There are some slips here and there - at one point a woman with a gun is pushed off screen and disappears from a scene that's set in a confined area - but the film, from director Douglas Cheek, has its head on straight as a horror film despite its ridiculous premise. It's easy to see the influence of city-bound horrors of the earlier part of this decade (Alligator and Wolfen come to mind) on the tone Cheek takes with his film.Within this serious tone, C.H.U.D. most definitely has some moments of monster movie brilliance. The creatures are wonderful, if not slightly bland, and that C.H.U.D. growl sound effect belongs in a monster hall of fame. The characters, led by future Home Alone stars John Heard and Daniel Stern, all buy in to the C.H.U.D. universe and sell what the film is offering without smirking. Manhunter's Kim Greist gets to offer some screams of terror that remind of the blondes-in-peril of the 1950s (and gets to wield a sword!), and there's even a shower scene that allows the movie to join the ranks of the best Psycho imitators. One scene even seems to have been directly lifted for James Cameron's Aliens two years later.
(Unrelated to the rest of my review, but it must me said: I tried my hardest to count how many times the name Bosch, which belongs to the police captain played by Christopher Curry, was spoken in this film. After about 50 minutes, I lost count around 25. Someday, I'll complete this goal. If you're into games which require someone to partake of something when something happens on screen, look no further than BOSCH.)I've still never gotten over how much I dig C.H.U.D. Its fusion of monster movie and social commentary, gritty modern setting, and intelligent, well-acted characters are one-of-a-kind. I know it seems ridiculous to say with a straight face, but if the cast and crew could do it, so can I. C.H.U.D. is a near perfect midnight movie treat.