In a fairy tale land of yore, the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) plans to rid the mortal world of light so he can rule. Standing in his way are the unicorns, whose purity can withstand his evil. He fetches himself a unicorn horn, thus bringing darkness and turning the mortal world to ice. He then kidnaps a virginal young lady (Mia Sara–yes, Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend) as his bride, leading her forest-dwelling boyfriend Jack (Tom Cruise) and his magical buddies to save her.
This is one of my all-time favorite childhood movies. The reason I include it is because it is a family-friendly movie (rated G) that involves a large creepy devil guy and various demons. The G rating may be a little optimistic, given that a few scenes take place in a hellish setting where demons torture people (there’s a brief shot of a guy on a table getting an axe in his gut, for example). There are also mild swears like “hell” and a short scene when Jack and his pals drink alcohol. Then there are lovely sentiments like, “She was so sweet I could eat her brains like jam.” Not to mention the scenes when Lily, in the process of being wooed by the Lord, wears a dress with a generous view of her cleavage.
My only major complaint about the film is that the dialogue gets a bit hokey and melodramatic at times, for instance: Lily: “Are you afraid to kiss me, Jack?” Jack: “I’m afraid you’ll break my heart.” Lily: “Then still your heart, for you are dear to me as life itself.” I’m also puzzled as to why the sound effects for the unicorns are whale noises. It gets a bit heavy-handed with the dichotomy of good/evil, dark/light, but it does pose the interesting notion that there is no good without evil—so evil is basically unkillable.
Overall, the film is a delight. The sets are beautiful, the soundtrack is lovely, and the villains are horrifying.
Bonus: a fan-made music video for the theme song, Tangerine Dream’s “Loved by the Sun”: