In 1993, a little movie came out around this time of year called “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and it reigned in the Halloween season with a vengreance. No movie since has been able to compliment this holiday so perfectly. Not until now…well, we’re getting really, really close at least. “Igor” isn’t the epic holiday adventure that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is, but it certainly has gotten closer than anyone else has. This is what “Nightmare” fans have been waiting fifteen years for.
Yes, “Igor” is being targeted to children, but I think there’s actually more here for adults to enjoy than kids such as the classic movie monster set-up, gruesome imagery and the film’s tendency for dark humor featuring jokes about suicide and blind orphans. Certainly there will be kids out there that will eat this stuff up, I know I would’ve as a kid, but if you have a wimpy child you might want to keep them away from this one.
The all-star voice cast will also surely be more amusing to an adult audience – John Cusack does a great job as the mild-mannered Igor and his voice lends an interesting twist to this sort of character, but Eddie Izzard totally steals the show as Dr. Schadenfreude who is a sort of evil Elton John. Izzard fans will be more than pleased.
Returning to the comparison between this film and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” the similarities in character and set design are so strong that at first it’s quite uncomfortable. But any unease you’re feeling melts away as “Igor” rapidly cultivates its own world, its own charaters, a sharp sense of humor and winds up being enormously entertaining. For the past fifteen years, many have tried to capture that old “Nightmare Before Christmas” look and feel and while they’ve been able to capture the look, none have really been able to capture that magical feeling that is part spooky, part funny, part charming and all celebration of all that is fun. “Igor” has. It does everything right and it feels like Halloween.
Forget whatever bullshit “Saw” sequel is being plopped into theaters this season – make “Igor” your Halloween movie choice. I look forward to making it part of my regular Halloween movie viewing for many years to come.