The Dentist (1996)

I had no real expectations for this to be any good yet I still managed to be disappointed. In theory, the dentist’s office would be a perfect setting for a torture porn horror movie. After all, there is something quite terrifying about the idea of allowing another person to play around with the inside of your mouth while you lay there defenseless. And who doesn’t get shivers when they hear the sound of the dentist’s drill? But alas, instead of doing a semi-decent B-list gore similar to Hostel or the Saw franchise, where someone kidnaps people and then tortures them with dental equipment, what we get a clichéd story about a yuppie doctor finding out about his wife’s adulterous ways and going on a small rampage, without being particularly fun.

The most heinous crime the movie commits is that none of the deaths are remotely entertaining or  scary, they’re just dull and anticlimactic, which more or less sums the entire movie.  In terms of dental torture, there is very little of that, but it is there. You do cringe a little when the dentist drills one patient’s tooth to shreds or when he starts to extract teeth from his wife’s mouth with pliers after he has tied her up, but they do feel a bit lacking. The only time the movie has any real tension is the when they tease whether or not the cute teenage girl waiting for her braces to be removed can avoid going to the chair and then get attacked. Of course it eventually does come to that, and that is the only time when the movie actually becomes thrilling: she manages to escape from the operating room, but then discovers she’s locked inside the building and has to hide and hope she isn’t found. This also leads to a pretty funny absurd twist when she eventually gets found, as the dentist spares her life and leaves her alone after she promises to keep good care of her personal oral hygiene.

I was foolish enough to check out the trailer for the sequel on Youtube, and it actually looks to be slightly promising, so I probably will end up seeing it in the near future, when I am in the mood for some mindless schlock. It seems to become more campy, so fingers crossed,


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