Second Sight Films, out now
Are a group of teenagers really returning from the grave to haunt teacher Jim Norman?
Hailing from the period when there seemed to be a new Stephen King adaptation every other week, this version of one of the chillers from the Night Shift collection was apparently originally intended to be part of the Cat’s Eye anthology movie, but was expanded to a full length TV movie. It was successful enough to spawn at least two sequels (one of which, also known as Frozen, stars Star Trek DS9’s Chase Masterson).
I can remember watching Sometimes They Come Back on VHS on its first release and thinking that it was an effective little piece – nothing particularly special about it but it held together well. It doesn’t hold up to a second viewing a couple of decades later quite so well: Tim Matheson is much better suited to characters like Larry Sizemore on Burn Notice, not making for a particularly sympathetic lead, and there are various plotholes which you have to choose to ignore.
If you like the Tom Berenger/Treat Williams Substitute series of movies, you’ll probably enjoy this, and it’s a step up from the sort of torture porn that characterises a lot of straight-to-DVD.
Verdict: Undemanding fare from the master of horror. 6/10