Idle Hands are the Devil’s playground. Or so they say. Makes for a good saying and a good warning to little children. However, does it make for a good horror comedy? That’s right, we all know how much I love horror comedies and I’m back for more. So, just how does Idle Hands stack up?
Idle Hands starts out in good horror movie fashion, with a couple of kills and without showing us who the killer is. We then move on to the star of the film, Anton. You see Anton is a high school loser. His days consist of sitting around and watching TV while also getting high. Should he leave the couch, it is to get high with his friends. There is actually no indication he even makes it into school that often.
As he goes about his stoner life one day, he stumbles upon the reality that his parents are dead (the kills from the beginning of the movie). While he and his friends try to figure out what happens, clues lead them to believe that Anton is the killer. It is at this point, that Anton uncontrollably murders his two friends. I say uncontrollably because we see his hand do the killing while he tries to stop it.
At this point in the movie, Anton has two things: a possessed hand that he can’t control and two undead friends. Oh yeah, those two friends he killed? They decided not to go into the light and instead rose from the grave to hang out and get high. While fighting off the evil hand’s tendency to kill, it also drags him into confrontations with the girl he’s admired from afar up to this point. At least the hand isn’t without its benefits despite its bloodlust. So, what do you do when your right hand won’t stop killing people no matter what you do? Well, you obviously cut it off to free yourself of the burden. With the hand now free from any control or restraint that Anton can place on it, everyone is now at risk. Can Anton, his undead friends, and a druidic priestess stop his evil, murderous hand?
It should be obvious by now that the movie is ridiculous and that is where it works best. Every time Anton is out, it is a game of hiding the chaos his hand is trying to cause. The physical comedy between him and his hand is entertaining up until he casts it off. The antics of his undead friends are good comic relief, but never too over the top. The comedic situations are frequently a little silly, but never annoying. It even works in a healthy does of wry humor underneath the movie as it carries on about its business. While not for everyone, fans of horror comedies and offbeat comedies should both be able to enjoy this one.
Also, Idle Hands does feature a fair amount of gore into its endeavors. Though, I would not consider the gore to be of the gross-out variety. The gore is a bit more slapstick than you would see in more serious horror films like Hostel. While it isn’t there to gross-out, it does serve to balance out the humor that runs throughout the movie. It also isn’t the over the top variety or just littering the screen. Just the right about to match and balance the movie, I’d say.
Picture Quality: 4/5
Idle Hands lives in dark settings. Thankfully, those settings are always sharp and clear in the movie. Additionally colors look true even in the dimmer shots. The grain is pleasantly present, but small and the image is nicely detailed. There is no apparent noise or negative affects from any sort of DNR or the like.
Audio Quality: 4/5
Much like the picture, Idle Hands features a very clear audio track in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. There isn’t a ton that gives your surround a workout in this feature, but the sound and clarity is great. The volume of the sound is balanced properly and keeps everything in proper proportions. The dialog is always intelligible throughout the runtime and the music sounds true and clear when present.
Supplemental Features and Packaging: .5/5
No features and a pretty standard physical package. No special points awarded here.
Idle Hands Overall: 4/5
Idle Hands may have been a failure in theaters, but found its fans on home video. And for good reason, too. The humor is effectively composed and the gore is plentiful, but fun like a tamer Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. The picture and audio is great on this release. However, the release is featureless without even carrying over the DVD commentary. Still any fan of the movie should be happy with this release due to the technical merits. It isn’t a pricey release either, so I’d recommend to any fan of horror comedies.