Freak [1998/I]

John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs) has come to Italy with wife and blind daughter in tow to arrange for the sale of his newly inherited castle. Unbeknownst to these folks, the duchess who willed the castle to Reilly kept her kid shackled in the dungeon, lambasting him regularly with a wicked cat-o'-nine-tails. Though the duchess is gone, the eponymous freak remains, now fully grown. As the family moves into the castle to await its sale, internal conflicts concerning Reilly's guilt over the blinding of the daughter, and the blame from his wife, further fracture their unstable family unit. Castle Freak escapes his shackles in search of food, and more importantly human warmth. The Freak just doesn't know how to express his need for love in a socially acceptable way, however, and seems destined for an unsavory end at the hands of the something-to-prove Reilly, who must find some way to route to vicious creature. But there's more than one way to skin a cat (though they only use one of those ways in this picture). Fitting addition to the oeuvre of splatter specialist Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator). --Jim Gay

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