Starring: Eddie Bowz, Darin Heames, Leland Hayward, Anna Karin, Monique Mannen, Heather Medway, Antonio Todd, Erick Weiss.
Richard (Eddie Bowes) is a grad student who proposes an interesting experiment to his professor. He plans to takes several people, mostly couples, to his uncle's cabin for a weekend of fear therapy. He wants to discover the fears of each person and help them work through them, including his own.
All the couples pile into a van and head into the woods. Once they get to the cabin they start poking around. They quickly discover a life size carved wood mannequin. Richard laughs it off, even though it's a strange thing to discover. Everyone has fun posing the mannequin and they even put him in their therapy circle. Each person goes around and begins talking about their fears. Leslie (Ann Turkel) fears aging, while her younger brother Troy (Darin Heames) seems to just be constantly rejected by women, but that's not a fear. Mindy (Monique Mannen) has a fear of heights or flying, I can't remember. Richard himself has several fears and they manifest in the cabin because as a child he witnessed a terrible tragedy that he has been trying to forget ever since.
Richard's uncle who runs a Santa's Village park nearby shows up with his much younger wife Tanya. It turns out that they need to use the cabin. Richard is a little hesitant because of his experiment but he decides to include them. Tanya has a fear of water so they try to get her into the hot tub, but she has a super freak out. The group takes an outing to the Santa's village where it suddenly turns from day to night and one of the female patients is attacked and raped.
The mannequin, Morty has come to life and uses fear power from the people to exact revenge on these people. Richard continues to have flashbacks and he slowly discovers the truth about his fears. It turns out that he witnessed his mother having sex with his uncle and he told his dad. The dad shot and killed the mom but blamed it on Richard. Richard's dad and uncle buried the mom while wearing these weird wooden masks that reminded me of the goblin masks from Troll 2. I guess the mannequin was actually trying to protect Richard, I'm not sure. It has haunted Richard ever since. At the end of the movie Richard drops out of his program, so it's got a great message about higher education.
I obviously didn't remember a lot of the details so this movie didn't resonate with me much. It's a strange concept but at least it has some interesting and weird characters who react so oddly to their surroundings that it's not the worst. There is a lot more rape and attempted rape than I usually like in a movie, so that brought it down in my book too. There is a Chinatown inspired twist as well, but that was pretty gross.
Richard wears some super terrible turtleneck sweaters and Tanya has this insane jogging outfit but it was just the early '90s fashion trends in play. The rap soundtrack is really played up on the back of the VHS box, but it did nothing for me, if anything it didn't seem to fit with the movie about a bunch of old college students trying to get therapy.