's office) and his general enthusiasm for the medium in which he is working spills over into all aspects of this feature. His use of the horror genre seems merely a device to gain attention for his debut and I would be surprised if any subsequent works were within the genre. The effort to impress impinges on the subject however, and although some scenes are either suitably nasty or effective in showing the strain between the two leads, by midway the narrative become too serious bearing in mind the basic premise. Interesting though.

Rob Dyer

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