They (2002 film)
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Theatrical Release Poster.
|Directed by||Robert Harmon|
|Produced by||Ted Field
|Written by||Brendan Hood|
|Music by||Elia Cmiral|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release dates||November 27, 2002 (USA)|
|Running time||89 min.|
|Budget||$17 million (estimated)|
They (also known as Wes Craven Presents: They) is a 2002 American supernatural horror film directed by Robert Harmon. The plot centers on a group of four adults named Julia Lund, Sam Burnside, Terry Alba, and Billy Parks and their experience with the phenomenon of night terrors and the impact they had on their lives as children and how they come back to haunt them as adults. The film was produced by Ted Field, Tom Engleman, and Wes Craven who served as executive producer. The film stars Laura Regan, Ethan Embry, Dagmara Dominczyk, Jon Abrahams, and Marc Blucas. The title refers to the fact that the creatures are only referred to as "They" as their origins are a mystery.
In a prologue a young boy named Billy Parks (Alexander Gould) is frightened and has difficulty falling asleep after waking up from a nightmare. His mother Mary Parks (Desiree Zurowski) comes in to comfort him and assures him the monster he thinks is in the closet is imaginary. As he tries to fall asleep he sees a dark apparition in his closet staring at him and pulls the covers on top of himself and turns on a flashlight, as he peeks outside the covers he is captured and spirited away by the mysterious apparition.
A few years later the plot focuses on the story of a Psychology grad student named Julia Lund (Laura Regan) and the events that turned her life upside down. As a child she experienced horrifying night terrors, but has seemingly overcome the problem. She reunites with a childhood friend, a now grown up Billy (Jon Abrahams), in the diner Billy is constantly startled by the flickering lights as he is now deathly afraid of the dark, he tells her that he believes their night terrors are caused by something otherworldly as he was kidnapped by mysterious creatures as a child and went missing for two days, he warns her to stay out of the dark, before suddenly committing suicide.
At his funeral, Julia reunites with two of her and Billy's childhood friends Terry Alba (Dagmara Dominczyk), and Sam Burnside (Ethan Embry) who slowly begin to believe his claims as they also experienced night terrors as children and suspect they are returning, Terry explains that her night terrors started when she was 5 years old after witnessing her sister drown in a lake, in one instance she woke up screaming and her parents comforted her and put her back to sleep, her mother checked on her a few hours later and she was gone, after searching throughout the entire house her father found her in the dog house, as he reached in to grab her she stabbed him in the eye with a kitchen knife as she was convinced he wasn't her father and that he was some kind of demon.
Julia is at first skeptical but slowly starts to believe in her friends stories after meeting a little girl named Sarah (Jodelle Micah Ferland) who also suffers from night terrors and claims "They" are going to get her to eat her in her horrible nightmares and the only thing that keeps them away is lights. She then starts picking at a strange mark on her arm, a similar mark that also appeared on Billy's arm and Terry's ankle .
Julia finally believes in the stories as her night terrors return and she begins to doubt her perception of the world around her. It turns out her mental illness is caused by creatures only she can see who are attempting to consume her. At a bathroom in a diner she discovers the mark left by "They" on her forehead and slowly pulls out a black needle from the mark and she starts to panic. She runs to her boyfriend Paul Loomis' (Marc Blucas) apartment for comfort, Paul, now completely convinced that Julia is insane, drugs a drink with a sleeping pill and gives it to her. Paul tells her that everything will be okay and she will soon fall asleep, realizing he drugged her and knowing she can't risk falling asleep she escapes his apartment and runs to the subway station to vomit the sleeping pill on the tracks only to get trapped in the station as the closing gates lock her in.
Being trapped she is forced to ride a train home, she notices she is the only passenger on the train making her uneasy. The train's lights start to flicker and the vehicle stops completely, she gets off and sees all the light bulbs burst in the train tunnel, the train automatically starts and abandons her as the creatures assault her. Julia is constantly attacked by the creatures at the sign of darkness in the tunnel but manages to escape, she is finally discovered by a construction crew who attempt to help her only for Julia to viciously assault them, being convinced they are not human.
She is hospitalized at a mental institution by Dr. Booth (Jay Brazeau) and her boyfriend Paul Loomis where she is attacked once more and transported into a separate dimension inside of a closet, here she screams for help towards doctors and orderlies who cannot see her. The closet door is shut by Dr. Booth and the creatures proceed to attack her.
The original script dealt with a group of five recent college grads who were also named Julia, Sam, Billy, and Terry with a fifth character named Joey originally part of the group, who discover that Earth is actually run by a race of organic machines which allow the human race to live so that they can kill them and harvest their corpses for "spare parts" as their own bodies break down and deteriorate. Shortly thereafter, the machines begin to eliminate the students, not only killing them but using their influence and abilities to wipe the memories of their family and friends making it seem like they never existed.
- Laura Regan as Julia Lund
- Jessica Amlee as Young Julia
- Marc Blucas as Paul Loomis
- Ethan Embry as Sam Burnside
- Dagmara Dominczyk as Terry Alba
- Jon Abrahams as Billy Parks
- Alexander Gould as Young Billy
- Jay Brazeau as Dr. Booth
- Jodelle Micah Ferland as Sarah
- Desiree Zurowski as Mary Parks
- Mark Hildreth as Troy
- Jonathan Cherry as Darren
- Peter LaCroix as David Parks
- L. Harvey Gold as Professor Crowley
- David Abbott as Professor Adkins
The film was released in cinemas on November 27, 2002 and was a box office failure.
The film was released on DVD on June 10, 2003.
The film did not break even at the box office grossing only $16,130,385 which is only about 1 million dollars less than the 17 million budget the film had and was therefore not a success.