July 1, 2000

The Paperboy (1994)

"A paperboy murders an old lady only to lure her family from the city out to the country. As each day passes the paper-boy tries to make friends with the family. Once the family sees what a sicko he is, they banish him from their lives. Then the terror begins."

The premise of the movie is that "The Paperboy" of the title is a nasty little twisted psycho who kills everyone round him.

In a lot of ways it is derivative of "The Bad Seed" and "The Good Son" (which came out at the same time), but it is just a little bit sicker and without the suspense of the former or the horror of the latter.

This kid kills both his parents, has some kind of pre-pubescent crush on Alexandra Paul (well, we've all had that!), and has an even weirder relationship with the little girl next door.

I'm not going to spoil it for you. You have to see this to believe just how messed up a film like this can become.

Little Johnny (played by Marc Marut) may be a psycho but that is no excuse for being totally inconsistent all the way through. One minute he's booing, the next he is whacking things with a baseball bat... actually that's just how most of today's kids are anyway.

He's not the sharpest tool in the box either as everything he does leaves him open to being caught by even the stupidest of cops so it's a bit surprising that he makes it through the duration of the film at all.

What I mean though is that the character development is a bit weird. You don't know if the kid fancies Alexandra Paul or if he wants her to be his mother or if he is trying to create a new family for himself because his own was so messed up. Maybe it's a mixture of all three but it made me think that there was a great inconsistency to little Johnny's motivation and there are lots of bits that just didn't make sense.

I was tempted to add it to the Video Vault, but it was just on the wrong side of average for me. It's not particularly scary, but it's one of those you watch as a guilty pleasure, like Corbin Bernsen's "The Dentist", because you want to wonder what will happen next even though you already really know.

It also has Alexandra Paul from Baywatch in it, and she's worth looking at anyway. I can't believe this film was made in 1994. How time flies.

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