The 1996 so-called slasher The Dentist is a mess of a movie with few redeemable qualities. I’d argue that this movie isn’t much of a slasher. While it does contain violent scenes of teeth mutilation with dental tools, the primary weapon of choice is a pistol, which is a bit of a cheap shot if you ask me.

The Plot

Our star of the film is Dr. Alan Feinstone, a wealthy, hot tempered Beverly Hills dentist who is devastated when he catches his wife, Brooke, having an affair with Matt, their pool boy. What’s worse is that Alan caught her on the day of their anniversary. He can’t get the image of her with Matt out of his head, which makes him angrier and angrier. From the beginning it is already evident that Alan is ornery and likes to take his frustrations out on others. Rather than confronting Brooke about her affair, he decides to take it out on everyone he can get his dental tools on.

Oh, and Mark Ruffalo is in the movie for like 10 minutes?

“I, am an instrument of perfection, and hygiene. The enemy, of decay and corruption. A dentist.”

Yes, a lot of people are afraid of the dentist. It’s a completely valid fear, and I love the premise of a terrifying man who has total control over the fate of your teeth. The Dentist isn’t completely void of of entertainment and terror. I reacted to the gory scenes with disgust, exactly how the movie wanted me to react. The color of the film was filled with blues and pinks, providing a false sense of comfort when there wasn’t any. The graphics were disturbingly vivd and the writing for the dental hygienists was surprisingly refreshing given that the rest of the women are portrayed as nothing more than sex objects. And then there was the rest of the story, which felt lazy and under-researched.

The Verdict

I didn’t hate this movie, but I didn’t like it either. I watched it because I wanted to see how it would end, how it would go for Jessica, a young girl who just wanted to get her braces off. While a creative concept and well done visually, it was a not-really-slasher violent horror film that I wouldn’t watch again.

2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)
About the Author

CourtCourt is a writer, horror enthusiast, and may or may not be your favorite human-eating houseplant.

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