Mark this one for the curiosity basket, as Canadian Horror film The Pit is something of an odd film.
The film follows the journey of a strange little boy Jamie Benjamin (Sammy Snyders) who is an outcast in society due to his peculiar ways, often the subject of ridicule among the neighbourhood. His only friend is his teddy bear, who he has imaginary conversations with. We actually hear the dialogue between Jamie and the stuffed toy throughout the film serving as an inner consciousness to Jamie’s darkest desires. The movie has also been known as Teddy in some cases due to this component of the film, but it is the pit that is the centre to the mystery and the creatures called Trogs that lurk within.
As Jamie’s wild obsessions begin to manifest along with his sexual awakening, he is driven to rid those who have tormented him in the afore-mentioned pit. Each time he does so, the manner in which he lures the bullies to their fate becomes even more ridiculous to the point that it starts to abandon the suspension of disbelief. It is such a jarring thing that I found it completely removed me from the film.
One redeeming feature is through psychology student Sandy O’Reilly (Jeannie Elias) who is the main focus of Jamie’s lust and just so happens to be his babysitter. She provides the hope that maybe Jamie can be sedated through her kindness and understanding but only if this act is not misguided as deeper emotions from our wayward boy.
There is something in the subject matter here that could warrant another look and I’m intrigued by the novelisation that the film is based on called Teddy by John Gault which supposedly allows for a stronger character development (always an important thing for me) and a much darker tone (again, something that as a horror fan entices me in). So it would have been more interesting had they decided to stick closer to the novel and the original screenplay despite heralding a pretty cool ending that switches the focus nicely. As it stands though, The Pit always feels a little out of place and hard to connect with, much like our lead antagonist, Jamie.
- Saul Muerte